I love this life, this crazy minivan-full-of-many-boy-children life that I never, ever expected to be living, but oh, I'm so glad I do. Honestly, I could kind of see myself having baby after baby, if I only had a place to put them besides Ikea dresser drawers. Or enough money to keep them all in karate/braces/camp/pizza/college. ~ Amalah
I do not feel like this. I found taking care of a newborn extremely stressful.
I don't know if I need more sleep than most people, or more time to myself, but I really struggled for the first seven months of my son's life, until he started sleeping through the night. Normally I get a little cranky if I have a bad night's sleep, so after seven months without a single stretch of 8 hours of sleep, I was always angry and irritable. And whenever I put him down for even a second my son started screaming that loud piercing scream, I would get even more so. I looked forward to returning to work.
Then he would calm down, and I would be breastfeeding him at 3am while reading infertility blogs on my phone, and I would feel so terribly guilty and ungrateful. I knew so many people who were currently sacrificing so much in the hopes of having a sleepless night just like mine.
Now things are slowly getting better. I don't feel that "overwhelming" love that people speak of, but I do love him. One of the downsides of having such a husband who is such an involved and fantastic dad, is that I am sure that my son loves him a great deal more than he loves me. I don't even really think of him as "my son", more "the baby". Perhaps that's one of the reasons that I'm finding it so hard to give up breastfeeding - it's the one thing that I can offer him that no one else can.
I find it very hard just to be present with my child, to play together rather than simply attend to his needs and then leave him to entertain himself. I am making a conscious effort to spend more quality time together, to sing songs in the morning, to share our meals at lunch time, to read books in the evening.
One of the activities that I most enjoy is to watch him feed himself. This produces a terrible, astonishing mess from his hair to his chair to the floor. But it is the first little hint that there is actually a tiny person hidden inside this baby. I love watching him look down at his array of foods, and decide whether he wants to eat an avocado or a sweet potato or a baby biscuit. The noises that he makes as he chews and swallows and waves his hands around.
This little creature is such a stranger to me. I don't even know whether he will be left or right handed, let alone his favourite animal or activity. These are the moments that I get a kick out of - the ones that give me a little insight into the kind of person that he will one day become.