Confessions of a blogger as a young(ish) mom: DIY

I’ll be honest. Before I had a baby, I really didn’t know anything about babies. Cats? Yes. Dogs? Yes.  Books? Yes. Plants? Yes.

I knew more abou teaching 8 children under the age of 4 who didn’t speak my language in Korea than I did about raising one baby in the U.S. who…well, I guess who doesn’t really speak any language yet.

Eight children under the age of 4.

I never really sat on babies much as a teenager.  I didn’t get all “awwww”-y over others’ youngsters. I never really wanted to hold the baby; in fact, I didn’t want to.  I always felt exponentially more awkward with someone’s baby in my arms, like I was going to drop it, like I had two left arms, and three heads. And it would always, without fail, cry.  You know those people who seem to have a certain special something that babies gravitate toward? that make babies just love them just by looking at them?  Yeah, those people aren’t me.  In my book, babies just kind of either a) laid there looking around and/or crying or b) were on the go getting into things and/or crying.

So I guess you wouldn’t really call me a maternal woman, am not now nor have I ever been. Altho I admit to a softer spot for the younguns now than previously. Just as long as I don’t have to take care of them.

I love my son. I do. My love for him ravishes me and makes me sob with its depth (I mean, except for at 3:17 a.m. when I am up for the 4th or 5th time. Then I am just sobbing from sheer exhausted tiredness. And not so much love.)  But this whole baby-thing, it is way not what I had envisioned.


Apparently, my head was up here.

Let’s keep in mind here that I didn’t really have any kind of concrete ideas about how it would be.  I mean, I knew it would kick my ass. And it has. I knew that it would make me grow. And it has.  But it has been totally a lot harder than I thought. And a lot more sleep-deprived.

Here are some of the vague, floaty notions I had before I had Miles (laugh if you will. If you are laughing and you have kids, I hope you are laughing with sympathy. If you are laughing and you don’t have kids and PLAN on having kids, your time is coming):

Vision 1: Me in kitchen, the young master playing happily on the floor whilst I prepare yummy, healthful edibles to eat like homemade bread or soup or other fantastic food.

Reality: Me in kitchen when I have time during naps, hair bedraggled, throwing stuff into the crockpot and/or trying to chop some stuff up for the Young Master’s lunch while he Hulks Out on the floor because he wants Up NOW cramming some chocolate down my throat because its ‘mama’s medicine to keep her sweet’ (and it SO is. do NOT doubt me on this).

This is what he looks like. But less green. for the most part.

Vision 2: The Young Master playing happily with his toys while I either a) am gainfully employed in working or b) being sucked in by catching up on others’ bloggy treats or c) am “getting stuff done” around the house.

Reality: The Young Master playing for about 38 seconds before he realizes I am sitting still and/or not involved in holding him.

Vision 3: The Young Master being so abso-tutely-rootly happy to be mobile that he crawls and plays happily while I (see above).

Reality: The Young Master crawling for about 38 seconds before he realizes he should be crawling ON ME and/or the Young Master not caring about crawling (meh. crawling. that’s so last week. I’m so over it) and wanting Up in the carrier NOW.

Vision 4: The Young Master playing happily with grass and toys while I supervise and/or garden (just a teensy bit pleeezzz)

Reality: The Young Master heading straight for (mulch/gravel/sand/poison ivy–altho I think and hope that I have eradicated it) to eat thereof. And also?  The mosquitoes put the kabosh on being outside for very long.

Head for the mulch. Quick, before mom gets here.

Vision 5: The Young Master sleeping soundly through the night, waking once to eat and going right back to the land of Morpheus.

Reality:  You know all about that already.

Vision 6:  Being able to eat/pee/get dressed/indulge in personal hygiene/do anything in a timely manner that does not involve catastrophic crying/fussing because Mom! is not! holding me!

Reality: Inability to do the above without catastrophic crying/fussing because Mom! is not! holding me!

Vision 7:  Rocking and cuddling a sweet, cuddly baby.

Reality: A sqwirmy, wormy Young Master who has his own ideas of what constitutes a cuddle and HATES the rocking chair (but who is, undoubtedly, very sweet nonetheless)



So I realize that a lot of these revolve around the idea that a baby ought to be a lot more self-entertained than they actually are. 

But who knows anything about what full-time infant care is actually like until you do it yourself.

DIY? I certainly am. Abso-tutely-rootly !


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sharon
    Sep 05, 2008 @ 20:26:50

    Dan managed to coax the director of our school into loaning us what I’m pretty sure was the only rocking chair in all of Sana’a, but Stephanie screamed BLOODY MURDER every time I tried to rock her. Like I was torturing her or something. My visions involved baking blueberry muffins and cinnamon rolls while she napped. That’s why I am make so many of them now–I was so deprived of them throughout her early years.


  2. Lisa
    Sep 06, 2008 @ 06:15:41

    spoken by a co-worker who’s a new mom: it’s not that I wish she (i.e. the child) wasn’t here or that I don’t absolutely love her, but my life has been pretty much hell for the last year at the same time.

    another friend’s recent absolute elation at her first overnight trip away with her spouse sans son–it surprised her that she didn’t miss him until they were on the plane back to PA.

    Emma was a pretty easy baby (because God knew I couldn’t handle anything else, IMO), and I still look back on infancy as a pretty hard time.

    Not that it helps with the frustration, but at least always know/remind yourself that you’re not alone or deficient.


  3. ~m
    Sep 06, 2008 @ 19:21:31

    Sharon, well Stephanie turned out pretty alright so I guess there’s hope for Miles. I really hope he grows into using it because some of my best childhood memories are being rocked. But I guess HIS best childhood memories will be of me doing whatever is particularly soothing for him, even if it isn’t rocking.

    Lisa, yeah, I know I’m not the only one, that’s for sure! 🙂 It’s good to know that all us moms are in the same boat at one time or other :S


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