Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Black Hole of Babyness

Well, the bambino is allllmost 2 months old, so if I want to have any kind of legitimacy on this blog, I need to post something! Henry is doing great- growing in leaps & bounds- he has officially outgrown his newborn size clothes- eating like a champ- smiling at us- sleeping more predictably and continuously- and just generally being cute.
I think we will keep him.

Before I give the people what they want, (pictures) I would like to have one motherly musing- and no complaining- its my blog, I can do what I want.

Musing: Before Henry arrived, I had big plans for my weeks of maternity leave. Babies sleep a lot, and I would relish the extra time at home and get lots of projects- big & small- going around the house. I would catch up on email, do some deep cleaning, try out some new recipes, organize my closet, make the calls & plans for the bathroom remodel, etc. All while recovering from childbirth, bonding with my new baby, and getting the hang of mothering.
I was, and am, an idiot.
The first few weeks of Henry's life, I only had 2 goals every day: take a shower and leave the house. It could be a 5 minute shower, and a walk around the back yard, but both of those things were absolutely necessary to preserving my sanity. Please know, that I do know how ridiculous this sounds- what sane person would NOT do those things every day? In fact for most people, both of those things are accomplished within the first hour or two of waking.
But, shamefully, there were some days where I failed in not just one goal, but both.
How was this possible?!?! How could one teenytiny person use up so much of my time and energy? Just a few months ago, I was keeping him alive and happy inside my tummy with virtually no extra effort on my part. Not only was I not getting any projects done (again, idiot) but I was barely keeping myself afloat in a sea of laundry, diapers, and feedings.
Understandably, this began to make me feel like a failure.
Until, one day, in frustration, I was trying to explain to a non-mommy friend what I was doing all day at home, and how little Henry was like a black hole of babyness, sucking up all the time and resources that came within his gravitational pull. During the conversation I did a little 'mommy math.' Here is the breakdown of how I was spending my time every day:
Feeding baby about 9-10 times a day, for about 30 minutes = 6 hours
Diaper changes & burping after every feeding, 15 minutes =2.5 hours
Getting baby swaddled & snuggled back to sleep after every feeding, 15 minutes = 2.5 hours
Bathing & dressing baby= .5 hours
Doing the laundry that baby produces & the absolutely necessary daytime chores, ie making & eating food, washing dishes, taking out trash= 2 hours
Staring at baby, talking about baby, talking to baby, wondering if baby is okay, calling mom to ask she thinks baby is okay, all done ad nauseum = 3 hours
Sleeping = 6 hours (broken up into teeny tiny itty bitty bits)

We have now reached a grand total of 22.5 hours.
Allow me to complete the math for you, this leaves 1.5 hours for any other optional activities. And I haven't even mentioned the doctors visits, or comforting Henry if he's fussy, or spending time with my husband- you remember, that person I made the baby with? Yes, I had to work to remember too. AND, spending time with my sweet puppy, who also is desperate for quality time!
Anyway doing this math has helped me to not feel like a giant failure for not being able to care for baby and do everything else. I know there are people who can do this new baby thing with WAAAAY more grace & competence, than me, but maybe I will catch up some day. Besides, my lack of time, energy, and productivity, is mollified by one thing thatI have failed to mention: although Henry is a bit of a black hole, he is the most beautiful black hole you have ever laid eyes on.

For those of you who are worried for my sanity, things are much smoother these days. Henry has moved from feeding 10 times a day to 7, which may not sound like a big difference, but trust me, it is huge! There is more time, and I am getting better at managing it.

For those of you who are wondering where I am & why you haven't seen or heard from me- I blame the black hole of babyness which is sucking up all my time.

For those of you who are wondering "Who is this person who says things like 'mommy math' and can't manage to take a shower?" "Where is my friend who has the ability to talk about lots of interesting things- not just the baby?" I don't know. I think she got sucked into the black hole of babyness. I am hoping to rescue her soon.

Now, some extremely adorable pictures (and one video!) of the black hole himself...

Sometimes Henry thinks he's drowning...

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