“I’m just tired.”
“Sleep when the baby sleeps!”
I started hearing it the day Zoe was born. Actually, I probably started hearing it way before then, but it’s likely that I didn’t pay much attention and thought nothing more of it. Of course I was going to sleep when the baby slept. I learned my lesson with Kiki. Just like of course I was going to have a vbac, breastfeed like a pro and have a kid who slept through the night at six weeks. Because, unlike all the other moms in the world, I’d read all the right books this time, bought all the right products, and participated in a million online discussions about how not to fuck up your kid. I was born to do this. I am after all not a first time mom.
I was sure that motherhood was going to be so fulfilling. I mean, yeah, I knew it would be hard, but hard in a being-super-brave-through-tough-times-like-Florence-Nightingale sort of way, not hard in a grinding, miserable, why-does-my-childen-have-asthma way.
Surely I would never, ever resent them. I love them way to much.
When you become a parent, there never seems to be time for a nap. You should either grab it when you can, or you go without. Not long after Khloe was born, I learned the hard way that I couldn’t do the former – when Khloe slept, I was too anxious to sleep, and when I did finally manage to fall asleep, I was awakened by every. single. tiny. noise she made. I don’t know if it was because I was so fucked up on hormones, or if it was the postpartum depression beginning to rear its ugly head, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t sleep when she slept.
And you know what’s the worst? Not being able to sleep when you are absolutely dead tired and you know that your little offspring is going to wake up screaming soon and then you won’t get to sit down for the next five hours.
At some point towards the end of that hazy first week, I remember thinking, “When is someone coming to take this baby away so that I can go back to my real life?”
And then I realized that this new little prem baby was mine, and no one was going to take her away, and this was my real life now.
With that thought came a bizarre mixture of guilt over wanting to go back to my one baby life, and blind panic of the “holy shit I have two kids, what on earth have I just done?” variety.
Sometimes having kids sucks. A lot. I love them, and I love being their mom, but sometimes, like right now, I’m so tired of being a mom, anyone’s mom. Sometimes I just want to be myself. I want to go back to my old life, the life where I slept in on weekends, read so many books, whenever I wanted to. Do fun things with Dano. Be flexible. Visit friends.
It also doesn’t help that most of my friends still, in some ways, live in my old life, staying out late, drinking too much, and going to the bathroom without having two toddlers follow them to watch them pee. And I promise that I’m not trying to be all, having a kid is so hard and my friends don’t get it, but let’s be honest: most of them don’t, really, in the same way that I didn’t get it, either. And I’m jealous that they don’t get it, jealous that they don’t have to watch what they eat or drink or smoke because they have little people around, jealous that they can go to bed and not have a whimpering toddler wake them up five times a night, jealous that when they go home at the end of the day, their work is done, while mine lasts forever and ever and ever.
Sometimes I’m so tired of being a mom.
Sometimes I’m so fucking tired. Period.
And you know what sucks the most? Knowing that all of this is my fault. I don’t mean so much in the sense that I chose to have a kids (although that is true), but more that I don’t believe in sleep training, I co-sleep most nights, haven’t tried too hard to get Zoe of the freaking cursed bottle. Know why? Because I’m a wuss, that’s why. Every time I think about sleep-training (or insert another method of getting your child just to CALM DOWN at night and sleep), I think of all the crying that will be involved, and I wince. I absolutely hate the crying it out approach, so I just can’t. I’m sorry, but I can’t. Hearing one of them cry makes me feel like every nerve in my body is on fire. And it’s one thing to hear Zoe cry because I won’t let her eat Doritos; it’s another when she’s crying because she just wants to be held, or sung to, or put to sleep
And that’s why my 27-month-old still sleeps in my room most of the time, take a bottle of water to bed and are still being put on my back. Because I am too tired and too wussy to do anything about it.
I’m tired and you guys?
Sometimes I still miss the old me.
And that makes me feel really awful.