It’s funny how sometimes all we want or need is to be heard.
I’ve felt pretty alone with my day to day struggles, with my “difficult baby,” when all my friends seem to have easy babies. Babies who nap, who just hang out, who will play on play mats and eat nicely.
I understand that they think I’m exaggerating when I say that “I can’t put Henry down,” or that “he doesn’t nap.” They think I mean he doesn’t nap A LOT or ENOUGH for my liking, or he prefers to be held. No. I meant what I said.
A good day he will take one or two half hour naps.
A bad day he will sleep ten minutes from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m.
They must think I’m some kind of incompetent mom, that he must be overtired and I just can’t get him DOWN for a nap. Nope. He doesn’t as much as yawn or rub his eyes. As long as I’m holding him, he’s happy as a clambaby.
But if I set him down to get dressed? Well. That’s the hardest part of my life right now. I’m always on edge, always a minute away from his fussing.
I can’t blame anyone who doesn’t believe me or understand. How could they? I can barely believe it myself and I’m living it, day in and day out, long day after longer night. I can’t plop him in the car or stroller or go anywhere either. He cries in both.
I carry him around for twelve hours straight. I fight with him to get him to eat. I douse him with medicine. I walk the house. I pace the floors. If I sit, he complains. If I try to do something that involves putting him down, he and I suffer his screaming.
I didn’t want pity, or sympathy. I think I wanted something like an acknowledgement of my existence. Yes, my children are my life and of course, it’s not about me. I agree that’s how it should be, has to be right now. But I just wanted someone, somewhere to say, it must be hard to do what you’re doing now. You’re doing a great job.
I wanted a voice to express just one concern about me. As a person. Not just as a mom.
I wanted to be, as a human. If that makes sense.
I got that, twice, this week, from two people I’m close to. And for some reason, it feels like a weight has been lifted from me, as I carry around my other weight, my love, my 15 pound daily weight.
I feel like I can go forward again.
I can do this. In fact, I’ve been doing it all along.