Motherhood is hard.

The last 24 hours have been HARD.

I mean, really freaking hard.

I’ve only known my daughter for about 3 weeks now, but sometimes it feels like we have a rhythm established. I feel like I have some semblance of a clue why she is crying.

Then she throws us off. It’s not a diaper change, food, or seemingly comfort she’s after.  And in those moments – when she is shrieking so loudly and violently that she sends herself into a coughing fit – I feel like the most inadequate parent. I feel like some dummy in a slapstick  comedy who cant react quickly enough and fumbles around until something works by chance.

And then I cry.

I cant even say that no one told me that it would be this hard.

Everyone did.

But everyone also told me pregnancy was hard, and I skated through it effortlessly with only a few small bumps in the road, so I guess I (mistakenly) figured I’d have this “mom thing” on lock down as well. (Spoiler alert: I was wrong.)

Motherhood is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do (which says a lot because work through me quite a few curveballs this year and made me question my career choice and sanity at times).

But unlike work when my boss says, “I’m sorry you had to take on this really tough task. I’m sorry your day sucked. You’re doing a good job,” my daughter just cries.

It doesn’t matter if I pumped enough for her to feel full two hours ago if I cant do it again now.

It doesn’t matter if she nurses on one side: if its empty she wants the other which is sore and raw from her poor latch and I can barely put a cotton bra over it sometimes, let alone allow my child to try to extract food from it.

It doesn’t matter if I just changed her diaper 30 seconds before she noisily asserts that she’ll be needing a new clean one (ugh…that one gets me every time).

It doesn’t matter if I’m brushing my teeth for the first time of the day at 4pm…if she needs me, she needs me now…not after the timer on my sonicare says my teeth are clean.

It doesn’t matter if every intention in my body is good: she doesn’t know that and she still needs whatever she needs: usually faster than I can react to provide it which cues the blood curdling cries.

Other people keep telling me that it gets easier. They understand. The beginning is tough.

All I want is for my daughter to understand that I’m trying. I’m trying really hard and her cries break my heart everytime and make me feel like my efforts are never enough.

I long for the day when she can articulate her needs. I look forward to being able to tell her how much I love her and have her understand.

For now it’s just hard.

 

 

9 thoughts on “Motherhood is hard.

  1. You’re doing a great job. You’re half way to 6 weeks, when smiling may start (half way, that’s huge!). This really is the hardest time, and if you have resources to lean on (family, a post partum doula, a community midwife, anyone), now is the time to do it. It will get better, and even if it feels like it isn’t true, your kid knows you’re there and showing up day and night.

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    1. Thank you! I am lucky to have a really wonderful network of family and friends and talking to other new moms (even if only through social media) has helped. I’m so looking forward to those smiles. We get some now, but they are random and quick to pass! ❤

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  2. This all sounds totally normal and 100% accurate. I know it doesn’t seem like it, but your daughter DOES know you’re trying. That’s what she’s trying to figure out – are you so reliable and consistent that you’ll respond to her with love every time. You are literally laying the foundation for a strong attachment, even though it feels like you’re running around in circles and failing at every turn. Hang in there. It gets easier, like everyone has told you. Know that all you need to do to succeed is TRY. Your effort, attention, and love are the response she’s looking for, not for you to be RIGHT or know what she wants every time.

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  3. Oh I feel this… You’re doing such a great job. Motherhood is the HARDEST JOB. You’re so right. And just like everyone is saying, it does get easier.
    This post brought back so many visceral memories for me of my daughter’s newborn stage…. Ugh… The most magical time in hindsight, but how you get through it when you’re in the thick of it is beyond me! Good news is, one day she’ll communicate her needs with words or gestures that you’ll understand and SHE’LL TELL YOU SHE LOVES YOU and it will all be worth it and it will all be OK. Hang in there mama! You can get through this difficult time.

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  4. Congratulations. You are doing a terrific job of being a mom. And, yes, she believes in you and your wife and the magic that you can fix everything and anything she might need/want.
    Children grow amazingly especially the first year. It will change while you blink. You 3 will grow into this new life together.

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    1. Thank you! 💜 Yes as much as I look forward to her being able to communicate in those hard moments, I am also trying to savor every day as I am acutely aware at how fast this time passes and can already feel myself getting nostalgic for what has already passed. What a catch 22 these newborn days are!

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