Saturday, October 13, 2012

in the interest of full disclosure

Lest there be any confusion on the matter, motherhood is not always my favorite job.  There are some things that are terrifically unenjoyable.  Case in point:  pregnancy.  Who enjoys being pregnant?  Not I.  And then, when it's over, you either get to enjoy hours of labor pains and birth, or major abdominal surgery.  Sometimes, if you're really lucky, you get BOTH.  Your progeny thanks you for bringing her into the world by requiring your around-the-clock care and feeding.

At this point, it has been over a month since I have slept more than three hours at a stretch.  I'm constantly being sucked on.  If I'm not wolfing down a meal in the ten minutes Naomi chances to sleep, I'm juggling her on my hip while I sort laundry.  Evenings are particularly ridiculous, as I usually end up holding a baby in one arm and making dinner in the other, while playing referee to late-day whining from the big kids.

At the end of the day I haven't accomplished much beyond getting to the end of the day.  I haven't done anything beyond the minimum, really.  As exhausting as it is, I have only done what I am expected to do, what mothers everywhere are expected to do.

Especially frustrating to me at this point is the job of breastfeeding.  While I know it has innumerable benefits and I'm committed to it, I simply don't like it.  I'd love to take a little vaycay and NOT be the one who has to be on-call for the baby every time she's hungry.  Not be the one who is confined to the couch for each evening's four-hour marathon feeding/fussing session.

But every once in a while in these long, early-baby days, the fog clears and I am reminded that the blessings of motherhood far outweigh the inconveniences.  The way Naomi has no idea who I am or what I've done for her, yet she knows it is my arm she wants to hold her, and my chest she wants to snuggle into.  The fact that Lily whines and rages when I don't have enough time for her--not because I enjoy it or even because it's acceptable behavior--but because it means she needs her mommy, and nothing else will do.  The way my baby's eyes slowly close and she gives a sigh of ineffable peace as she settles against me to sleep.

Being so important has its drawbacks, but I'll take them.


Esther Littlefield said...

I hear you Lisa. I have often thought, "Oh, what I wouldn't give to just NOT be needed for a while." And I only have one child... Motherhood is hard and exhausting. I pray that you get more sleep and rest! Thank you for being open about your challenges - other moms need to hear this too.usi

Hewittfolks said...

Aw, thanks, Esther!

COTTAG3 said...

I so understand your feelings. I LOVE being a mom but didn't think I could handle more than one. I certainly didn't enjoy surgery during my fourth month of pregnancy or the gall bladder surgery after he was born much less what happened with labor and delivery. The only part of pregnancy I enjoyed was feeling his movement (when it didn't hurt) but I wouldn't have traded that experience for anything. I didn't breastfeed and have zero regrets. It just wasn't for me. Since I was adopted, I wasn't breastfed so it never was important to me and since I was healthy and my son is healthy, it's ok. There are parts of motherhood that are just frustrating and not fun but the parts that are awesome far outweigh those. You'll be on this rollercoaster at least until they are grown. Do I do cook dinner and clean the kitchen or take him here or take him there or go see him in this special thing at school? Since he's a teenager and weird, I have to drop everything when he's ready to sit down and chat about things. I never know when that's going to happen since teenagers revert back to the one - two word utterance stage most of the time (no, whatever, yep, nothing are his favorites), I have to listen when he chooses to open up. He just tends to do this at the times that are not good for me. Oh well. I treasure those moments anyway. You're a good writer. Maybe you should write a book "The Ugly Side of Motherhood and It's Okay." It would be a great read and helpful I'm sure. Squeeze that in to all your free time :)

Hewittfolks said...

Yeah, I'm learning that the needs and problems never go away... They just get more complicated!