Here's the thing I didn't realize about other people's kids... you don’t see them generally when they are acting up. You see them after they fell asleep in their carseat looking all cute and being all quiet. My baby does this too. Yesterday, we had a little get together with some neighborhood mommies, and my adorable Em was fast asleep in her carseat for the majority of the time. After awhile, I got her out of her seat, and she slept in my arms. Twenty or so minutes later, she started to stir, and I knew she’d be hungry so I fed her for a reasonable amount of time. Then, she continued to be pleasant, though fully awake and alert, as other people held her.
Doesn’t that sound lovely? Isn’t my baby precious?
The answer to those questions are (respectively): Yes and Yes, but really NO. My precious babe tends to be less precious at home, during the day, when she will not sleep, wants to eat fairly constantly, and fusses... um... a lot.
Did I say “fusses?” I meant, “screams bloody murder like she is being robbed at gunpoint.”
It’s been... trying. Some days seem better than others, and I’m trying really hard not to use the “c” word (cough-colic-cough) because I am hopeful this is going to be something that will pass, quickly. From what I’ve read, it’s possible that she’s just hit this stage in development (she’s one month old--seriously, already?--tomorrow) and it will die down at six weeks. Fingers crossed.
So here’s the thing, she is soothable. She’ll quiet down during car rides, storller rides, and if I “wear” her (she’s asleep in the K’tan as I type this), but sometimes, I just really want to put Em down in one of the many, many baby holding items that we have (infant lounger, swing, bouncey chair, crib, etc.) and just have some quiet time or a chance to do something fun and awesome like a load of laundry. This does not happen with my child.
I am lucky enough to have a supportive partner. Seriously, how do single parents do it? I would just lay down and die. And because I have a supportive partner, I have instituted a new rule in my house. It is: Mommy leaves the house every.single.day. ALONE. Just for an hour or two, to go to the gym or the dentist or even the grocery store, but MOMMY LEAVES. BY HERSELF. We’re three days into this rule, and I will say, it has done wonders for my patience and sanity. I've stopped saying things like, "Maybe I should go back to work at six weeks."
My husband was able to take a whole month off work, which has been amazing, but unfortunately, this time is coming to an end. We’ve agreed that he will do his best to get home by 5:30 every day, at which point (say it with me now) MOMMY LEAVES. I’m scared to be left alone all day, but I have faith that we’ll adjust, and I am hopeful that Em’s fussiness will improve with a few more weeks. In the meantime, the new rule presents an excellent opportunity for me to work on my postpartum fitness.