I have a baby. He’s really little. 3 months little! And there is nothing that annoys me more than the implication that I am not working as hard as other Mum’s because I have one of the ‘easy’ ones.
My kid could be a lot worse. He could have reflux, or colic. He could be plagued by painful gas, or have a tongue tie, or lip tie, or eczema, or any great number of things. But he doesn’t! In fact, he’s perfect. *humble brag
He’s a perfect tiny person who relies 100% of the time on my partner and me to tend to 100% of his needs.
He needs to eat. And eat. And eat. I spent the first month topless. I’ve spent every day since whipping off my top the moment we arrive home. Sometimes he’ll only eat 6 times a day. Other days he will eat every half hour for approximately 28minutes. He will then pretend he’s going to fall asleep. But he’s not. He just doesn’t want me to think it would be okay to put him down for a second while I get myself a drink. Then he’ll go straight back to feeding.
*I’m so thirsty
And he’s still hungry. He eats through the night. I wake up to do that through the night. Not every night. Some nights he doesn’t wake at all to eat. And on those nights I wake up to make sure that he is okay, and have a much harder time falling asleep afterwards because “Is he sick? He really is still breathing right? Maybe I didn’t offer him the right boob? Does he need to be lying in a different position? Oh my gosh he’s so cute. I think I’ll just watch him a minute. He’s so precious. I love him so much. Oh shit, the sun is seriously rising right now and I’ve woken him up and I guess it’s play time…”
He needs to be kept clean and dry. And let me tell you, this kid can poo. He poos pretty much every day. That’s one big poo a day that comes with the risk of leaking from the nappy, all over his outfit. Or the bed. And some days he doesn’t poo. Chances are the next day will have a HUGE poo involved and the chances of poo getting everywhere is multiplied by how naked he is. And while you’re cleaning that up he’s planning his next urination for exactly the moment that you go off to get a fresh nappy (or fill the bath because it was all down his legs and up back). You likely get back to find the bed/floor/favourite teddy soaked in wees. On the odd occasion that you walk in mid-stream you are simply too far away to do anything about it and he’ll look straight into your soul as finishes.
He needs to sleep. Like, he seriously needs to. And not for half an hour like he may try to convince you. And not in half an hour as he will plead with you. Oh no, he needs to sleep, and he needs to sleep NOW. From the first rub of his eyes I have ten to fifteen minutes to get this kid asleep. Any and all entertainment must cease immediately. If I miss this window then this kid will get a second wind. He will smile a big ol’ crocodile smile and start playing with full force. This crocodile smile will not last. He will turn suddenly and without warning. You’d just better hope you’re ready to leave the house and start walking NOW.
Walking. Yes. He needs this. He needs to be put into some form of carrier – because he will not be doing with not being right against a person’s chest – and he needs to be out in the fresh air now. Don’t think that he’s joking about this. He’s not. Nothing else will do. You cannot imitate the experience of a walk by pacing the house. He knows the difference. He’s not that silly. He wants to be out there. With the open skies, and blooming flowers. So leave the house. Now.
He needs about a gazillion other things, too, and that list grows and changes every single day. Sometimes he’s grumpy and all of the things he loved yesterday will not be the same stuff he loves today. He needs a constantly varying lifestyle and on top of that I have a me to look after.
And a house I vaguely care about the look of.
And my partner has full time work.
And we still have family commitments.
There’s so much to fit into my life – and that includes listening to you tell me that I ‘probably get more sleep than you’ because you have a puppy, and that this one is good practice ‘because the next one…’, and at least I don’t have a baby like your cousin/uncle/aunt/brother/sister/friend/mother/wife because they are exhausted.