I’m still having medical issues and they still haven’t been worked out. In time, I hope that a doctor will be able to help me. I’m currently sorting this out on my own. It’s been hard. I do not trust my emotions right now to know what’s coming or going. I do not know what’s real and what’s thyroid induced so I second guess myself daily at least a dozen times. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to having some trouble adjusting to motherhood.
Emory is changing everyday. That’s normal. I know. But last Wednesday, he threw out all the cute, fake coughs and replaced them with ear-piercingly loud screams. I tend to exaggerate sometimes, but these screams have actually caused the constant ringing in my left ear to worsen. (They are so unbelievably loud.) They’re terrible. He does this whenever he decides that we are not paying enough attention to him. And for Emory, that’s almost always. I am at my wit’s end. If I ignore him for a bit, the screams intensify, he gets worked up, and eventually starts to cry. (That has only happened twice, however, because I can’t let the screams go on for that long. Plus, since he rarely cries, it’s hard to watch that happen.) I usually give in after a few of the screams and pick him up. The screams almost always immediately stop. (Of course they do! He’s getting his way, right?)
I didn’t go to school for this. I went to school for photography, graphic design, and visual arts. I admit it. I have no freaking clue how to be a mother. I have no idea what’s right and what’s wrong. I have no idea how much time I’m supposed to pay attention to him and how much time I’m supposed to let him work it out alone. And I’m his full-time teacher! I am a stay-at-home mom. I have no daily help. I don’t have a nanny or a babysitter. (My mother comes over sometimes to help, but I don’t call her hired help. She’s there for support. She’s not a nanny. I wouldn’t want her to be a nanny. I want her to be my mom). It’s just Emory and me for the most part, which is precisely the way I wanted it to be.
But the last two weeks have been trying. I find myself staring off into space wondering what it would have been like to go back to work part-time, hire someone to look after Emory every now and again. I wonder what it would have been like to drop him off at a daycare every now and again so I can get things done – a haircut, visit the doctor, walk around and get lost taking pictures.
And that makes me feel worse. Selfish. Immature. I feel like I’m failing him and myself. I feel like I’m failing period. People have done this for decades! Women have raised many kids and alone! What is wrong with me? Why am I having so much trouble juggling everything, mentally dealing with the transition into motherhood? How in the hell do you people do this so well!
It troubles me that if I get this wrong, I can’t really go back again and retake the course. This is it. I need to get it right the first time. That’s a little bit terrifying.
I have been self-diagnosing myself lately because I haven’t made it to a doctor and I’m not sure when I’ll do that. I stumbled on a term recently over at Ask Moxie about being Touched Out. Women were discussing the physical relationships (or lack thereof) they have with their husbands after having a baby. Some said they were too tired to snuggle with their husbands. Others said they just didn’t want to be touched at the end of the day. I started thinking about this phrase: “Touched Out”.
I spend every day, all day, with Emory. I am very affectionate with him. He is a very needy and loving little boy. He likes to be near me and he loves to be smooched and tickled. I spend every day giving him all of my physical and emotional attention. Whenever TobyJoe gets home, I barely remember to hug him let alone give him a kiss. I hand the baby over and shower or clean or do whatever it is I wanted to do and couldn’t because I didn’t have the time. And that’s terrible! Am I failing my husband as well? When does everything get back to normal? Ever?
I just feel like I’m failing. I failed at the work I tried to continue with after Emory was born. I barely find time to write and whenever I do, I don’t reread it so it’s strewn with errors and half-thoughts. I barely shower. I barely go out. I barely cook. I barely clean. If I gave myself a grade this week, it’d be a failing grade.
I was joking with TobyJoe about how I currently sum up my daily routine. We live in a railroad apartment. The front of our apartment (our bedroom) faces east and the back (our kitchen) faces west. The sun wakes up every day and greets me through our bedroom window. At the end of the day, the sun sets over Manhattan, saying goodbye outside our kitchen window. That’s my punctuation, my front and back cover. Everyday, I pick up the same book. I read the very first sentence at the beginning of the day and the last sentence at the end of the day. And I know there’s a whole lot more taking place as the sun makes its way from the front of our apartment to the back, but I don’t see it happen. I don’t read that part. I don’t show Emory what the sun does. I know nothing firsthand of its journey. (Does a cloud ever get in its way, a bird? Is there a rainstorm? A rainbow?) I don’t take him to the backyard to show him the sun at high noon because, well, we don’t have a backyard. And the backyard we do have (which is off limits to us anyway) is currently occupied by a very drunk and belligerent hobo.
How am I supposed to teach this little person about what happens to the sun when it’s out of view if I don’t know myself?
I probably have the post-birthday blues or something. I turned 34 yesterday and I repeatedly had to remind myself that it was in fact my birthday. I had a dermatology appointment first thing in the morning, where she stuck a needle full of a steroidal into my MOHs scar/wound because it’s not healing well. That obviously sucked. But what makes yesterday really quite funny isn’t that I had a needle stuck into my face on my birthday, it’s the fact that I got really dressed up in order to do so.
But, hey, at least the sentence that punctuated yesterday morning was different from all the rest.