Her Bad Mother

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The best things don't come easy

So, this whole new motherhood thing is, like, really hard.

I know that it's extra-difficult right now because of the whole head cold thing. Which, by the way, I passed on to Baby, even though a) I disinfected my germy self and everything I touched including Baby every two minutes, and b) isn't breastfeeding supposed to make babies pretty much bulletproof anyway? So now Baby has a stuffy nose and a sad little cough and didn't sleep last night and so it has all become more challenging. And it also doesn't help that the Husband has a Very Demanding Job that sometimes (like now) keeps him away for longer than is comfortable for me.

No-one said it would be easy, I know. And I knew it would be rough. But really. Is it this hard for everybody or am I just weak?

That said (and that asked)...

I was putting Baby to bed tonight, after something of a struggle with the nursing, and as I was tucking the swaddle blanket around her little bottom she locked eyes with me and just stared. It was the calmest, stillest gaze, and I can't begin to guess and wouldn't presume to guess what she was thinking, but it was such a peaceful, trusting look and my heart, I swear, it almost burst out of my chest.

And that heart-squeeze was a painful thing (my god the fragility and preciousness of the creature that is Baby! Who will always be Baby but who will grow and stretch and move and inevitably pull away from me!), but also the most beautiful thing that I have ever felt.

Hard, hard work. And so... ordinary. But such the extraordinary reward.


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