Because you were up feeding your tiny human at 10:34 p.m., 1:37 a.m., 3:28 a.m. and somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 a.m. this morning, and you still made it to work with actual pants on.
Because you’re staring down 1,000+ “suggested pins” about baby-led feeding, leading you down this insane, puree-ridden path lined with baby food mills, Montessori tables, mesh feeders and ice cube trays.
Because the most you’ve done with the vitamin D drops the pediatrician said you’re supposed to be giving to your exclusively breastfed baby… is feel guilty about how you’re not giving them to your exclusively breastfed baby.
And then you can’t decide if telling yourself, “Meh, they’re probably old anyway; they’ve just been sitting there, open, for over five months,” is based in actual logic…
or just a way for you to feel less bad about throwing them away.
Because the pediatrician gave you judgy eyes when you told her you’re still nursing your baby to sleep.
Because you just really, really need to know that, regardless of how the label on Hyland’s teething tabs says you’re not supposed to use them for longer than seven days in a row—
which, apparently, IS SIGNIFICANTLY SHORTER A TIME THAN TEETHING ACTUALLY LASTS—
that people have, and do, and their kids are not, in fact, poisoned, damaged or deceased as a result.
Because every so often, mama guilt sneaks up to sucker-punch you about the fact that you’re working instead of staying home with your baby.
And then you compare the amount of hours in a week that you see the baby vs. the amount of hours your (fantastic) daycare lady does, and the mama guilt stabs you directly in the face.
With sound effects.
Because you know people mean well when they ask, “Is he sleeping through the night yet?”, which makes you feel even worse about wanting to throat-punch them in response.
Because every “Your Baby This Week” email since month three has been pushing “sleep training” on you, and you feel simultaneously guilty that you have no desire to do it and also worried that you’re ruining your baby’s entire life by making this choice.
Because you swear the motor of your breast pump sounds like it’s saying actual words sometimes.
Because you’re totally down to have a monstrous Pack and Play crammed into all the available real estate next to your bed—
blocking access to 90% of your dresser drawers and also your primary means of exiting the bed—
because you’re not ready, at all, for the baby to move all the way down the hall to his room, to sleep alone, all by himself, in his crib.
Because you brush out your hair with a comb, and then follow it with a second, claw-like brush-through with your own hand to grab all the postpartum sheddy hairs.
Because you still haven’t figured out the perfect “pajamas-to-space-heater-temperature” ratio that keeps your baby from waking up with ice-cold hands but also doesn’t turn your bedroom into the temperature of hell.
Because you occasionally find yourself #blessed with a four-hour stretch of sleep, at which point your body (trained for three-hour stretches) wakes up in a panic and immediately dives to feel the baby’s chest for movement/delicately hold a finger under the baby’s nose to feel breathing.
Because you still sometimes count on your fingers, in your head, to determine which size your baby’s going to be in which season.
And then you curse the brands that size things “6-12 months” because REALLY WHAT SORT OF SORCERY ARE YOU HOPING TO ACHIEVE HERE
Because any activity that takes place beyond 8 p.m. is basically the middle of the night.
Because you’re vividly aware of becoming “that person” whose social feeds are like, AND HERE IS ANOTHER PICTURE OF MY BABY BEIN’ BABY, and you acutely give zero effs because this is your life right now, praise the lawd and pass the throw-up blanket.
Because you’ve felt the very specific sense of defeat when you carry your heavy, bulky, giant-ass bucket car seat into the store, only to discover they’re out of/don’t have any of the cool carts & your child is now the entire contents of your cart.
And because sometimes, you just need a “me, too“—
a voice resonating in the great wide-open of motherhood that hears you, nods, and replies, “I get that.”
I hear you.
I get that.
(And, P.S., you’re doing a really good job.)