Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A friend of mine had a baby recently, her first, and I keep thinking of when I had my first baby.  It was never a situation for me where I felt like, well anything like, "this is so great!  I am so lucky!"  I felt like when I was at IU that first semester and people kept saying to me, "isn't it awesome?  Don't you love it here?" and I would think, NO.  No I do not love it here.  Mike and I had the same first semester at IU and I always joke that if we had met there, we never ever would have gone on one date because I hated people like him, people who LOVED it at IU and thought it was AWESOMELY AWESOME.  I think the difference was that I was happy where I was, I was living in NJ and going to a community college for what I thought would be two years, I had jobs and friends and an interesting and fun life that happened to include going to college.  At IU it was like there was NOTHING except college, all the friends and the jobs and the - everything - was in one place and if you didn't like that place, well, you were screwed.  My sister and I didn't like it and so we were screwed.  So we did one semester there and then we got the hell out of Dodge (Bloomington) and we went back to Indianapolis and finished up there, where we could have jobs, friends, etc., stuff outside of just college.  Also we missed our mommy and daddy but WHATEVER. Ha!

My friend who just had the baby said something that I've noticed a lot of people have said, which is something like that she wasn't good at newborns, that it triggers too much anxiety and fear.  I always think, who?  Who among us is good at being anxious and sad and tired all the time?  Who can thrive in such an environment?  Firemen, maybe?  Racecar drivers?  Maybe, but the analogy doesn't work once you consider that the person's CHILD is involved in the anxiety.  Maybe a fireman does great at putting out fires but maybe he's not at his best either if his LITTLE BABY was in the burning house.  A racecar driver might thrive going 200 mph but not if his newborn was in the backseat, rear facing or not, ha!

I always think, I'm so, so bad at this, so bad at being a mother and ENJOYING it.  I am pretty good at being a mother, keeping them clean and dry and loved and fed and everything but I am not good at enjoying it.  I'm not good at trying to get someone to go to sleep who doesn't want to go to sleep, I'm not good at being super tired all the time, being in physical pain from nursing, or whatever, but I don't apologize for it anymore, I'm sick of it.  I think YOU are the bad mother if you pretend that it's awesomely awesome to change dirty diapers and never sleep and nurse a baby, in fact.  Take that!

I think that it's the worst part of being an old mother.  I think those warnings about how your baby could have down syndrome or whatever are total and complete poppycock.  I think the real warning to mothers who are OLD like me, having their first baby, should be that you are about to have your whole life change, and it's going to happen in an INSTANT.  I can think of no other experience like this - like I got married and my life changed but I dated Mike before we got engaged, we were engaged before we got married, it's completely different.  My life changed when I moved to Indiana, but I was with my whole family and Laura and I were going through almost the exact same experience.  But when I had Anthony, my whole life changed and I had never even MET HIM BEFORE.  And he wasn't THAT NICE OF A PERSON, frankly.  Maybe when you are 22, you are more flexible and you don't notice so much that your whole life has changed because maybe a lot is changing anyway - you're maybe finished with school, you got married, etc.  Who knows.  It feels like it's harder at my advanced age, anyway.

This is sort of pointless but it's just to say that if you just had a baby, and you think it sort of sucks, you are right.  But it will get better and then it will all be a memory and then probably you'll forget and start telling people to 'enjoy each minute', ha!

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