Newborns are hard, but babies are Challenging.
We’ve all seen the posts, and testimonials from mothers who didn’t expect the early weeks of infancy to be so damn hard. They write pleas of exhaustion in motherhood, healing, and caring for a newborn. But for me, it’s the next stage, babyhood drains me mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Babies are just hard.
Babies are exhausting. As infants move from small helpless newborns to hefty mobile and curious babies everything changes, and it. Just. Gets. HARDER. and more challenging.
Every time I think I have it, and I’m rocking motherhood, something happens, and it hits the fan again. The constant cycle of thinking I have it, and then not, begins to drain on me nine months later. I just want to get into my groove please.
I set up a solid routine and then they learn to crawl, or stand, or walk, or get sick, or cut teeth. It is these changes where everything just crumbles around me and I find myself more exhausted and defeated than even the first few weeks at home.
Suddenly, babies have opinions about things and you can now spoil a baby as they learn, grow and develop. It’s in this complicated time my skills and capacities to be a parent is constantly tested and I feel I’m always failing.
- I feel like I’m failing because she won’t sleep longer than 20 minutes during the day and 90 minutes night.
- I feel like I’m failing because I can’t leave her with anyone longer than 2 hours without a meltdown and a phone call to quickly come home.
- I feel like I’m failing because I can’t keep up the house; this mobile baby undoes everything I do, and its a constant cycle of sweeping floors, washing cupboards and putting away the laundry.
- I feel like I’m failing because her favourite food group is brown crayon, and she screams when I try to contain her in the stroller.
- I feel like I’m failing because at 22 pounds, I can longer carry her and chase a toddler without regretting the next day.
- I feel like I’m failing because I thought motherhood would just get easier the older babies became, but nobody told me infancy is just the beginning, and each stage becomes progressively more challenging in your skills to parent and mother tiny humans into good people.
Raising good people is hard, and this stage of curiosity and determination post-newborn is exhausting.
Yes, care for the new mom who just delivered a little human into the world, but don’t forget every stage of motherhood is challenging. We still need a village for the tough days, weeks and months that continue to happen as newborns become babies and every stage after that. Please don’t forget me now.
But right now, at 9-10 months, just like with my first, I could use a break more than ever before. I didn’t want to leave my tiny human in the first 6 weeks or 4 months, but 9 months later, we’ve had enough of each other. It’s time for a break. Can somebody hold her now? Please? I’m ready.
I could use a meal and a visit from a friend more than the first week home from the hospital. I didn’t need it because I prepped during my pregnancy, but 9 months later my freezer is full of only breast milk, the laundry is pilling up, and the house unkept.
Please just wait for us. The mothers who held our babies too close pushed the helping hands away. Wait for us, because that time comes when we can’t anymore. For me, babies are challenging. Nobody told me it would only get harder and more difficult as they grow and change.
Truthfully, I find almost every changing stage of development challenging. My capacity to mother is constantly pushed, testing my patience and willingness to survive. Infancy is tough, toddlerhood is overwhelming, but babyhood just beats me down.