Weeks old: 6
I like: Grabbing mummy’s hair, boobs, dancing to Alkaline Trio with daddy
Mummy is learning: To tie up her hair, to like Alkaline Trio
So I am 6 weeks into this mum lark and some of the fog is starting to lift… sometimes. While Little O still does most of his sleeping on me, he does longer stretches of it most nights which means I am getting just about enough broken sleep to function as a human being. Not a human being who could do things like work at an actual outside the home job for money or do calculus but one who can dress, eat and keep a small human alive. (As a side note, how on earth do American mums who only get 6 weeks of maternity leave, usually unpaid, cope with returning to work at this stage???).
This lifting of the fog has made me a bit more conscious of the thoughts that drift in and out of my mind, like:
I wish I could sleep without a bra on! Sleeping without a bra on would be more comfortable and convenient for night feeds but boobs that are used for baby feeding, leak and if you sleep without a bra on, you wake up in a puddle of milk.
My body is such a weird shape. I’m not that far off my pre-baby weight but my body is a bit out of proportion at the moment. I can fit some of my pre-baby jeans but most of them are too tight in the belly. My bigger jeans that fit in the belly are too loose in the bum! My boobs on the other hand are like footballs.
I have nothing to wear. I thought my maternity wardrobe was pretty limiting but my baby feeding wardrobe is even more limited. I can only wear stuff that I can easily rearrange to breastfeed in. Pretty much all of my dresses are out. Also breastfeeding bras are very, very unflattering so a lot of my clothes just look… wrong.
When is daddy getting home? Mr O has started a new job and still has gigs in London, which means he sometimes isn’t home for some hours at a time, as is normal for the partner not on parental leave. Since Little O doesn’t like being put down it can make even going to the bathroom or grabbing a snack very hard. It also means there is no respite when Little O gristles for hours. I do not know how single parents cope. After 12 hours I am losing the plot. As a tip to dads (or whoever has gotten to go out without the baby), take over as soon as you get in.
I’m letting myself go. I have never been obsessed with my appearance but I used to get my nails done, blow dry my hair, put on make-up, wax my eyebrows. These things don’t happen anymore. I have blow dried my hair 3 times since Little O was born. As I am the only one who can feed Little O, I have never left him since he was born for longer than it takes to have a shower. I can’t see that changing in the near future and so things like a pedicure and a haircut seem totally out of reach and I feel very rough around the edges.
I am turning into a clown. Little O now smiles. It is literally the cutest thing I have ever seen and so I will do very, very silly things to make it happen again.
I am doing it all wrong. I don’t think this ever stops. I constantly wonder if I should be doing literally every single thing I do relating to Little O better or differently and whenever I get frustrated or exhausted I feel like I’m not coping… which brings to the forefront all the fears I had when I was pregnant. But today when I took Little O to be weighed (5kg/11lbs now) and the health visitor asked me if I was enjoying it, I sincerely said, “yes, l almost all the time,” so I must be doing something right.