Catherine Connors is a mother, writer and recovering academic who traded the lecture hall for the playroom and discovered that university students and preschoolers have much the same attention span. She still dips her toes into academic waters by writing the occasional scholarly article about the place of motherhood in Western philosophy, but mostly now she changes diapers and wipes noses and indulges in long reflections on whether Yo Gabba Gabba is a harbinger of the decline of western civilization. Oh, and she blogs: in addition to Bad Mother blogging at BeliefNet, she is, among other things, the author of HerBadMother.com, Managing Editor of MamaPop, moderator of Her Bad Mother’s Basement, co-founder and co-editor of WeCovet, Contributing Editor at BlogHer, and (deep breath) founder of and contributor to Canada Moms Blog. And in her spare time… oh, wait. She doesn’t have spare time. But she’s okay with that.
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.
Originally posted at Her Bad Mother, 2006. Copyright Catherine Connors 2006 – 2009.