Sometimes, I feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders. Kids, you know? Feeding, clothing, cleaning, developing them. There’s just so much, and it barely leaves room for me, and I sure as hell don’t think I deserve to think much about me during this season of my life.
Tony and the boys went to Leland’s to watch football yesterday, while I took two hours to clean the whole house (much of which was dirty again by the evening because of dirt on shoes and dog feet), do laundry, dishes, and go to the store. You know the story: mom gets time to herself, mom does nothing but work for other people. Anyhow, so I was called back to feed the kid in the middle of the shopping trip, which caused me to forget several items on my list. Tony, bless his heart, doesn’t mind taking the kids for the afternoon, but he gets so engrossed in the football game that he doesn’t pay attention to them. So, I’ve been notified that we are no longer welcome for football games if I’m not there to take care of the kids. There goes my two hours of “me time” (and by “me time” I mean, working for everyone else rather than doing something that is selfish and just for me) every week.
And Charles is so clingy right now – when he gets hurt (which is six frajillion times a day), he screams/whines “I wan’ mine mommy!” Simultaneously heartwarming (he wants me!) and annoying, because no one else will do, even if I’m nursing Jamie or making dinner or going pee, it never fails to make me feel a twinge of guilt. Is he getting enough love? Is he secure enough? Does he fall and get hurt and then look around and worry that I’m not there to comfort him? And then, when he’s going to bed at night, he begs me to sleep with him. “Nuggle me, mommy. Seep wif me. Jus for a little while.” If I lie down with him, I can’t do the household chores that need doing or spend time with Tony. If I don’t lie down with him, he cries softly, eventually falls asleep, and I feel like a wicked person when I check on him and see his angelic face snoring into his pillow. What kind of an asshole am I that I can’t lie down and snuggle my son to sleep? Do I think that this will last forever? Do I honestly believe I have all the time in the world to do this? We all know he’s going to wake up tomorrow and be over it, over me, over us. And then, when he’s 30 and has kids of his own, he won’t hug me anymore.
Jamie eats so much and SO frequently these days. We’re both recovering from a nasty cold (yesterday, Tony said something about how it sounds like I smoke twelve packs a day, and even though neither of us knew how many cigarettes are in a pack, we’re pretty sure that a person would have to smoke one after another 24 hours a day to make it through twelve packs a day, but yeah, the cough sounds that disgusting) and that really threw his sleep schedule off. No longer does he sleep for three to five hours for the first chunk of the night, oh no. Now he is awake and hungry every 45 minutes ALL DAY LONG. I am exhausted, and when I am exhausted, I forget things.
I’ve been pumping one side while Jamie nurses on the other every morning, resulting in about 5 ounces of milk that I bag and freeze every other day. It’s a good system, and I’m hoping it will keep me from having supply woes later when he is in daycare. Here’s how it goes: I sit down with the pump on one side, start nursing on the other and then attach the pump to my breast with the hand that isn’t holding Jamie. I pump until he de-latches, set the bottle back on the pump, put myself back together, grab a burp rag, and burp the baby. Then, I usually find somewhere to set Jamie down while I clean up the pump and either stash the milk in the fridge for the next day or transfer the contents to a bag and then the freezer. Except for when I am tired and forgetful, and then I leave FIVE WHOLE OUNCES of pumped milk (liquid gold!) sitting on the pump because I am too caught up in getting teeth brushed and clothes changed and backpacks together and coffee in my to-go mug and I FORGET THE MILK. I forget the precious milk that is so hard to pump and costs me so much in energy and calorie usage (dear Lord, why have I not skinnied up already?) and brain cells and I LEAVE IT THERE to go bad and be thrown away when I get home from work. And then I hate myself a little bit, do a lot of mental self-flagellation, and die inside.
I forgot the milk this morning.
Seriously, why am I so forgetful about this? Do I have some sort of mental block? I don’t forget to put on mascara. I don’t forget to feed the dog. But I forget the pumped milk, which I know I will pay for later when I am pumping all day and all night long just to get enough to sustain Jamie during part-time daycare.
Also, do you think babies can be bored? I get the distinct impression that Jamie is bored out of his skull with us. He really loves his exersaucer, so thank God I decided to get that out from the garage, but if I lay him down under his jungle-gym thingy, he plays for a bit, grabbing at stuff, and then settles down with his thumb in his mouth, looking at me expectantly. We play, we read stories, we go for walks, and he couldn’t care less. He sucks his thumb and falls asleep. He only gets really jazzed when Charles is around, kicking and gooing (probably trying to ask me, in his baby language, for protection from the unintentional violence of Charles’ affection). My baby is bored with me. Gol-ly, I knew I was getting old, but this is ridiculous. It only makes it worse when I take five minutes to stuff lunch in my pie hole and Jamie is just looking at me, waiting for me to entertain him. I would almost prefer wailing.