Image by Ben Scicluna via Flickr
This is one of a gazillion nicknames I have for the Squeaker. Since I’m with her just about every second of every day I come up with a new name for her pretty often. The list of them is for a later post. But I reserve Grumpy Mumkins for when she’s being a total grouch.
I have been following the facebook updates of several people that have had babies recently. They are so joyous and happy. All their posts talk about how happy they are and how every moment with their baby is a beautiful gift that takes their breath away. That life is perfect and they could never imagine the happiness they would feel all the time with a child.
Reading this filled me with complete and utter annoyance. These babies are only in their first months. These people should be sleep deprived and hormonal. Our first month with O was really hard. Ok, let’s be honest, it was kind of miserable. She wouldn’t let us put her down. Ever. She didn’t sleep unless she was in someone’s arms. Breastfeeding was super difficult. And because hormones were up and down trying to settle into their pre-pregnancy ways, I was a wreck. A total wreck. Those first months, the name of the game was survival. Every day I was totally in love with my daughter and was so happy to be a mom but that doesn’t mean it was kittens and rainbows all the time. These people posting these facebook messages, come on, [gag] give me a break.
I shared these sentiments with Kraft at dinner one night. My very wise husband knows that sometimes I need to say things that are in my head even if they’re dumb. He knows that he doesn’t particularly have to respond or tell me that I’m being dumb because I’ll figure it out. I need time to mull it over. So after I stated my case he just sat their and looked at me while munching on dinner. I stared at him for a few seconds, “Am I being a jerk?” “Eh, a little.” Munching continued.
I know. I was being a jerkface. After giving it some more thought, I realized that I was annoyed by these happy and joyous statements because they made me feel like a bad mom. I felt like I was a bad mom for not enjoying labor. A bad mom for sometimes getting so frustrated with O that I had to give her to Brandon because I wanted to drop her. A bad mom for not being happy every second that I held O. A bad mom because I wanted to scream if O woke up again during the night crying.
No. I am not a bad mom. My experience and the way I cope with things is just different. Can’t I just let these moms revel in the joy that is a new child without pooping on their parade? Yes, I can. I have these wonderful joy-filled moments with O everyday. Motherhood, along with being fun and great, is a life of sacrifice, of frustration, of pain, of loneliness, of confusion, of second-guessing, of total responsibility and accountability. But then in the middle of these moments, your little squeaker looks up at you and gives you a huge grin from ear to ear and your soul feels like it is soaring. And you just have to say, you little punk.
New moms – be cheesy, be ecstatic, be angry, be sleepy, be whatever you need to be. In the end we know you are completely in love with your baby even if you don’t feel it every moment of every day.
I’ll stop being a grumpy mumkins. Without the bitter the sweet ain’t as sweet, right?