Something resembling a routine is developing around this place. Jack's getting a bath, fresh jammies and is put in his vibrating swaying swing to fall asleep around 8:00. He'll wake briefly, fall back asleep, and otherwise stay quiet and out until his one night feed at 3:00 or 4:00. It's not bad.
All the same, it's tiring. My feelings for my baby grow each day and I enjoy his smiles and little facial expressions. But it's not mentally stimulating to care for a newborn. Going hours and hours without a break or being able to eat when hungry, but rather when I can, is hard on the system. Trying to pump without an extra pair of hands to tend to a fussy baby is frustrating. When your baby only wants to nap on your lap all day, better hope you don't have to pee.
I'm not going to be a stay-at-home mom. Bless the people who love this sort of thing, but I'm not one of them. Though I value that I can stay home. I'm grateful for the parental leave laws in this country. Just... this isn't who I am. My baby and motherhood have been working their way into my identity, weaving permanence in my soul, but though I felt called to have a child, I don't feel the same compulsion to devote my everyday life to his care.
And yet I think at this super young stage the idea of not being the one to care for him would break my heart. It's strange. I need breaks, time away and I occasionally feel burnt out by the sheer magnitude of everything that's needed from me. Sometimes it's just my presence. Jack's becoming more aware of me and has developed more emotional needs that are mom-specific. In the earliest weeks, he didn't care who did what so long as he was fed. Now he prefers his mother to do it.
It's an intriguing thing to be needed, like, really needed. I've been or felt needed in various ways before, but this is the first time in my life that it's been a concrete and normal part of a relationship. I give and baby takes. If I get a smile, that's great. If not, no matter. Still have to give. It's not like anything else.
I find myself thinking about my son a lot, as an older child, asking me questions, playing at the park. I wonder how I'll remember this time. A lot of mothers say they get amnesia about this stage.