August 28, 2008

Parenthood Ponderings

After PK was born, the hubby immediately took 3 weeks of vacation to help me out. I don't know what I would've done without him. He is so good with PK. He rocks her to sleep, reads her bedtime stories, and doesn't even complain when it comes to changing her diapers. Unfortunately, reality has set back in - yesterday was his first day back at the office. He was pretty bummed to be returning to work. Unlike most first-time dads, he really really enjoyed the quality time that he got to spend with PK. I think that if it were up to him, he'd be a full-time stay-at-home-dad. I also think that he'd do a better job as a full-time parent than I would. I think the only bond that PK and I share now is my boobs. Apart from that, I really don't think that being a mom comes all that naturally to me. Hell, I still have trouble thinking of myself as someone else's mom or that PK is my daughter. Freaky!

Don't get me wrong. PK is a wonderful little bundle of joy. I look her and think about how amazing this whole pregnancy and birth experience has been. And I do have the urge to nurture and care for her. I just don't think that I have that same bond with her that the hubby shares. He seems so much more cut out for this than I am. I'm not a patient person to begin with, and after feeding and feeding with no end, I get tired and just wish she would let go of my boob so that I can take a nap. I don't have any patience with burping either, especially since she doesn't seem to be a huge fan of being burped.

Sometimes I wonder if she even likes me, or if she just tolerates me because I feed her. She certainly hates my guts when I bathe her. Oh, the look she gets on her face during bathtime. Everyone else's kid seems to enjoy bath time, but PK just wails. Now that we're not doing the sponge bath thing anymore, she at least tolerates it a bit more, but she's definitely not too pleased overall. She even knows it's coming these days - as soon as we get her clothes off in the evening, she just wails and wails. Poor little thing...

Don't get me wrong though - I feel very protective of her. I worry when she looks at me with those pouty, teary eyes. I worry if she's feeding enough (more on that later). I worry when she's sound asleep. Is she breathing? Is she okay?

Maybe these are just growing pains for her and for me. It doesn't help that I'm now flying solo with her. My first day of being alone with her wasn't quite so bad because I was up at my parents' place and therefore had my mom helping me out. Today, however, is an entirely different beast. I am truly alone with her in the house, and I have to take her to the doctor's office all by myself for a weigh-in. I feel just a tad overwhelmed by this whole parenting thing. Hopefully if I can get through today, then the rest will be a breeze.


Fawn said...

Hey Indy, don't be too hard on yourself. Sometimes we need to grow into things. It's entirely possible to love your little bundle of joy but not like her very much. ;) There were times where I told Jade that I was thinking of putting her out with the trash on the curb.

And moms who exclusively breastfeed all feel the same. ("She nurses, and nurses, and nurses some more, and it feels like I never do anything other than breastfeed and change diapers!") One of the nurses here told me they actually listen for that story from new moms.

Just remember to go easy both on PK and yourself. The dishes will wait, the house doesn't have to be perfect. (And it's okay if PK gets a bath once a week rather than every day!)

I got pretty good at dozing lightly while Jade was feeding -- that might help with the nap situation. :)

Good luck, hon!

P.S. What was your final decision on staying at home? If you don't use the full year, can't hubby take some time for parental leave?

Unknown said...

I agree, don't be so hard on yourself. There were times I wanted to throw Evy out the window, when she was demanding to feed every 30 min in the middle of the night. (darn cluster feedings!) And I believe that nurturing, mothering instinct is actually mostly learned behaviour. You'll grow into your own style, don't worry.

Hey, Evy also cried her eyes out for the first couple of weeks when it came to bath time. We ended up deciding to give her a bath only every 3 days or so for the first couple of months. Even now, she doesn't exactly smile or have fun during bath time...she more tolerates it.

And the sleep usually gets better in a couple of weeks after she's about 7 weeks old!