Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Ups and Downs
Ha, just when I was feeling so good about myself, about life, and about my positive attitude, stuff happens to harsh my mellow. A baby that had been sleeping through the night from 6 weeks old, now at 4 months, is up several times a night. Yes, yes, go ahead and laugh, all of you who want parenting to be difficult and want to say "I told you it wouldn't last." Last night it was every hour or even every half hour. I knew that things would change as she reaches different developmental milestones, and was trying to appreciate each full night's sleep, knowing it could and would change. And here we are. After a month away on the West Coast, her sleep routine has been totally shot. I was asked by a helpful relative "When she wakes up do you reward her with the breast?" Um, yes. Because why would I let her cry, let her get distraught and awake when I can easily calm her in minutes by nursing her. Because she is a baby and nursing isn't a reward, it is an innate need for food and for comfort and there is nothing wrong with that. But thank you, thank you for undermining my confidence in my ability to mother my child by following her lead and my intuition.
Life feels harder to deal with when one hasn't slept well. The roof of our house was just replaced, and an enclosed sun porch was re-framed, insulated, and drywalled. Our cat is at the vet with some kind of intestinal blockage, possibly needing expensive surgery. I feel anxious about money, but how can we refuse treatment for our cat after spending thousands on our house? We won't. It feels like a drop in the bucket, but it's not, it adds up and feels overwhelming. I fret about the ethics of spending money on saving a cat when there are babies and children out there who need help, but would our money be donated to Red Cross or Unicef or something if we didn't have this cat emergency? Well, no. And I also just think, I am so privileged to even be in this position: home owner fixing up our house, owning and being able to care for an animal, etc. It's these kind of feelings that are so unproductive... stress about life and then feeling guilty about my stress because ultimately I'm so much better off than most of the world. I know it's all relative, but it really is bourgeois suffering when there are women out there dying in child birth, women unable to feed their children and I am stressed about a sick cat or the expense of a new roof.
Anyway, it's hard to feel clearheaded when you haven't slept well, and you're unshowered and there's a man upstairs hammering away at your walls. So, this post is less positive, less constructive. I'm not thinking about what creative outlet I should tap today, I'm just thinking about getting through the day.