Punkie is going to be six months old this week. I can’t believe I managed to keep that charmingly tiny person alive for six whole months.
Of course, my husband deserves a lot of the credit – he does all the things people complain about their husbands not doing. He changes diapers, feeds, cleans the house, cleans up after blowouts, wakes up at night. He does everything but breast feed.
And with all of that team work and assistance, I’m finding myself in a funk. I am exhausted. This past week, I’ve felt mostly numb because I’m so tired. Is this how motherhood is supposed to feel?
On paper, my schedule is entirely doable. It doesn’t leave time for things I used to do for fun before the baby was born. And Punkie seems to be waking us up at regular intervals most nights now, and my days seem to be starting earlier and earlier.
I’ve declined to go out after work a few times and, each time, people have told me to get a good babysitter. Honestly? I don’t appreciate it when people make assumptions about me or my commitments. And it’s not any of their business.
- First, I’m breast feeding, so there is a limit to how and when I leave Punkie with a baby sitter, or anyone else. I pump all day at work to have milk for the next day, but we nurse in the morning and the evening. I’m just not able to pump enough to cover the evening too. And, if I skip nursing in the evening, my milk supply will decrease and I’ve already been having trouble with a gradually decreasing supply.
- Second, I’m tired. Given the night off, I would/should choose a nap over dining out or going for drinks. How am I going to enjoy a night out while I’m sleepwalking through it? If I get a babysitter, maybe it should be so I can sleep.
- Third, I miss Punkie while I’m at work. Even though I’m exhausted and in a funk of numbness, I want to see the little guy after work. Of course I see him in the morning, but then he goes to day care and I go to work and I don’t see him for 9 or so hours. If I go out, I won’t really get to see him until the next morning (or at midnight when he invariably wakes up because he’s sick all the time lately).
It’s not like I couldn’t ask my husband to watch Punkie while I go out. And I could always ask my mother to watch Punkie if the two of us want to go out.
That’s not the point. The point is that I’m in a funk and I am exhausted. If I need to make a change, it’s not to “get a babysitter.” I need some sleep.
I tried to schedule a nap this weekend, but I think my husband thought I was just being dramatic. I wasn’t being dramatic – I think it was more about me being kind of desperate.
How do single, working-outside-the-home parents do it?* I’m barely hanging in and I have a partner who does so much.
*I won’t even try to compare myself to a working-in-the-home parent because I’m sure I shouldn’t compare myself to people who are doing something I haven’t done.