I feel cheated.
The parenting books you read during pregnancy?? All those websites. All the research. Every piece of literature that I picked up. They prepare you for the basics of taking care of a child -- and they do this well. They DON'T give you any warning as to how tough being a parent is going to be. How it will not only affect your life, but also your marriage.
This shit is really, really hard.
We wanted this for so long. We tried so hard & we suffered so much. The depression I had during my pregnancy was equal to that of what I felt post-miscarriage. It was different, but equal at the same time. And even though I was completely miserable during the entire 42 weeks, both physically and mentally, I still felt so connected to my husband. I believe, even though I know how hard it was for him to witness, he would say the same thing. There was closeness. And bonding. And love much deeper than we had before.
I'm not sure where all of that went.
It's frustrating for me to see other couples with new babies have it so easy. Or at least, SEEM to have it easy. They go about their day. They praise their spouses & talk about how wonderful all of this is. It makes me wonder, what the hell are we doing wrong, that we can't figure this out? Am I the only one? If not, then why don't people talk about this?? Why aren't people more honest about how really, really hard it is to have a baby? We fight -- ALL THE TIME. I mean, all the time. Over the dumbest shit. My anxiety levels are at an all time high post-baby. I feel like I need to go on a heavy dose of Zanax to get through the day, because there are times where I find myself getting worked up over the smallest, most insignificant things. I don't doubt, for a second, that I am slightly OCD -- something that has only gotten worse with age -- but it is not necessary to be upset because Lucas didn't go down for a nap at the time you wanted. Or because bottles weren't washed in a specific way. Or because socks weren't put on when they clearly needed to be. In my head, I know that these arguments that spiral out of control are crazy. I HEAR the crazy coming out of my mouth & out of his. But it can't be stopped. A small, tiny, insignificant arguments about peaches or pears turns into a monumental argument with the ripple effect lasting for days.
I don't know if it's almost two years of interrupted sleep. Or the fact that being a working mom is really, really fucking hard. Or the fact that BOTH of us work & have long days, whether it's him getting home late or me having to run errands after I pick up Lucas from daycare. But when you have all this pent up frustration, there really is only one place it can go. Is it fair that we direct it towards each other on a daily basis? No. Does it makes sense? Yes. I want to throw & break things regularly, but that's not really an option (besides, I really like my dishes!) So screaming & yelling, as unhealthy as it may be, is the next logical step.
The easy solution is to say hey, let's spend some more time together. Let's get out of the house. You know, do something & focus on each other for a while. But there seems to be no time, on top of everything else, because the kid takes up every second that we have free. If it's not one thing, it's another. Especially at this age. Ten months old and he is all over the place. And opinionated. And clingy. And, you know, wanting things. M made a very good point the other day -- that Lucas has essentially driven a wedge between us & our marriage. But what do we do? It's not like I can set him free for the day & wish him the best of luck so M & I can hang out like we used to. By the time the weekend rolls around, we are both too exhausted to do anything that doesn't involve the couch, let alone take the effort getting dressed up and going out in public.
I don't know what the answer is. I do know that counseling is in our future. It has to be. For whatever reason, we are HORRIBLE communicators. I mean, really, really bad. But counseling has always done wonders for us, so we are going to revisit that. I also know that I continue to feel so alone in our struggles & I don't want others to feel the way that I do. I have talked to a couple other moms who are going through the same thing, and I admit, it makes all of this a little easier, knowing that it's not just us that are struggling. I am insanely jealous of those with easier schedules, those who can do what they want, when they want, and not have to worry about having every single minute of every single day accounted for. I know that the two hours a night that I get my kid, between the time we get home in the evenings and the time he goes to bed, he is my world and I don't see much else. This has to be hard on M, but I don't know what else to do. I can't quit my job. Nor do I want to. It's a Catch 22.
Either way, I think more moms out there need to be honest with the newbies. No more sugar coating things. Had I been a little more prepared to what this was going to be like, maybe things would be different. Maybe I wouldn't expect so much from my significant other. Maybe HE would understand me a little better about how I feel on a day to day basis & what I am going through. Maybe it's a working mom thing, because it's only the working moms I know who are struggling right along side me.
I don't know.
All I know, is that there should have been a warning label A heads up about the rough & sometimes painful path we were about to embark on. Maybe we would have been a little more prepared.