Tick tock, it’s time for bed.

It’s building up. All the working, and nursing, and cleaning… It’s like I’m doggie paddling in the waters of life and I just can’t get above water. Slowly drowning, I’m gasping for air. For a break. For some time.

I didn’t realize how, when you become a mom, the biggest thing that changes is that time becomes a slippery substance. Unable to be grasped, it slips through my fingers. I thought it would be the nursing, or maybe the lack of sleep, or even the millions of diapers to wash. But really, the hardest thing is time. Well, the lack thereof.

What do you do, mamas? How do you go to work, nurse your baby, keep the house clean, get to the grocery store, go to the doctor, grab a shower…. And some of you exercise on top of that?! Good lord! What am I missing?

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You’re not welcome back

This is hard to write about. But I guess that means that it is the most worthy.

Sex still hurts. A ton. A year and 3 months in. And there is this clash– I want to make love to my husband, but it hurts. And the creighton method makes it even tougher because there really aren’t enough days that we feel comfortable using. Especially while breastfeeding, it seems like I can never be totally confident. The sad sad truth is that we haven’t been able to make love since the 56 day mark. Creighton says that if you are exclusively breastfeeding, you will be infertile for the first 56 days. But since that mark, I haven’t felt confident enough to use any days. So it’s been a while. Definitely the longest we’ve ever gone. And I’m scared. Will it hurt as bad as the first time? Will all of my progress have been for nothing? Will I inevitably end up pregnant once again? (Will I be pregnant my whole damn life?)

I got my cycle back, too. I’m sorry if that is TMI, but the whole reason I created this blog was so that I could be vulnerable and maybe help someone else trying to do this whole newlywed, new mother, natural family planning thing. So yeah, I got my cycle back… And I’m mad. Why can’t I be one of those women who doesn’t get it back for months and months? It’s only been 3 and I’ve exclusively breastfed this whole time!

It feels like we will never be able to make love again. And when we do it will hurt like crap. I know it isn’t true, but still. But… I find a lot of solace in how wonderful our marriage is, though, despite the lack of sex. I couldn’t love my husband any more and he makes me laugh. He makes me laugh, people! There isn’t anything more important than that. Not even sex.

Wet and Wondering

Pink tile from the seventies and the rush of fog over my face. The only time I am really alone with my body, naked in the shower. I rub my hand over my stomach- the stomach that I was proud of a year ago. The stomach that grew my favorite human, and that shows that struggle in the sag above my scar. I wonder to myself why it is taking me so long, why I don’t look at all like I used to. Why I can’t fit into any of my clothes. And as I squeeze the water out of my long ponytail- and am left with a hand full of hair- it hits me that beauty is fleeting. Why am I chasing something that, eventually, will always leave me anyways? This beautiful, thick hair that I grew while I was pregnant is now all falling out. And each year I gain new wrinkles, new grey hairs. Yet with those wrinkles, those grey hairs, comes wisdom, and freedom, and love. With each day that passes, each wrinkle I get, I learn how to be a better mother. A better wife, a better friend.

Baby baths

IMG_3736 There is, actually, one good thing about going back to work. The weekends. They are so. sweet. I wake up and am so very very happy to have a full day with my baby. I struggled with a lot of guilt while I was on maternity leave. I knew I didn’t have long; I knew that I was a lucky woman to have three months, and I knew that the end was soon approaching. So each day was laden with such immense pressure to soak it all in! And for the most part, yes, I did. I really truly enjoyed just being with my sweetie pie. But I also felt guilty. I watched TV during the day, and I didn’t go on nearly enough walks. Because how could I really soak it all in, all the time? For me, that was impossible. I needed some zone out time, but I always felt guilty for taking it.

It’s a bit different now. I still watch TV sometimes, but I am also so much more zoned in with I’m with my baby. When I finally get to pick him up from daycare, I could just cry because I missed him so much. His smile, and his soft skin… they fill me up.

We took a bath together, baby and I, last night. We’ve done this many times before but this time was different. He lay his head down on my breast and fed. He relaxed in the warm water and I just held him. No computer, no phone, no TV. Just me and him. I would even venture to say that it actually made the going back worth it. Even just the smallest bit.babybath

My new normal

It’s my second day back and I’m getting used to our new rhythm. In a lot of ways it actually isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I am going over to the daycare to feed T twice a day (we share a parking lot so it is very close) so that makes it indescribably easier. I had to take a paycut, though, in order to take these breaks. I would have had to take this cut even if I was pumping. I know it’s illegal but I can’t do anything about it until I get a new job.

Nursing in our little room at his daycare.

Nursing in our little room at his daycare.

On the positive side, I am actually liking having some routine in my life, which I never expected. But then there is the fact that I don’t get to see him smile nearly as much. What if he starts smiling for his caretakers more than me? He is pretty much tuckered out for the night by the time we pick him up at 5:30, so it feels like we dot get any quality time together. How do you mamas out there handle this? How do you compensate?