the life of the newborn (parent)

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the life of the newborn (parent)

I may have been a little over ambitious when I decided what I was going to achieve this year. With work, my masters and a newborn to juggle along with moving to a remote village and living in a land of visa limbo – I think perhaps I may be stretched a little thin. I don’t know what I assumed my days would look like, but I now know what they are – and realistically, there just isn’t enough hours in the day.

When Bo and I get up in the morning at around 8am to start our day (or was it 2am? 4am? did yesterday even end at all?) I’m already exhausted. This exhaustion is lightened by the beautiful quirky morning smiles that are handed to me by my nocturnal child who coo’s excitedly in my direction when I finally peel myself from my mattress and take her for a walk through the house. I then decide I should have some breakfast, I’m ravenously hungry – and by 11am I have a piece of cold toast washed down with half an apple and a couple of slices of hard cheese – where did those last few hours go? Where did the other half of the apple go? In between bicycle legs, grunting, groaning, pooing, feeding, chatting and looking out the window – Bo doesn’t often have a lot of time to come with me to the kitchen – she’s busy.

I snuggle her into our sleepy-wrap so that *in theory* I might actually get something done today. She should have been asleep hours ago but is still staring at my face with her big green eyes. I bounce her to sleep. She giggles and coos and cries and flails against me – I’m distracted by her. Another few hours disappear into the parenting void. I sit at the computer and try to write – but Facebook distracts me with it’s social call. I remind myself of the pile of laundry, the bag of garbage that needs to go out… I’m still in my pajamas – it’s 3pm. Bo feeds again and wriggles more and headbutts my chest. I still haven’t showered. Someone calls but I can’t find the phone. Someone may have knocked at the do0r, but I didn’t hear them. People send me messages and I assume I have replied – only to discover weeks later, that I must’ve forgotten. I clean up poo many times a day, if I’m lucky it’s contained inside a nappy – often it isn’t. I wipe spew up with the sleeve of my top. I make a thousand cups of tea and every one of them goes cold before touching my lips.

I talk about babies, about feeding and milestones and weights – fat babies and skinny babies – I read blogs about parenting choices and theories and schedules and routines and expectations… I look down at my baby and realise we are breaking almost every rule in the baby scheduling world. I’m glad, the last thing I need is a schedule, I’ve never been very good at sticking to them anyway… I walk around the house wearing my baby – she’s blissfully asleep attached to both boob and body.

Suddenly it’s 5.30pm. She’s awake and grunting at me. I can’t figure out what to make for dinner. I wish my husband was here to just hold her, or me, or us both. My eye balls are hanging out of my head and my shirt is half off, what’s the point in doing it up anymore? I take a load of laundry out of the machine and shove it in the drier. I think of my university paper that isn’t writing itself… I think of the blog that isn’t edited and I look longingly at my bed. Bo kicks her feet excitedly and demands to be fed. I oblige joyfully – there is nothing better than feeding my child and holding her milk drunk, sweet and warm afterwards – everything else can wait.

I eat something. And I crawl into bed. I still haven’t showered but at this point I couldn’t care less. I watch something on the lap top – something terribly trashy, something I would never have watched before baby… because it takes no brain power my eyes get heavy, Bo sleeps and stirs. I feed her again… she clings to me her tiny hands grasping at my hair, my skin, my clothes, she’s missing her dad… I’m missing him more I whisper to her. We settle deeper into our little nest that is our bed, her blankets soft and fluffy cuddled all around her. She looks at me and smiles – the day is over, tomorrow is already beginning.

Blissful, exhausting and never ending days filled with tears and joy and absolute awe.

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3 responses »

  1. Yep, I remember that feeling of crawling into bed, covered in pee, spew, sour milk and god knows what else, thinking I don’t think i have showered in 2 days and I just dont care!

    You are doing brilliantly ❤

  2. I wish I could blame my lack of research progress on a newborn. As it is, I have to fall back on the old favourites: procrastination, booze and knitting. I know! I will knit you something. Then I will have a fabulous reason for not reading my huge reading list, and you will have tangible evidence of me dodging my potential. What is your favourite colour?

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