A Little Treat, Just Because

Friday, February 04, 2005


About five months after my son was born, I finally went to the doctor to hear what I already suspected. I was clinically depressed. Looking back, I can see that I wished days, weeks, and maybe even months of my life (and my son's infancy) away as I watched the clock, counting the minutes until my husband came home from work. Now that Stinky Pie is 19 months old, I wonder where the time went. Sometimes I feel so guilty for not having enjoyed those early months more.

I recently mentioned this to my mother. She reminded me that I couldn't breastfeed, I had insomnia, I couldn't eat, the baby was miserable with reflux every time he ate, I was crying constantly and didn't know why, and I had no family or close friends nearby to help me. "Gee, I don't know WHY you weren't having fun!" she jested.

At the time, I did not understand that most parents of newborns aren't enjoying themselves, per se. They're coping. Admitting that doesn't mean you're ungrateful. It means you're expending every single ounce of physical energy and brainpower on deciphering and/or meeting your tiny child's needs, and you're BEYOND wasted. You've also discovered that you're capable of worrying more than you ever thought possible. What parent feels adequate and effective in that state? One who's heavily sedated, that's who.

My New Year's Resolution is to try to forgive myself, each day, for whatever mothering mistakes I think I've made and to relish the fun I'm having with Stinky Pie right now.


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