“It gets easier.” I can’t begin to count how many times I’ve heard this since having Monkey – both in the blogosphere and IRL. Or the related version – “It gets better.” Maybe it’s because I looked so haggard when I returned to work. Or because I’ve sounded so depressed on my blog. Or maybe it’s just the standard response to anything baby-related, whether it’s breastfeeding, sleep, or fussiness.
The Monkey slept 10 and a half hours last night, in his crib, after going down for a 4-hour nap at day care, also in his crib. They found the magic combination of soothing and swaddling, we followed their recipe, and it worked like a charm last night. The Monkey went down in no time after his bed time routine, almost all on his own, and in his crib. With the extra sleep and spare time, I spent last evening and this morning looking back on the past couple of months.
In some respects, it really has gotten easier. I used to spend forever getting Monkey to latch on when breastfeeding; now he nurses problem- and stress-free. It used to take hours to get him down for a nap, bedtime, or after a middle of the night feeding; for the past couple of weeks it’s taken 10-15 minutes. He used to crap his diapers like 10 times a day; now it’s only once or twice a day. I used to feel like the world was crashing down on me, with no hope for happiness; now I’m actually enjoying certain aspects of motherhood.
In other ways, motherhood is getting harder. Knowing that my little boy is not with me or Hubby during the day is comPLETEly terrifying, and I’m sure it always will be. My mom asked me the other night to text her when I got home from work. It was snowing here so the roads were in terrible shape, and she was worried about my drive home. I’m 33 years old, and she still can’t stand it when I’m not somewhere she considers “safe”. This used to bother me. The other night I just smiled and said “sure.”
After two and a half months, I’m certain that motherhood only gets better. The Monkey’s newest game is what I like to call “copy-cat”. He makes a face (he does this really cute thing with his mouth like he’s about to whistle), and I copy it. Then I make a face (sticking my tongue out is his favorite), and he copies it. The game always starts with him smiling at me. It usually ends with him deciding he’s bored and ready to eat/sleep/look at something else. It’s the best game ever.
I’m sure the work-life balance stuff will get better, too. I love this most recent comment from JLK on my previous post, received while writing this post: “Monkey will soon be proud of his rockin’ scientist mama and all that time spent pumping at the lab will be forgotten.” This put a huge smile on my face, mainly because I’m already starting to see a little boy when I look at my baby. As much as I sometimes want to stop time and just hold my Monkey close to my chest, I simply can’t wait to see what he’ll be like as he grows to understand the world around him.