I’m writing this post with a baby asleep on my knee and my laptop battery light blinking at me. It’s blinking because I can’t plug it in. I can’t plug it in because I have a baby on my knee. There’s every chance my laptop will die before I hit publish. I’m typing in the dark, in my bedroom and I’m kind of fed up.
You know when, pre-parenthood you had all this time? All this huge, infinite amount of time stretching to forever? As I sit here right now I wonder why I didn’t do more with that time. Why didn’t I eat out more? Why didn’t I go to more art exhibitions (not that I’m even that into art, but it strikes me as something quite interesting to do). Why didn’t I just run around the block every now and again when the moment took me BECAUSE I COULD. Ah, all that wasted time watching the Hollyoaks omnibus and faffing around on Facebook.
And then you have a baby and BOOM, time just diminishes. At first it goes into 45 minute chunks, if you have a hungry newborn who likes to be fed as often as mine did. And then those 45 minutes stretch a bit further until, at some point, you get maybe two or three hours every evening – more if you’re lucky. With Frog that happened when she was around five months old. With Baby Girl, we’re still waiting for it to happen.
I feel a bit torn at the moment. On the one hand I’m soaking in these cuddles, feeling nostalgic for the newborn days that are over already. I refuse to wonder if this will be my last baby because the thought of putting those tiny socks and vests away for good makes me want to weep. But then, on the other hand, I feel… so touched out. It gets to 7pm and I just want to sit on the sofa or at my desk and type without someone crying at me. Sometimes I want to go to bed ON MY OWN, without a baby curled up in the crook of my arm. I want to lie on the sofa and watch a film without my little partner in crime stretched across my front, squeezing my fingers or sucking on a nipple. And then I feel guilty for feeling this way. I shouldn’t feel this way, should I?
There are some days when the (self-proclaimed) Northern Love Machine gets home from work and the house is tidy, both girls are happy and I feel on top of things. Work deadlines have been met, food is on the table and I feel like I’m winning at being a mum of two. And then there are days like today.
Today went something like this: wake up, pick up baby, put baby down and baby cries, pick baby up and try to brush teeth one-handed while helping four year old into school uniform, make breakfast one-handed, etc etc etc. I realised I’d left the sling in the car so that wasn’t an option but, anyway, I just wanted one minute – ONE MINUTE I TELL YOU – to go for a wee without another human being attached to my hip. Bad mum?
The physical aspect of life with a baby is something I’d totally forgotten about from the early days with Frog. All the lifting and the nursing and the cuddling. My body still doesn’t really feel my own much of the time, especially on mornings when I wake up with Baby Girl trying to suck my nose or eyebrow (true story). Most days it doesn’t bother me but today I felt stretched taught as a tightrope by 5pm. The NLM walked through the door and I promptly walked off to enjoy one minute alone in the loo with the door locked.
And here I am again, in bed with a baby next to me. Still feeling a bit touched out. But you know the funny thing – the sod’s law of parenting – is that if she suddenly decided to sleep reliably in her cot all the way through the night well… you just know I’d miss her. In fact, I’d probably miss her so much I’d end up waking her up and bringing her into bed with me. Can’t win really, can I?
How about you – do you ever feel “touched out” as a parent?
By the way, The MAD Blog Awards are open for nominations. I would love a nomination for best pregnancy blog or best baby blog. You can nominate here.
Some of my best baby posts –
Some of my best pregnancy posts –