Read any postpartum literature and you’ll learn that the first few weeks with a new baby are weepy ones.  Although the time is full of amazing discoveries about this new life, it’s also littered with crazy due to the emotions, frustrations, and complications that come standard.  If any new mom claims to have bonded with her baby immediately then she is either a liar or is remembering it differently (or is just making me look like a jerk).  I was so unbonded to my child that at first I made her sleep in her car seat.  IN THE CAR.  Eventually I agreed to shelter guidelines and let her sleep inside when the weather got too cold.

She was the center of attention to her many grandparents who seemed to think she was hand-delivered by an angel from heaven and pooed dollar coins that only bought happiness.  They did nothing but take photos of her, completely disregarding that she wasn’t even around a week before and therefore hadn’t had a chance to make such a profound impact on their lives.  What did they know about her?  It was hard to understand why other people felt such a connection to this little human that I gave birth to while she and I just hung out by ourselves in awkward silence.  There was never any doubt that I would do anything to take care of her, but it was more like a job than a joy.  It was as if she were a some highly-valuable being or state secret, and I was the trained operative assigned to protect her.  Like a political thriller, only with more crying.

Though, as they do, things made themselves right and now I get the fuss of motherhood and can list hundreds of reasons why I love my daughter (or probably just 70– she’s not that old).  I’m afraid of next month when I have to do something other than be around to feed and soothe her.  How can I return to work full time after spending more than two months sitting in a warm bedroom, chilling with my girl while we watch endless hours of Netflix and take naps?  They probably even expect me to wear shoes and a shirt without spit up on it when I go back to work.  UGH, YOUR IMPOSSIBLE DEMANDS.  I don’t know where my shoes are.

It was hard for me to get used to being home all the time.  I thought the pets would drive me bonkers and that I would go mad not leaving the house and having no adults to talk to.  Both of those things happened, but eventually I embraced it and accepted that during this time my only job is to take care of my child, then take care of myself, and, if time, let the dog out for a few minutes or do some laundry.  And because most of the time my hands are full with baby, I pass time by watching countless hours of SNL and “the Office” reruns.  It takes me until noon to get ready most days, and that’s on the early side if I don’t spend forty minutes convincing myself that I need to get ready.  There’s nothing to “get ready” for other than creating the impression to my husband that I didn’t spend all day in the bedroom in my pajamas.

Since I have already proven that I can run errands, take walks, go out to eat, see pals, etc. with the baby I have nothing else to prove but that I can totally shut down all ambition and that part of me that feels like I’m wasting time and just be with my daughter.  It’s pretty easy.  She’s so freaking cute and it’s interesting watching her develop.  I’ll put her down for a nap and when I check on her she’s doubled in size.  She’s a little doughball like that.  And also, parenting is hard, but at this stage it’s basically “don’t let the baby die.”  Since babies are stronger than we are careless that part isn’t hard.  I can go on for about seven weeks worth of material about parenthood, but the gist of it is that Richard and I enjoy being parents.  A lot of it comes naturally, and the rest of it we look up on the Internet.

She’s in the week where most parents notice the first social smile in their babies.  She makes triangle shapes with her mouth when she starts to nod off but those aren’t smiles.  I’m waiting for that huge grin that will let me know that she recognizes me or even likes me.  I’ll give her until week eight, and after that she’s back in the car for her bedtime.

Here she is singing my praises.

(ps — I am one of those mothers who is going to be strict about my child’s public online presence, but here’s a photo anyway).

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