The first few weeks with my baby have been exhausting; even though I love my child beyond every living creature on this planet. Yes; friends and family have told me that life with a newborn is difficult, but somehow they all made it seem so easy to be parents. Whenever I entered their homes, their little baby was quietly looking around the perfectly arranged and cleaned room, the mothers wore makeup and had freshly washed hair and the fathers greeted me with such enthusiasm that it seemed they had slept more than enough.
My babyboy is almost seven weeks old now, weights 11 pounds and is a crybaby. If he is not sleeping or getting food, he is crying. It doesn’t make it easier for me that I am alone with him most of the time. The first few days after leaving the hospital; I stayed there a week because of complications during birth – I didn’t even have time to go to the bathroom. As soon as I dropped my son he started crying as loud as he possibly could. Only when I carried him in my arms he seemed a little more relaxed. So, as you can imagine, sleeping was only a vivid dream of mine. The most I have slept until today have been six hours, thanks to my mother. I carry my baby day and night, he sleeps upon my chest and I give to him all the love I have. To be honest, I imagined my life with a newborn a lot easier. It did not cross my mind that he would not sleep in his own bed, that he would cry this much or that I’d have to carry him 24 hours. I saw all these women with their babies and they all seemed so relaxed; and to this day I do not know how they do it.
My home is a mess; I haven’t had time to wash any clothes or to properly clean the house in these seven weeks. I consider myself lucky if I get enough time to eat something and to brush my teeth. I wake up in the same cloths I go to bed to; there is simply not enough time to change. And I do not want to leave my babyboy crying at any time, eventhough he does cry when I hold him too, but at least he knows that his mother is there.
As the days passed by, I started to think that maybe I am not a good mother. Not nearly good enough. All the other women seem to handle their babies; and my poor babyboy cries all the time. I started to feel guilty for his sorrow, to feel helpless and powerless; I started to feel hate towards myself. Yes; I was exhausted. But while my little angel slept upon my chest one day, I started to think about my feelings. Why was I feeling this way? What made me think I was a bad mother, when I give all the love I have within me to my baby?
Today I am feeling better, eventhough there are still days where my baby pushes me to my limits, despite the love I feel towards him. But I came to understand that I had set my expectations way too high. Before my son was born I had this image of the perfect mother in my head. I thought that with the energy I have I will manage to keep my house clean, to cook for my husband and myself, to get in shape AND to nourish my baby with love. Maybe it were the naive thoughts of a twentyone years old woman, but to be honest, I really did not think it could be this hard. And with friends telling me their baby slept all night from day one, my expectations grew bigger and bigger.
There is no such thing as a perfect mother. And I came to realize that each baby is an individual and so different from other babies that it makes it impossible to compare yourself to other mothers. I did; and it almost broke me.
Today I know better, at least most of the times. I know that I am doing my best in keeping my angel happy and that should be enough. He needs my warmth, maybe more than I imagined, and I am willing to give to him all I have. This little angel may cry more than the average baby, he may not sleep more than two hours at a time and he may need me more than other babies need their mothers; but that does not make me a bad mother.
And when a little smile comes across his chubby cheeks I am sure that I am doing good. I am tired, but so happy to have my angel so close.
Jehona Thaqi© And if you ask yourself how I found time to write this; he is quietly sleeping upon my chest