Having a newborn, I now believe that most "mommy bloggers" have invented their children as a marketing tool. This is only the second time in seven weeks that I've been able to sit at a keyboard and type something - I've been using my phone for all communication and contact with the outside world. Communication with the outside world is what I crave, though. Being home all day, holding/feeding/changing/soothing a baby may fulfill one set of emotional needs, but it does nothing for the rest of me. I feel guilty for even thinking it, but if I'm honest, I have to admit that having a baby is a little like volunteering for a short prison sentence (with a super adorable cellmate). Hopefully that sensation will change once he's old enough to interact with things around him.
I saw an interview with an author (I can't remember whom for the life of me) years ago and he talked about how it's harder for dads to bond with their children than for moms. He said that he didn't even like his kid for the first year, this tiny, squalling monster that eats sleep and prevents adult interaction. From my current vantage point, I think it's the same for moms, only we have a certain amount of bonding hardwired by the way babies come into the world. I have this very clear sensation that Walt is not my baby, but a baby that I'm babysitting long term, and eventually his real parents will show up and tell us what a good job we did keeping him fed and clean. I love him as much as one person can love another, but the idea that I'm now someone's mom doesn't quite seem real yet. And just because I love him doesn't mean I'm not hugely frustrated with the lack of sleep, feeding difficulties and the current state of cleanliness in my home. Each time he goes to sleep I feel like I'm playing a turn-based role playing game.
BABY chooses SLEEP, for 10 health points.
a) SLEEP for 10 health points
b) EAT for 10 health points
c) SHOWER for 5 hygiene points
d) DO LAUNDRY for 5 hygiene points
e) DO DISHES for 5 housekeeping points
f) PICK UP LIVING ROOM for 1 housekeeping point
g) SEND EMAIL for 5 relationship maintenance points
h) ORDER CHRISTMAS GIFTS for 5 you're a damned adult, get it together points
i) PLAY VIDEO GAME for -5 you're a damned adult, get it together points
j) SIT AND STARE VACANTLY AT ANOTHER RERUN OF NCIS for -20 points in each category
And this RPG, like most of them, has a bunch of action options you'll never use. I could hotkey SLEEP, EAT, SHOWER and SIT AND STARE VACANTLY AT TV and never need to look up the other actions, which makes me feel like maybe I'm playing the game wrong. I have no idea what's reasonable, whether or not I should feel quite as triumphant as I do when I get a shower, or if I should feel even more shame about never cleaning anything (aside from Walt).
The baby stirs, so I should use these last few moments of quiet wisely and maybe feed myself.