I loved being pregnant. Apart from the down sides of growing another human inside of me, I really appreciated how everyone kept telling me I should rest, take it easy and not overdo it. I think that is the way we should treat ourselves all the time, by the way. I was huge, but I was hugely happy. However, the moment that baby came out of me – snap back to reality! I suddenly mattered very little. I remember being at the ICU (intensive care unit, for all those of you who don’t know) and when the nurse measured my blood pressure for the umpteenth time that night at 4 AM, I told her: I will go back to sleep now. And she said, I kid you not, ‘there will be no more sleeping’. I wanted to cry like a small child just denied cake, like a dog left outside a grocery store…then I wanted to punch her… but guess what? She was right!
It has been almost seven months since the arrival of our little boy … and there has been almost no sleeping. Unlike his big sister at his age, Ronin likes a lot of attention and care during the nighttime. Most of the time, I have no idea why he is not willing to sleep. The morning after really hard nights, I usually tell someone about it and the most common reaction I get is: oh poor thing. Just to clarify – they mean the baby, not me. Sure, the baby has some issues…but he was sleeping while I (or K) have been holding him, pushing him around in the pram, breastfeeding him. I was not sleeping during that time. And I will have very little chance to make up for that sleep during the day.
Moms need a lot of love and attention too! Really, we don’t have it easy. Sure, we were the ones who wanted the baby in the first place… but sometimes it would be nice to feel empathy. It would be nice to be hugged, be given flowers or even just a smile. It’s okay to admit that it is all simply very hard and overwhelming. It is ok to find help if you are starting to lose it a little (or a lot). Even though we created people, we are people too.
So when you see a struggling mom, tell her that you feel for her. Please.
Just yesterday, I ran into an acquaintance in the city. He just had a baby girl a week ago. I asked him how he was doing and he told me in all honesty: I have not slept for five days. It is so hard. So hard. However hard people told me it is going to be – it is seven times harder. Does it ever get better?
I smiled and said: welcome to parenthood! I said it with some gloat and sarcasm, obviously. Then, I comforted him… this too shall pass and it will get better! It will all pass and maybe one day we will miss this. Just not right now.
P.S.: Dads are people too. Just not as much as moms.