... That’s the impression I get from seeing most new moms. And here I am, struggling.
For the first 9 weeks after the baby was born, I was never on my own with my baby. During the confinement period plus a few more weeks, I was spoilt with good food, loads of rest during the day and my mom in the house to alternate taking care of the baby with.
After 9 weeks, I told my mom I wanted to give mommyhood a try. On my own. Much to her disappointment, I didn’t fall prey to her persuasion to extend my stay. So, we started staying on our own, in Putrajaya.
Babies, being creatures of routine, and my boy not being an exception, didn’t take being away from a familiar place very well. Most definitely, he didn’t appreciate the shift from a house full of doting Atuk, Tok Ma, Che Su and Uncle Oden to just having Mama and Deddy around.
So, understandably, when my husband was off at work and it was just me and him, he did the only thing he knew best to reassure himself that things haven’t changed one bit – which is to nenen. I couldn’t stand it. He was demanding milk every single hour and I was going out of my mind.
Prior to that (when we were at my mom’s) he was already drinking every hour. I was on call 24/7 but I was okay because I only had him to worry about. But when alone with a crying baby who wanted to be carried and having done everything in my imagination to comfort him best as I could, to no avail, I also did what I knew best – which is to give in to his demands for milk.
The first day, it took a toll on me and my relationship with my baby. I just didn’t know what to feel.
I was losing patience and I was deathly afraid of what I might do if I lost my mind. Luckily though, for the first 2 weeks after we came home, my husband was working out of office, somewhere closer to home. So, when things got out of control, he was just a phonecall away.
Eventually, things got better. He still demanded milk on an hourly basis but having gotten used to it, I persevered.
Still, there were some days when I didn’t get to eat breakfast, much less lunch. Depended on all the biscuits and air kotak I could find in the house to keep myself full and hydrated. There were some days when after I had bathed him, I couldn’t put him down to play alone for even a tiny while, that I ended up draped in my towel all day long until my husband got home. Yes, it has gotten that bad before. And yes, in my towel because bless the child, he loves to pee on me during bath time.
I stopped taking photos of him everyday, not only because I was too tired, but mostly because there wasn’t really a moment when he would let me put him down, let alone reach out for my camera to take a photo of him.
And then of course, after I trained him to scream a while longer before I picked him up, he has learnt that I too, need my space. I bought him the Simple Dimple Zoo Playgym and after his early morning feed, I would normally place him on the mat for him to play with his toys.
That’s when I dash off to shower and eat my breakfast... before he demands his milk again. Yes, still on an hourly basis.
Mommy friends of mine tell me that maybe he doesn’t really want milk every hour, maybe it’s something else that he needs. But trust me, I’ve experimented with so many other “something elses”, that I know my baby is just growing and hungry. All the time. For a halus little boy like him, he sure does drink alot alright.
The only 2 things which have been able to distract his “addiction” for nenen so far is... taking a drive and having a bath. 2 things which he loves, even if he has to sit in his car seat without being cuddled and alone for 40 minutes.
Sleep like a baby? Oh no, not my boy. He wakes up like an adult and sleeps like one. He’s normally up most hours of the day with a total of 2-hour nap tops until his bedtime at about 2230. He still wakes up 2 hours once during the night for milk, though. Other than that, he loves to play BUT needs company all the time. He feeds like a champion and for now, his Mama is his bestest friend. He loves to gurgle and smiles when I smile at him, he loves to plays with bubbles in his mouth and loves it when we sembang with him. I've learnt to let everything else like housework, etc. go because I know that these moments with my boy cannot be replaced.
This is basically how I’m coping with early motherhood, thanks for asking.
So, with all that I’ve said above and the handful that I have to deal with, how is it that I’m able to write this today?
Today is Luqman’s “training day” so he’s away at the babysitter’s.
I don’t think there has been a longer day than today.
I keep thinking of that sleepy little face dozing off in the car seat just now. And how yummy he smells.
Please 5 p.m., come quick. I’m going out of my mind.
Shy to comment? Well, never mind! Your reactions mean the world to me! Make me smile today :)