Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I'm really not as much of an asshole as this post makes me out to be, and reason number 8,842 that I adore my mother

The sad truth is, I find babies incredibly boring. Including my own. I love Josie. I do. But I've got three weeks of maternity leave left, and I seriously cannot wait to get back to work.

Some people have likened being on maternity leave for 8 weeks to being on vacation.

Um, no.

If I were on vacation, I'd get more sleep and have time to myself. And right now, I really have no time to myself, and the sleep? Not so much.

It's not that Josie is difficult. She's actually a very easy baby. She's not fussy, and she never really cries unless she's hungry or trying to poop (which is difficult for her tiny little system, poor thing) or wanting to be held. But she would rather be held than hang out in the bouncy seat or the swing, so if I put her down to try to do dishes or do a workout video, she starts to squawk after about 10 minutes, so I'll pick her up and she passes out on my shoulder almost immediately, so I'll put her in the crib, but then she wakes up again when she realizes she's in a bed rather than on me, and starts to squawk, and so it goes.

And the weather is crappy, so I can't just stick her in the stroller and take her for a walk, and the flu season in Colorado is beyond horrible, so I can't really take her to a museum or anyplace where people congregate because she hasn't been vaccinated yet, and I'm just bored out of my fucking mind.

I was thinking the other day about my feelings towards my children and how they evolve as they get older. Because while I love Josie, and I think she's cute and all that, I'm not in love with her the way I am with Zeke. I couldn't be -- I don't know her yet. I'm protective towards her and I take care of her and I would defend her to the death against any attacker, but her personality hasn't revealed itself to me yet. I don't have the capacity for blind love for someone without knowing them at all, I guess.

Bad mommy.

When I think about Zeke, I can think about how when I was giving him a bath last night, I was making him totally crack up -- one of those deep, uncontrollable belly laughs -- by picking up a handful of bubbles and blowing them all over the tub while making silly faces. Or how unbelievably happy he was at his birthday party the other night when I brought out the cake and everyone started singing the birthday song to him. He seemed ready to burst with joy.

Or how when we walk to the park, he tells me about everything he sees with such enthusiasm. "Moon! Moon, Mama! There it is!" "Leaves!" "Big tree!" Or our little routine, when he says, "Hi, Mama! How are you?" And I'll say, "I'm great, Zekey, how are you?" "I'm fine." "I'm so glad." "Love you, Mama." "Love you too, Zekey."

I don't have any of those associations yet with Josie. I know they will come, as they did with Zeke, but right now my days are kind of mind-numbing.

And even with Zeke, spending all day every day with him would drive me crazy. I just need more intellectual stimulation, and more quiet time, than days with a 2-year-old will allow. I don't know how the day care teachers do it.

I was talking to my mom this morning while trying to get Zeke dressed and fed and trying to feed Josie and figure out why my phone isn't working properly. I was a bit frazzled.
"Jesus, I'm so tired of being on maternity leave."

"Can you go back early?"

"No. I can't put Josie in daycare until she's 8 weeks old and she's had her shots. I feel like such a jerk for feeling this way, but I really think I'm a better mother for not spending all day every day with my children."

"Oh, honey, I know. I had babies too. And they're cute and I like to hold them, but they are kind of boring."

"I know!! They don't do anything."

"And I worked, but I still think I was a good mother."

"You were and are a great mother!"

"Because I worked."

So, so true.


  1. Art Dada11:00 AM

    I remember when Walt was a newborn and I said how boring it is taking care of a baby. The looks I got! But it's true. He's so much more fun now and I suspect that he'll be even more fun when he gets older.

  2. I agree. I adore my baby, but man is it boring. When he started smiling it got much more fun. But honestly, how much baby holding can you do without losing your mind?

  3. You know, from my (almost) 8 month foray into this whole mother thing, I think you are exactly right.

    I love Elliot with all of my heart, etc... but the first weeks were mind-numbing.

    And I love to watch him grow and come into his own personality and all of that, but I really think that I am/will be a better mother when I have more to do.

    I don't want to leave him all day (and I can't now or in the foreseeable future for a variety of reasons--location, vaccinations, my entire career imploded while I have been gone, my entire industry did as well....) but I do think that I am/will be a better mother, wife, etc... if I have a little more for me.

    More intellectual stimulation, more time to miss them, just a little more for me.

    And really, I don't think it's a bad thing. At all.

    I think it will be a great example for him to see as he grows up, as it was for you and as it will be for your monkeys, too

  4. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who feels this way. And the good thing is, the personality development starts in a couple of months, and then things get really fun.

  5. Oh, I love this. And thank GOODNESS. I thought I was the only person who thought babies were incredibly boring!

  6. I read somewhere that moms who immediately fall in love with their babies are the same women who enjoyed junior high. Hee-hee.

    Walt is a joy and delight. But even at 2 we've got the repeated readings of the same book and the repeated games of chase and the repeated and repeated and repeated Twinkle Twinkle and ABC songs and after a full day it can all get a little, well, not exciting.

  7. up until at least 6months there is not much to do. It is great during football season as it gives you an excuse not to do anything expect sit there.