Every once in a while something seems to fall in my lap at exactly the moment I need it. Last week was a rough one with the baby. One day I was sick (and there is nothing worse than having to take care of a baby when you are sick yourself), and she seemed to be going through some kind of distress that we could not figure out. A friend told me about the “wonder weeks,” periods of development that result in an extra fussy baby. I don’t know if it was a wonder week or the week from hell, but it was tough. Lots of walking the halls, lots of her wanting only me, lots of high-pitched wailing. I thought it would never end, but of course it did.
Anyway, right in the middle of that chaos, a friend posted this story about remembering the first tough weeks with a new baby. It totally resonated with me. It’s sort of the idea that you feel like you’re supposed to be on cloud nine, but sometimes you are just miserable. And there should be space for you to feel miserable and not guilty about it either. Because eventually it will pass, but it will be hard in the meantime.
You should read the comments, too. There are all sorts of confessions by moms of colicky babies. I know in my moms group we’ve all confessed to having moments when we needed to just walk away and catch our breath.
So yes, as hard as it is, I want to remember this time, too. Because I would never want another mom to have to pretend that everything is perfect when she is really struggling and could use some support. I think we’re programmed to forget the bad parts, as I have mostly done with the birth experience. But they are what give us our strength. They are the times that teach us what we’re capable of. I know my marriage is stronger for having been through the last 10 weeks.
But I have to say, after last week, this week’s smiles and drools and peaceful naps have been oh-so-sweet.