What I'm about to say shouldn't be taken for a gauge of where I'm at exactly, more along the lines of pieces of me - and the camp these pieces are visiting on occasion.
It's hard to get back into the swing of life. I don't even know what LIFE is these days. I live in a state of constant reflex - reacting to Alice's cries and snuffles, attempting to get myself showered and dressed on a semi-regular basis. The halls here at home are never as warm and welcoming as they are the second Chip walks in the door, and around 11am when the sun is shining and I can open the curtains to let in the light. I live for these minutes and for the moments when Alice seems to look at me with true recognition in her tiny face. LIFE is a rolling ball of moments swirling in a blur of reds and yellows and blues and grays. Sleep isn't something to be taken lightly. It comes in tiny snatches: a nap sandwiched between feeding Alice and doing a load of laundry; in the witching hour at 2:30 a.m. when I seem to be the only person on the planet; in the pre-dawn of 4:00 a.m. watching dew collect on the windowsill. I'm working on getting out more. It isn't easy. Everything takes so much longer than it used to. I can't just run out of the house. There is a bag to be packed, a baby to be fed, a nap to be interrupted, a mommy to dress. K called me today (yes, the same K from our labor and birth class - we've actually become good friends, bonding over the sheer terror of first-time motherhood) to share her Tuesday thought, which was: what's the point of bathing the baby when she poops and pees all over herself fresh out of the bath and even after clean-up is already covered in milk and spit-up an hour later?
I know that these are the early impressions. The things we live through to get to the next stage: smiling and sitting up and solid foods and teething and preschool and and and... Every single mother I've talked to about all of this says the same thing: it doesn't last forever; hang in there; you will get a system down; things will be easier. And I know they're right. I know it will get better. And it already has. We're getting out more. We went to Babies R Us today and survived to tell the tale. I'm finding that a two hour stretch of sleep actually feels luxurious. I live for her snorfles and hiccups and sighs. One smell of her milky skin is worth every sleepless minute. I adore this tiny girl and everything she promises to be.
Just the same, I think it's important to put everything down. To report what the pieces of me are finding, even in the dark corners.
Being a mother can be incredibly lonely.