Not Complaining Either

This post makes me wonder why I’ve been surprised in the opposite way.

This is hard for me to think clearly about, because I have to work hard to keep the “because I’m a bad mother” sirens from going off.

I am shocked, almost every day, at how immensely I love the Monkey. Things that, pre-baby, I anticipated would feel like hellish drudgery, are simply not. And I find myself reacting with nothing but empathy for things (i.e. toddler frustration turned whining / screaming) that, pre-baby, I feared I’d have no patience for.

But I’m also surprised at how heavy the life of taking care of her sometimes feels and how intensely I sometimes wish that I were not the main person on that job all day and night all the time. I didn’t expect this at all.

I expected to hate going back to work. And it is always difficult to spend a day at the office, away from her (which I do two days per week). But at the same time, my hours at the office feel refreshing: a break. That surprises me.

I attribute my perspective on this to: high expectations (somehow thought I’d love every second?); parenting style (attachment-ish—still lots of night nursing); spouse’s work schedule (lately, insanely demanding—we both hate it); and something else. Introversion? Intense need for down time?

And I don’t know whether this feeling means something needs to change. I have the sense that working more is not the answer. I think I would hunger for more baby time. Division of labor is, as I have mentioned, a topic of discussion around here and something we’re still figuring out. Maybe coming to a new understanding, if not a new arrangement, will help. As will getting, someday, more sleep (do I keep mentioning sleep?)

How do your expectations from before baby line up with how you feel now about how you spend your days? Why do you think it happened that way?

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