I’ve read accounts of new moms brimming with love for their newborns from moment one. But when I had my son seven years ago, I wasn’t one of them. Of course I loved him, but I also had moments where I’d look at my little boy, nestled in his bassinet, and wonder, “Who is this stranger sleeping in my room?”
My nipples were on fire, my crotch was throbbing (and not in a good way). My milk supply was low, and while it felt like I had something to do every second of the day, I found caring for an infant so, so … boring. My life existed according to an online feeding app: Feed every three hours, “play,” nap. Repeat. Repeat.
During feeding times, I’d zone out to back-to-back episodes of crime dramas while he ate at a snail’s pace. During his awake times, I’d sit in front of his Baby Bjorn chair and chat to him or sing the few songs I knew by heart — to a blank face.
Napping was a battle of wills, which I routinely lost. Forty-five minutes of rocking might yield a 25-minute nap. I tried signing up for multiple moms groups, to no avail. A Phoenix moms group for creatives rejected me for reasons never disclosed, and another Phoenix branch declared I lived on the wrong side of the 51.
Every blip in his sleeping schedule was cause for alarm. My husband and I would consult the internet for any clue about the disruptions we were experiencing. We’d panic: “Could this be our new normal?!!!”
Despite the setbacks, I eventually got into a rhythm. I found some lactation meetings, met friends for lunch, attended some “baby and me” events at the library. I got a handle on my key essentials for the diaper bag and became proficient at changing in public spaces. I found a few friends with kids I could talk to about all the minutiae of infant care that is of zero interest to the rest of the population.
Then my baby started smiling, reacting, inquiring.
Fast forward seven years. My son is imaginative, hilarious, a little mischievous, sometimes frustrating. Every day with him is challenging, interesting and so, so … not boring.
Calendar Editor Carrie Wheeler of Phoenix is mom to Wilson (7). She wrote “Choosing a school: Where to start” for the 2019 “Schools, etc.” issue of Raising Arizona Kids magazine.