You know the feeling you get when you're falling in love? You feel so good that it actually makes you feel nauseous most of the day. "Walking on clouds" is a nice way to say you feel like you just ate 3 Taco Bell menu items while on an upside down roller coaster. You could puke anytime, but there's something magical about it. The object of your affection becomes your only topic of conversation. You're telling anyone who will listen how your new boyfriend folds his socks, then you laugh maniacally like it's the funniest, most interesting story ever told.
The thing about falling in love, or being seriously addicted to drugs is that part of you is fully aware that your behavior is irrational. And so it is with loving your child. A few times a day a voice of reason breaks through the murky cloud of obsession fogging up your mind and says "What has this baby done for me lately?" (For me, this voice is Janet Jackson, obviously.) This baby scratches, bites, throws up on me, pees on me, refuses to wipe his own butt, throws the food I prepare for him all over the kitchen, wakes me up at 6:00am by hitting my face and then rasberry-ing my eye socket, and more. No matter how bad he treats me I keep coming back for more. I am OBSESSED with him. If my theme song is "What Have You Done For Me Lately?" then Holden's is "Why You So Obsessed With Me?" (I promise that is the last pop song reference in this post.)
I've recently returned to work after 5 weeks off. It's been a bit of a transition, but not so bad. The hardest part was the anticipation. After a bit of struggle the first week staying home I got in a real lady-of-relative-leisure groove and couldn't bear the thought of leaving my sweet angel baby. I have a career that I love, but it requires me to leave my house for about 10 hours 5 times each week. While on leave I convinced myself this would no longer be possible. I needed access to my fix throughout the day. I spent most days brainstorming internet businesses and other work-at-home mom schemes. Wanting to leave a great job you love, this is how irrational having a baby makes you. You know the term "rock bottom?" Keep reading to hear about mine...
There's a strip club pretty much across the street from our home (gotta love Portland) and during my desperate search for a career with flexible hours an insane thought crossed my mind. "Hmmm, I guess I could start exercising and maybe get drunk enough to just be a stripper however many nights it takes to pay my rent, then my days would be free to spend at home obsessing over my baby." If you know me IRL you know how laughably absurd the idea of me being a stripper is. In addition to the morals/dignity territory that would make this a difficult profession, I'm a terrible faker. If someone annoys me I can't even sustain eye contact, let alone naked-body-lap-dance-contact. Plus looking and/or dancing sexy isn't exactly my forte. Nowadays "looking hot" means taking the time to put on mascara. When would I possibly find time to get fake nails, wax every inch of my body, spray tan, put a weave in, buy about 10 times the amount of makeup I currently own, and roll around in enough glitter to detract from my c-section scar? My point is that loving a baby has made me SO IRRATIONAL that for about 24 hours I was seriously considering embarking upon a seedy career as Melody the Night Mistress, or some other dorky contrived alias. (Disclaimer: I'm exaggerating for entertainment value, Mom.)
Having a baby makes you crazy in every way imaginable. I spend hours a day wishing I could have 20 minutes to myself. I'm often near tears of frustration by the time I finally get the baby down for a nap. Then what do I do? I go downstairs and flip through pictures of him on my phone, wishing he'd wake up so I can hold him and play with him and smell his sweet baby smell.
Don't let this picture fool you, he has not mastered utensil usage.
Just like an addict I love the rituals surrounding the addiction. What I think of as chores: bathtime, bedtime, meals where more food ends up on the floor and in my hair than in the baby's mouth; those are also the most precious times. I complain about having to do it, but I won't go out with my friends for dinner even one night because I can't bear to miss it. Babies, can't live with them, can't live without them.
A hit of the good stuff.