Mama's Blog

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Letter to a friend...

So, choices. Family. Right now I am having a really really really hard time-- an epic battle between wanting to the be the type of parent that meets her needs, as messy, unschedule-able, relentless and suffocating as they may be, and in conflict with that, wanting some semblance of independence. I do want to be her womb, her nest, her umbilical cord and her front porch that she can sit on and look out from or run back to -- my body as the site of her home. I love taking her swimming- supporting and making safe her desire to thrash her body about-- to just have utter fun with it. And then to gather her up when she gets still to hold her and wait for her next impulse to take over and then to support that. I love being quiet enough to listen for and hear her wordless needs. I love breastfeeding her, connecting with her as well as being the source of her food-- the one thing in this fucking culture that is not mediated by some corporation, thank you very much. But at other times I feel tethered, confused about and enraged by her dependency on my breast to fall asleep. Tonight, it took a record two point five hours to get her to stay asleep-- partially because my impatience screwed up the timing, partially because trying to accomplish anything but being with her today screwed up some napping time and partially because she is just stubborn and if she finds herself awake and not nursing she gets all worked up. My world is very very small. Claustraphobes need not apply. I have convinced myself that most of my discomfort is my husband's fault, that he is totally unaware of my world, that he doesn't help enough, that he should never leave the house but, while staying here and being my right hand, he should also manage to have a full-time job so he can pay all the bills and I don't have to even think about working. I realize that some of my expectations are unrealistic, but so what. He and I are not able to rely on traditional roles for parenting and running the family, so we are running into all kinds of trouble right now in terms of trying to share duties. I told him that he isn't in charge of anything and is just a glorified babysitter, which is a horrible thing to say but my god I think it is totally true. So this is how ugly it is, I am either completely nuts or am with an self-absorbed twit, or something in between. But I am so sleep deprived that I cannot make heads or tails of any of it. And the support out there is really useless. There is the La Leche version, which is basically, there is only one way to do this and it is to stay at home, do it all yourself, get massages and wait it out-- basically meet all those baby needs and survive to tell the tale and look down at other women. Or there is the even creepier versions that insist that babies are trying to manipulate you, that they need to be independent because we live in an industrialized society and they can and should be programmed to sleep on their own provided you cut out your hear and stick it in the freezer while you let them cry. Something like that. So I am stuck, some days feeling like Superwoman Deepmotherwisdom Goddess, and other days I feel like a Mad Cow Listmaking Paralyzed Slasher. I think I'll have a beer now.

The nice thing for me is, having been pregnant, I feel like a virgin whenever my husband and I make love. I feel so sweet and vulnerable and like it is all for the first time, which is really terrific for me because my first forty lovers were all horrible losers that I wouldn't loan my car to. Now I feel very precious as if my sex organs, having created Ruby, are too important to be careless with. Kind of cool.