I have intended to write several times this week and just cannot seem to get my act together. Partially because when the baby goes to sleep at night I actually like to spend some time with my husband or even just some alone time, and partially because I don’t have too much to write about…except my baby. And I’ve tried not to make this place become mommyville, that’s part of why I like writing at Babble, but as this is a blog about my life, there was bound to be a tone change.
I took the baby to daycare 3 days last week and before the 3rd day he had caught his first cold. He’s handling it okay, but it’s been a week and he is still congested. He also managed to get just about the entire rest of my family sick because he hasn’t yet mastered the ability to contain his germs. Sneezing in peoples’ faces is his favorite.
I learned a pretty big lesson about what it is to really be a caregiver through this cold. I woke up Monday feeling like I had been run over by a truck but Eli decided he was up for the day at 6:30. I tried and tried to get him back to sleep, but he was up and extremely chipper (he’s not my child). I wanted nothing more than to go back to bed, but it wasn’t an option. And so I got up. Throughout the day I kept waiting for an opportunity to catch a little more sleep, but he wouldn’t nap, wouldn’t nap, wouldn’t nap. And so awake I stayed from 6:30am to 9:30pm, which no, isn’t that long, but when you were also up for an hour plus in the middle of the night and are sick, it feels like a lifetime.
When I climbed into bed Monday night, I remarked to my husband what a long day it had been and he agreed. Being sick and caring for someone who depends on you (and who is also sick) is a different kind of responsibility, and a different kind of fatigue than I’ve ever encountered. It was as though at the end of the day when I was no longer responsible for someone else’s snot and someone else’s hydration and rest, all the sickness I had been shoving aside for myself, came crashing down.
I’ve taken care of my husband when he was sick. I’ve taken care of myself while sick. I’ve even taken care of my husband when he was sick while I was sick (man colds, holy hell). But this was completely different. This was one of those life reality checks and the realization that I come second now, that though I haven’t slept more than 5 hours at a time or showered not in a rush in almost 4 months, that suddenly I see just how different my life really is now.
I belong to someone else. I can sit here and tell you that I never intended to become a mommy blogger because I didn’t want to become someone whose life revolves solely around their child. But I have learned this week that at least at this age, that is inevitable, and it’s not something I’m sad about. I get to shape this life. I get to help him grow into a young person, a young man and eventually an adult. I get to help him become someone good. And I am not apologetic for the fact that my life and my voice have changed.
This has been one of the longest weeks I can recall, but it’s been an enlightening one. And now that we’re slowly making our way back to health, I can see it was one we needed, one that’s pointing us where we need to go in the future. I am a mother, hear me roar.