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I used to think that I wasn’t built for parenthood. Like Brad Pitt was accused of missing the “sensitivity chip”, for years I was convinced that I was born without the mommy gene. Now I realize that I just hate babies.
Let me explain.
It’s not that babies are bad, per se. Apparently I just suck at dealing with them. I have come to the conclusion that I am simply not equipped to successfully manage, I don’t know, life in general on less than 5 hours of sleep. And since The Hubs and I had the brilliant idea to have our boys 23 months apart, I basically subsisted on 1.5 hours of sleep per night for over 4 years of back-to-back pregnancy and nursing cycles.
I have girlfriends who absolutely adore the baby stage. They love the cuddling, the nursing, the sweet-pickly smell of baby toes. While babies have their moments, I found the whole birth-to-three-years phase to be simply soul crushing. The sleep deprivation, combined with the overwhelming weight of being on call 24-7 and responsible for every need of this tiny human being are enough to make you wonder why the hell you got into this baby-making game to begin with.
While little kids are not the most logical bunch, there is some degree of reason related to the whims of the three-to-five year old set. Their life adheres to a certain amount of structure – their demands fall into basic categories that are relatively easy to anticipate and, at times, defuse. With babies, all bets are off. You can feed them, burp them, diaper them, swaddle them, walk them, rock them, drive them and still not know why the hell they are crying.
These days, my nights may be marred by the occasional request for water or trip to the bathroom, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. With the big boy in kindergarten and the baby starting nursery school, there is a clear cadence to our days. Drop off, aftercare, karate, piano, homework, dinner, bath, books and bed. Lather, rinse, repeat. The boys are even old enough to entertain themselves a bit, or (gasp) sleep until 7:30am on weekend mornings when we put them to bed a tad bit later. We play games, read books, have semi-intelligible conversations. We snuggle, sing songs and say prayers before bed. We pray for a good day on the way to school, and talk about the best part of their day over dinner.
So, while babies are cute and sweet, I think The BadAssMama is better suited for life with big kids. I’m falling in love with my boys more and more each day, and I am grateful to see the baby years fading into the rear view.
What are your thoughts on the baby-stage? Love it or leave it?