[Great] Expectations.

October 29, 2009 at 8:58 am | Posted in motherhood | 6 Comments

I’m sorry for not posting sooner. Work is nuts right now.

J and I are exhausted from managing weeks of sick.

We’re low on sleep and by the end of the day we can’t manage to do much but sit on the couch and just chill out.

O, thankfully, started feeling better almost immediately after starting the antibiotics. He’s a whole new kid – happy, smiling. There’s less whining and clinging.

When I think over the past few weeks, I’m torn. I do feel pretty guilty that we didn’t realize just how LONG he hadn’t been himself.

But I also feel vindicated that I KNEW something was wrong, something was off, and I was right.

In my two discussions with his pediatrician, she told me that his infection was pretty dense on the x-ray. Enough that when she saw it, she called me immediately to check on him.

But he’s feeling better. Thank goodness.

And always, after one of his illnesses, it takes J and I take MUCH longer to recover than it does him.

And over the past week, when I have moments to actually THINK, I find myself wondering when J or I will ever have down time for ourselves.

Because right now, there really isn’t MUCH down time we can manage. At all.

And when I think about trying to find ourselves some time to relax, most of the time I’m struck with a thought.

I never expected that being a parent would be this hard – for this long.

I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit this. Because I do consider myself a fairly intelligent person.

And it seems like it should be COMMON SENSE that being a parent is, you know, HARD WORK.

But people kept telling me, from the moment O was born.

“It gets easier.”

When he gets to 6 weeks. When he’s eating cereal. When he’s sitting up. When he’s sleeping through the night. When he’s older and you don’t have to hover as much.

Et cetera.

And some things HAVE gotten easier. I generally know if something’s wrong with him. My mom instincts are honed to a fine point.

But there’s ALWAYS a lot of work. Managing the sleep schedule. And now the tantrums. And sick.

And then figuring out answers when he starts getting “why?”

And the homework, and the activities.

And the teenage years.

There will ALWAYS be something to do.

Now, see. I’m not BITTER that there’s a lot of work or anything.

I mean, I definitely didn’t think that being a parent was going to be a stroll in the park.

I knew there was a lot of work that went into it.

It’s more that our life is moving so damn fast. And I just want a chance to sit down and REST. And decompress. And take a BREATH.

And when I get into periods of time like this, where it takes me WEEKS to get back into feeling okay myself, it makes me question everything.

Do I have what it takes to be a good parent to my ONE kid?

And to that – how can I possibly think I’m ready for another?

When I get to this point in my thoughts, I call a break. I turn up the radio, and I listen to my classical music, and I take a deep breath, and I tell myself that somehow we’ll manage.

Because, you know. I’m NOT the only person who feels this way. Overwhelmed with the responsibility. Tired from the work. Desperately needing a BREAK, but knowing I won’t really get it.

Because the reality is that, for the next while at least, my breaks will come in sips. In the small waft of a breeze which seeps through a barely cracked window.

A date night. An overnight here and there. Maybe an afternoon nap when O is napping. Or a bubble bath one night after dinner.

And somehow that’s going to have to be enough.



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  1. Your post pretty much sums up life with a child. Its fast, and fun and exhausting. And the times for breaks are small. There are times that it is 10 p.m. and I am FINALLY winding myself down for the night. And hubby and I just sit on the couch and watch Family Guy or Robot Chicken–cuz that is all the energy we have. BUT, there are other times, like 2 weekends ago, when we had the time–and we watched a movie together and talked to each other about it. It was couple time. It does happen.

    Each post I see from you shows you are doing just fine. And, despite all of that–it does get easier. I think more because you get used to it. I cannot imagine our lives without it. I am sure you cannot either. It will be easier as time goes on.

  2. We’ve discussed this at length. I think what it comes down to is realizing that you won’t get those long breaks. So, like you said the small breaks will have to suffice.

    At the same time it is so important to make time for your relationship. Because as I was driving home last night I got to thinking about what I said. That P and I are to exhausted at the end of the day to have conversations about anything real. And then I got to thinking about the empty nest syndrome. That when the kids go off to college and the parents are left to themselves once more they realize they no longer know each other outside of the contents of the kids. This is when divorce happens. So it just becomes more important to MAKE time throughout our childrens lives to stay connected to our spouses.
    Sorry to make the commment so long 🙂

  3. How is that you always POST about exactly what I am considering posting about. OH RIGHT, we have children at about the same age and we are going through exactly the same stuff . DUH.

    I wonder myself, even on vacation (and coming home from it) I love when people ask “How was vacation?” I always answer..”LIke home, just hotter and in a nicer place” 🙂

    because there is no break, there is no down time to just think. I used to go on vacation during the IF and be soooo sad, but sit and think, plan for the treatments, talk to John, sleep etc…and dream of being a mom. Now I do all the stuff I’d do at home, only I have a little more time to do it, but forget resting, reading etc. HA.
    Who knew? Huh?

    However, I do know that it’s worth it. It’s so worth it. I am going to try to be the best parent I know how to be and just love my boys. That’s all we can do right.

    thinking of you sweetie 🙂

  4. Yup… you would just manage. The breaks get smaller for a while and the pace speeds up for a while but the good times are better too. And when you see your precious boy sharing and caring with a younger sibling it really is worth it!

    Hope everyone is feeling better soon!

  5. What a great post! My baby’s only 6 months old, but I’m already starting to see things the way you are seeing them. I guess it really is just about changing our expectations for what constitutes a “break” and maybe also about what counts as “fun”. But yeah, who knew it would be so hard. People raise kids all the time, all over the world, right? So how hard can it be? It’s hard. It’s life-altering. All consuming. And it’s great, right? But easy? No.

  6. I like this : “my breaks will come in sips”. I like it because it’s true for my life and because it makes me think of yummy sips of peppermint mochas! :o)

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