Thursday, 15 September 2016

Having A Baby Is Not Fun

Francis just turned 4 months. I have had zero time for blogging. He no longer just feeds and sleeps - if he's awake he wants to chat, to be out of the house, to look, touch, shout, explore. A friend texted me the other day asking if she should have a child, asking if it's really fun. I immediately replied 'no, it's not fun' and then realised how negative and gloomy that sounded. A lot of mums do find it very fun, but so far I haven't. I do 100% love it, but here's my idea of fun:
- Sunbathing with cocktails brought to my sun lounger followed by a leisurely dinner and some dancing
- Shopping in a foreign city
- Watching a comedy at the cinema
- Drinks with friends
- Getting my hair cut
I could go on, none of it involves looking after an infant.

Here's the opposite of my idea of fun:
- A day of museums followed by dinner alone and early bed time
- Office chit chat with someone who doesn't share my sense of humour
- Shopping in London
- Getting my legs waxed
- Work drinks when your work friends can't go

As you can see, fun is subjective - no doubt you won't agree with me on all points in either list. So you may well find having a baby to be fun. But for me, it's mostly boring.

It's boring holding a baby up - they're heavy and mostly do nothing except cry if you put them down. It's boring having to constantly sway or bounce because they haven't got the physical strength to move on their own but they still demand to move constantly. It's boring waiting for 45 minutes for them to settle down and fall asleep because they keep kicking their legs out of the cot so you need to keep an eye on them. It's boring placing them on their tummy every day trying to build their upper body strength. It's boring singing the same song to them because it's the one they find soothing. It's boring standing by the mirror for ten minutes so they can focus on their reflection for ages. It's boring spending so much time neither alone nor with people - mother and baby time is this weird limbo where you don't have to be 'on' socially but you can't be 'off' either.

As well as boring it's stressful. Even now as I type I'm fervently aware of the fact that he may wake up any minute and I'll need to interrupt. And that's without the additional stress of just wondering if you're 'doing it right'.

Having a baby is not fun. It's way better. Im doing something which is in no way entertaining and yet I wouldn't want to do anything else in the world. I am not at all looking forward to going back to work. I love being bored and exhausted and stressed and exhausted. Because when my baby learnt a few days ago to reach and touch my face (it takes them months to learn this 'skill'!) I almost couldn't breathe for how amazed I was at how amazed he looked to discover that he is real and I am real and we're both someone and he's not fully figured out who but he's gonna keep on working on it.

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