It is amazing how much of your attention a little 3kg bundle of arms and legs can take up – especially if those arms and legs come attached to a healthy set of lungs and no volume control! Add to that, a healthy dose of helplessness and you have the makings of many sleepless nights, neuroses and at least one or two small nervous breakdowns.
I don’t think I have ever felt quite so helpless or ignorant as I have these last few weeks – I have gone from being someone whom I’ve always considered somewhat competent, to being the person who wonders “why is she crying now, she’s just been fed”, “why is she crying now, she’s just been fed and had her nappy changed” etc etc. This sense of helplessness seems particularly strong at 2am in the morning when I have been trying to get her sleep for 3 hours (and, if like last night, the bakkie wont start so you can’t even take her for a drive, the helplessness goes into overdrive).
The house is distinctly less clean and far more untidy than I’d like it to be, I look like I’ve barely managed to pull myself out of bed most days and I have the vague, spaced out look that you get from too little sleep – and yet, I wouldn’t change it for anything! Being Caitlin’s mom, whatever that entails, is proving to be the greatest test, challenge and adventure of my life and so far, I am loving most minutes of it – to say I’m loving every minute would be a ‘fib’ no one (and especially those with children) would believe.
I have also discovered a new found respect for single parents, be they male or female, as I can honestly say that there are days that would have been distinctly less manageable if I hadn’t had Erik around to take up some of the slack. So to my friends who are doing this parent thing on their own – you have my undying admiration and respect for not only doing this, but for making it look so easy.