14 January 2015

I thought I knew sleep deprivation before I had a baby. I had been to college: I had crammed for exams and stayed up all night on coffee and pop and maybe one or two Adderalls. But it’s just somehow different with the baby. You start to understand how sleep deprivation is used as torture as there is that one hour in the night where you start to think, “I can’t do this. Time has stopped and I am going to die.”

Claire Zulkey, That Baby Wants to Break You Up

Parenthood is the hardest job you'll ever have.

I always thought people meant this in a sweet way-- it's important to you because you love your children so much, and it's hard because there's no way to know for sure that you're doing the best thing for them.

It is hard in that way of course.

But it is also hard in the way that it can feel impossible, and not fun, and just super shitty sometimes. Like I want to give up. Like I'm no good at it and I cannot handle it.

It's the stress from hearing babies crying so much and the sleep deprivation talking. I knew I would not deal with sleep deprivation well and that I don't. I think in a way that we put off having children as long as we did because I was afraid of how bad it would be to not get a good night of sleep for months on end. I remember telling my mom years ago that I didn't know how I'd be able to handle it and she reassured me that babies sleep a lot. Maybe we broke ours. Obviously she wasn't accounting for twins.

I remember when Mimi Smartypants shared the news that they were adopting their daughter Nora, I thought, yes! Adoption means no freaky alien being growing in my belly! I was terrified even then (ten years ago!) of childbirth, too. Foreshadowing that I had good reason to be, I guess. But also, adoption could mean skipping the newborn phase.

Bo and I were talking the other night and I mentioned the fact that some people say to treasure this time, that it goes so fast, that we'll miss it when it's gone. We both started laughing almost hysterically. "Those people are full of shit!"

I tried looking, and do love some things. Nora and Bea, obviously. When they finish eating and lay all warm on my chest, breathing heavy and hot.