Sleep. I get short windows (usually one night out of eight) of only 1-2 night wakings past midnight. (She always wakes 1-3 times between first going down and when she’ll settle in for a longer stretch of sleep.) When I get a good night of sleep, like two 3-4 hour stretches, I feel so positive and energized that it makes the following night of 3-5 night wakings a crushing reality check. I get so angry. I yell and punch things, sometimes while holding the baby in my other arm. Life feels so unfair. Sometimes it’s impossible to reclaim my peace, sanity, self.

I’m going to reach the end of these years—these cooped-up, sleep-deprived years, whether it’s one, two, or three—and have to grieve my inability to “enjoy” taking care of this (really wonderful) baby. Strangers always stop me to admire this (really wonderful) girl and instruct me very soberly to make sure I’m enjoying my current life. And it feels like half my days are spent gasping for breath in an idling car while the baby sleeps in the carseat (finally…sleeps…).

Yes, it changes the game to get breaks. I feel better when I get to be babyfree for a few hours, but with the husband working 9-630, and often nights and partial weekends, and my few free babysitting passes used up by sorta stressful things like going to physical therapy, or working my ass off in 93 degree heat trying (vainly) to catch up on our mountain of remaining CSA work-share hours—–…

Some mornings I want to blog all this pitiful stuff. Some mornings I want to stand in the center of the city and scream, or start running and never stop. But god, everybody hates a bad mother. hate a bad mother. I hate all the mental energy it takes not to hate this bang-up job I’m doing, here. I hate having become a ball of anger and anxiety, and missing my old self who knew how to take care.

I’m not asking for tips or sympathy, I just felt like the dark side of motherhood deserves a little more airtime, and since I’m not reading much about it, I should probably write some about it.