Last weekend Wally III asked, since it had been 2.5 weeks, how was mommyhood matching or blowing away my expectations. It had all been such a whirlwind to that point that I hadn’t actually given it much thought. The good news is, nursing gives me a lot of extended thinking time. When I’m up with Wally V 2 times a night after the 10:30 feeding, usually for 40 minutes at around 2 and again at 5, I enjoy a lot of thinking time (and occassionally a good dose of People magazine—hey, it’s the wee hours of night, not exactly the time to get into the classics). And my thinking time made one thing immediately clear…I did not expect my entire concept of time to change because of the little rugrat, but for better or worse, it has.

First, days are measured by time between, before, and during feedings. The morning starts with first breakfast (of milk, of course) at around 8AM. Then the rest of the day is a little over an hour, the next feeding (again, milk…that’s all the little guy wants. Talk about creatures of habit), break, milk, break, milk, etc. Sometimes during breaks we have pleasant time (my favorite) where Wally is awake and checking out the world around him. Sometimes we have nap time (yay to our 3 hour afternoon nap!), and sometimes we have fussy time (blah). So for me, instead of my old 9-5 then evening way of thinking, I have several 2-3 hour time chunks that are all patched together in a mayhem of craziness. You would think this would make days seem longer, but they actually rush on by. I usually have a plan to get 1-2 things done a day during some of the in between times, and rarely will I get to 1 of those things. (This blog has been on the list for about 4 days.) Yes, time between our 8AM feeding and the last one of the night (around 10:30) goes as fast as a jumbo box of Pampers.

For some reason, I wasn’t expecting my concept of sleep time to change. As someone who once enjoyed 8-9 hours of sleep in the days of yore, I never would have pictured surviving 3+ weeks so far of average 2.5 hour sleep stretches, and the occassional blissful 3.5 hour or (gag) 1 hour chunks of sleep. But here I am, getting by, looking forward to a day, sometime in my future, where I may experience a slumber of 5 hours. Or 6? Is 6 too much to ask in the world of mommydom?

I also didn’t expect how much the moments of joy would serve to get me and Wally IV through the tough parts. One morning during an extremely fussy stretch of days, Wally V was wailing for a good half hour. Wally IV was doing everything he could think to calm him down while I was in the next room folding laundry (one of my things on the list for the day, yay!). All I could hear was Wally’s loudest wail, which is extremely distressing for the whole fam–Wally IV sighs, I hold my breath, Ellie paces, and Buttercup runs and hides.

Then, out of the blue, I hear Wally IV’s guitar and no more crying. Wally IV stops playing for a second, long enough to say, “This makes you stop?” I am shocked. I peek into the room to witness it for myself, and come upon one of the best scenes I’ve seen in my life (right up there with the day I saw an old couple running to get out of rain in downtown Chicago and stopping spontaniously for a kiss mid-run). Wally IV was sitting on the floor, playing and singing, and Wally V was laying calmly on a blanket, an enraptured audience of one, enjoying the sound of his daddy’s voice. Then it was time for Wally IV and I to cry. Wally IV kept playing while he teared up, and I managed to snap a few pictures, even though the scene will be etched into my mind indefinitely. My two Wallys, giving me a moment to get me through even future stretches of fussiness. An unexpected moment of great joy.

So, Coach (Wally III), I didn’t expect my days and nights to change, but I also didn’t expect these moments of great joy. And I’m positive there will be many more surprises to add to the list in the future, as I’m pretty sure new Mommyhood is full of nothing but the unexpected.


Privacy Preference Center