Everything is going well. Amelie is waking up to eat more often -- more on that in another post -- and I've been getting a bit more rest.
I was looking forward to my midwife appointment today. She told me it was optional, and that a lot of second time moms skip it, but I wanted to go. Especially since we have had some breastfeeding issues, but also just for another chance to connect emotionally. I spent a lot of time during pregnancy talking to her about my fears and need to feel safe during birth, and it really, really paid off during labor.
So I was surprised when we were talking and everything was going swimmingly until she asked about how things were going with Calliope and suddenly my eyes filled with tears.
Calliope is doing well, overall. She seems genuinely excited about the baby, and is mostly gentle with her. About what you would optimistically expect from a three year old.
But her three year old-ness has been greatly exacerbated by the stress of having a new sibling, of course, when it comes to her behavior with me. And of course, I'm much less tolerant. So instead of being playful and silly when she ignores my request to go to her room and put on her pajamas, I get stern. And she laughs hysterically and jumps behind the couch cushions and I seethe, or get furious.
And for all that I am getting lots of help, still, it's confusing to Calliope to have lots of different people coming through our home. And I can't very well delegate breastfeeding, so Calliope gets "helped," to her annoyance, by lots of different people. Which only makes the acting out worse. Never mind the fact that she has skipped a couple of naps recently, and slept poorly the first three nights Amelie and I were home from the hospital on account of a bad cold and hacking cough.
On top of this is an emotion that I wasn't aware of until today... I want someone to come in and mother me. I don't even know what this would look like. Just that I want someone to walk in and announce, "I got this. I'm in charge. I order you to go lie down."
I know this is especially on my mind because of losing my mother last May. She wasn't the most nurturing mom you'd ever meet, but she was great when I gave birth to Calliope. She sailed in my home and took charge. She changed every diaper and patted out every burp. She then insisted on rescuing me by taking me back to her home in MA.
I'd probably hate this in real life but right now, it sounds heavenly, to have someone else take over the reins of my life. It feels exhausting to be so in charge all the time. And I feel like, rightly or wrongly, that there's more pressure to be on top of everything as an SMC because, you know, I chose this. To do this on my own. My married friends and relations can choose to fall apart for a day because there's someone else to pick up the pieces. But not only do I not have that luxury -- there's no one to pick up the pieces -- I feel an obligation to make this all look easy. That's quite a burden to carry, along with a tantrumy three year old and a mewling newborn.