Spit Happens

I’ve always been a worry wart so I should not be at all surprised how wracked with worry I am now. It’s almost as if I always need to have a certain level of stress to be myself. If there’s nothing to stress about, I make things to stress about.

Yesterday I got into a little fight with Toby because I was all worked up over the fact that we were out of broccoli. Broccoli! And lettuce, butter, cream and breast pads and whatever I was going to cook for dinner for the next week or so….but the point of contention was broccoli. As if the world is going to stop if I don’t get my salad with broccoli in it every day. I think the reason I get worked up about these things is that I’ve had the last year to run my house exactly the way I want to. If we were out of something, I hopped in my car and went and got it. I was Holly Hobby Happy Homemaker stressing about other things like when was the baby’s room going to get done and how was I going to plan the perfect baby shower. But now things have gotten a little more complicated. Now we throw a baby into the mix.

Here is a little look inside my very small head:

We have no food! There’s nothing in the freezer! There’s nothing in the fridge! There’s nothing in the pantry. I guess there’s soup. But who wants to eat soup! What will I do! Toby will be mad if I don’t cook dinner. He doesn’t want me to bother him with these things while he is working but what am I going to do? What to do! What to do! What to do!

We have no money in our checking account right now (nothing to worry about just a timing issue of checks coming in late… common when you run your own business) AND Toby won’t let me take Baby Bug in my car because he thinks it isn’t safe. (We are getting a new car but not for a few months, when those big checks come in) This is wrecking havoc on my life. I can’t go to the store because I can’t drive my unsafe car with the baby in it. I can’t leave the baby because I am breast feeding and Toby has the most stressful job in the world and he can’t handle a hungry crying baby when he’s dealing with his hungry crying clients. What to do!

Round and round and round I go fretting about what to make for dinner! How stupid is this? I’m having the same level of stress I used to have at my corporate job when I’d had ten jobs lined up with due dates looming, my phone ringing off the hook, dumb meetings that wasted my time and sales people salivating at my door. I can feel the old ache in my shoulders, the pinch in my neck, the pain running down my arm through my elbow and into my hand. What is wrong with me! I’m getting all worked up over broccoli?!!!

Well of course it isn’t just that. There’s that blurb I read in my “What to Expect in the First Year” about not using a pacifier as a crutch and now I’m worrying every time Baby Bug fusses whether or not I should stick the plug in her mouth because that’s what she really really wants. She won’t take my boob unless she’s super hungry and she turns into badger baby if I force her. The only thing that seems to calm her down is the pacifier. Does she have nipple confusion? Should I call the doctor?

And then what about her spots? Is it really just normal baby acne if it’s all over the back of her head? Pimples have sprouted out of almost every single pore in her cheeks, neck and head. Could it be a milk allergy? Heat rash? Maybe the breast milk that squirts all over her is clogging her pores and I should wash her face more often. But washing her too much in this dry winter air might dry out and irritate her skin? And then there’s her diaper rash that just won’t go away no matter what kind of cream I use. What should I do!!! Call the doctor? Make an appointment to go back to the house of horrors and germs? The doctor said not to call unless she had a fever. She has no fever.

The only one getting a fever is me getting all worked up about every little thing.

When I try and discuss my million and one worries with Toby, he gets very exasperated with me very quickly. It’s tough having your office in your home. I have to remember that even though he’s just down the hall, he’s at work. His job is very stressful. He’s doing everything he can to make it so that I can stay home and be a mom. It’s nearly impossible to live where we live on a single income. There’s a reason we don’t own a home yet.

I have to imagine that even though his door is open, he’s at work. His desk and office floor are covered in piles and piles of papers and magazines. Projects teeter upon projects, his phone rings constantly, his computer is buzzing and whirring as he applies filter after filter to the images from his latest shoot. He cusses and swears when he loses his internet connection for the fifth time today. I can see his schedule is covered with scribbles of appointments and meetings and photo shoots. His billing hasn’t been done for months… everything is just chaos. The last thing Toby needs right now (or ever really) is me whining and complaining that we don’t have any broccoli in the house and as a breast feeding mother I need my green vegetables.

I have none of this in perspective and I whine and complain anyway. Toby just looks at me and tells me that I’m doing everything just fine. Just fine?!!! Every thihg is just fine?

I know on some level I am doing fine… it’s just so hard for me to digest that. How can I be doing just fine when I have so many problems circling around in my head? I have to look back and remember how worried and stressed I was in the first few days when my milk wasn’t coming in and I was so afraid that Baby Bug was going to starve to death. I have to remember that it was important that I worried and stressed back then. It is because I attempted to nurse around the clock that my milk did finally come in and in great abundance. Even though I thought I was a wreck, I was just being a good mom.

Someday after this passes, I’ll realize that I’m doing okay. It just doesn’t feel like it right now.

Spotty Days

Now that Baby Bug has a full blown case of baby acne, I’m wondering if the same hormones that are messing with her body are the ones that are playing ping pong with mine. She woke up this morning with spots everywhere. On her cheeks, on her neck and even on the back of her head. I woke up crying. I hope it will pass.

It’s funny. I know I’m doing a good job being a mom. Baby Bug is getting chubbier every day. But the nursing just seems so unnatural sometimes. I guess I always thought I’d be like Brooke Shields in Blue Lagoon and the baby would find her way to my nipple all by herself. I didn’t realize how agonizing it would be to not be able to make your baby happy over and over and over again. Sometimes I feel like such a failure. I know I’m not. But it’s hard to not feel like one.

I figure it’s just hormones. Not full blown postpartum blues. Just a case of the neglatives. You know, when everything in your house seems dirty and if the cat throws up one more time in your favorite pair of shoes, you swear you are going to throw the cat out the window.

When Toby and I couldn’t agree on what design we should go with for our month-late birth announcements, I completely fell apart. I started questioning my whole identity. If I’m not a good designer any more, then who am I? Should I take my whole website down because I feel like my work is flat and I can’t figure out how to get my gallery pages back up? The doubts rained down on me like hail.

I know I’m a mom now and that is the best job I can ever have…but is that enough? Will I disappear into diaper-and-spit-up-land and be forgotten? And why am I so driven by praise? Isn’t doing what’s right for Baby Bug enough? Why do I feel like I need a cheering section just to get through the day?