You are asleep now, but I can still hear your cries echoing in the back of my head.
You were so unhappy today.
And every time you woke up, you had these few minutes of happiness, where you’d smile and look at me, and God did I grasp at them desperately. Your smiles were what kept me going today.
Because your crying and your screaming stuck in my brain, and all I could hear in them was “mama, I don’t feel good, make it go away,” but I couldn’t. I couldn’t do anything, and daddy couldn’t either, and each time we’d take turns holding you while you cried, we’d look at each other across the room, like “what can we do?”
And I cried, I cried a lot today. I cried because I feed you, food that my body produces for you, and today that food upset you, and made you feel sick. And when you cried, I cried. And when you finally fell asleep, as daddy patiently walked you back and forth across our tiny living room, I cried again. And I’m crying again now, because it’s days like this that I realize I am in control of nothing and I’m sorry.
I’m doing the best I can, I promise. I barely had the energy to get out of bed, and I felt like my legs were made of wood – by 5 o’clock tonight, I was so tired I didn’t feel like I could walk back and forth across the living room even once. But thank god daddy could.
I’m burnt out, kid. I was burnt out weeks ago, but today I just felt myself go blank, holding you while you screamed and every part of me that was hurting for you just slipped away. I didn’t feel anything for just a little bit, I stared at the dark TV and pondered the ceiling. And then I snapped back to reality, and kissed your forehead and rocked you and sang to you and nursed you, and you still weren’t happy. You cried tears and I kissed every damn one of them and wiped them away. You cried yourself hoarse and you were red in the face.
And I was helpless.
You’re asleep now. Thank god. Not just for the silence, but because you are getting the rest you also so obviously need. I keep checking on you, peaking over the pillow at the rock and play you’re sleeping in next to the bed. I can always tell when you’re deep asleep in that thing, because you keep your arms down at your sides (and I can always tell when you’re asleep in your pack-n-play because you lay on your side with your hands clasped in front of your face, or splayed out, limbs spread all over).
I’m tired, kid. I have never been so tired in my life. I’m weary down to my bones, and some days I’m so tired I can barely find the energy to roll over and give you a pacifier when you wake up in the morning, let alone pick you up to feed you. Somehow, I dig deep and find some hidden reserve of energy to get up, to swing my legs over the edge of the bed, to pick you up.
Motherhood is hard. Parenting is hard. You give and give and give and you try to recharge only to be interrupted and give again. I need to recharge.
I love you, but please let mommy sleep tomorrow.