I was exhausted today. More than only exhausted.
Lack of sleep, arms and hips hurting.
Headache, from lack of sleep.
Hands as well, from holding the baby.
I broke down for a while today. I burst out crying from sleep deprivation and pain everywhere in my body.
But there she is. Sleeping for a bit, waking up crying.
She demands to see the lights around our apartment, especially the Christmas tree.
She needs to drink a lot of milk. But she cries a lot when she “has to” drink from sucking on the nipples instead of from a bottle.
So I broke down. Exhausted and hurt.
I can’t be a good mother now. I’m an exhausted one that’s not taking care of myself.
When I’m in pieces, I can’t take care of my baby.
I’m now a bad mother.
I don’t know where to ask for help when my husband is at work.
I don’t have anybody around me who can help me.
Who can just take the baby for a little while so I can take a power nap.
Who can hold the baby for a little while so I can rest my arms a little bit.
There’s no help.
I remembered when I was in college, I was living alone.
My next-door neighbors were a young couple with two daughters. A girl about 4 years old, another baby girl who was a few months old.
One afternoon, I heard someone knocking on my door.
I opened the door. There stood the mother.
“Sorry to disturb. Would you mind keeping an eye on my baby? I really need to take a ten-minutes nap.”
So I went to their living room, to play with the baby for a little bit.
The baby girl was in a good mood. I spent some time showing her colored blocks and rattling bunnies, while her mother was taking a nap in the bedroom.
Ten minitutes later, the mother came out, and thanked me again.
She was a responsible mother. She asked for help.
She knew that she had to take care of herself before taking care of her baby.
Only when ourselves are taken care of, could we take care of others.
Then we are good parents.