It’s 3am again. This particular time of night and I have become familiar in the last year. Poor little Carl has a stuffy nose so I am awake. He is finally drifting off after being put down twice and soothed for an hour. It’s funny. Well funny in a sad way, but when I thought about having kids in my teens and even in the last few years I always imagined night shift as my partners duty or at least having someone else there to watch the moments with me. A year of being a single mom has taught me a lot, including how rare that fantasy is. Even happily married women end up doing most of what I do which is pretty sad.
Imagine a world where instead of waking up with the baby every time he woke up that first year, someone else took some of the burden. And please don’t mistake my meaning, because there is not a whole lot of warm fuzziness to be found at 3am when you have to clear the snot from an unwilling babies nose by yourself while he screams like he is dying. I have had my mom or sister take him for a few minutes or a few hours while did something or slept a little, but every night of this first year, save one where I left him late and got him early, I’ve been dayshift, night shift, and everything in between.
I love this child. I didn’t make him alone, but somehow he became more mine than anyone elses. And that’s a pretty powerful thing. He and I have a bond. It’s probably fragile and definitely codependent, but it’s there. I’m a lover. I tend to love one person more than makes sense, or is healthy, or logical. Nothing will cure you of that quicker than a baby. I suppose my bit of encouragement for anyone, who like me is listening to the sounds of a toddler talk himself into going back to sleep, is that you can do it by yourself. And you will have to. That guy that was your rock, your special human who professed to love and adore you… He might, but it all might be smoke and mirrors and nothing will help you figure that out like a baby.
Babies are hard, but you can do it. Adulting is hard, but you can do that as well. And if your person isn’t who you expected or isn’t living up to what you need then dump that dude like a bad habit. You and that baby that keeps you up at 3am deserve better.