You know, when I learned I was pregnant I was so happy. Coming from a family of three in which I was the eldest (my little sister is seven years younger than me and my brother ten years younger), I always knew I wanted children of my own.
Intellectually, I knew that it would be hard. I knew that it would change my world completely and irrevocably in an instant. I knew that I would be getting a lot less sleep, that I would have to juggle with well-intentioned suggestions from the people around me, that my life would revolve around the needs of the new life I created.
I also knew that I would be getting a lot of support, from my boyfriend – the wonderful man with whom I had this child, from my family and from my friends. Trust me, you know all these things intellectually, but you don’t actually know them until they actually happen.
Now, you might be wondering what all this has to do with communication. No worries, I’m getting there.
The single hardest thing that I have been dealing with ever since my son was born isn’t the lack of sleep, or the seemingly incessant visits. It’s not the sometimes sore breasts, or the fact that I can’t just decide on a whim to go anywhere. It’s not even the subtle and not-so-subtle pearls of wisdom that some of the people around me seem intent on bestowing upon me. No, the hardest part in all this is not being able to tell, with a decent amount of accuracy why my son is crying, or cranky, looks like he is in pain or not sleeping (even when I know that he IS sleepy).
I mean, it is absolutely heart-wrenching not being able to cater to your child’s every need as soon as they appear because you, as a mother, can’t read the cues. I don’t think I can even quantify the number of forums and websites I’ve been on during or between feedings in the past two weeks. I’ve been observing my son, trying to figure him out, but each time I think I’ve found out what makes him tick, he throws a curve ball at me, it seems.
That being said, I know I am a good mother. I follow my instincts, I do everything I can for my child. I sometimes feel like crying when I look at him just because I am overcome with the feeling of love that I have towards him. But boy is it hard sometimes, when nothing I do seems to work.