No one is ever quite ready; everyone is always caught off guard. Parenthood chooses you. And you open your eyes, look at what you’ve got, say “Oh, my gosh,” and recognize that of all the balls there ever were, this is the one you should not drop. It’s not a question of choice.
–from Love Walked In, by Marisa de los Santos
So, when last we left off, I was telling you how hard having a newborn is. Four weeks later, it’s still hard, but it’s gotten infinitely easier. Part of it is getting more sleep – Maggie regularly gives us a good 4-hour stretch the first sleep of the night, then two more stretches between 2 and 3 hours each – though I am living for the day I get at least 6 hours in a row. Part of it is that now I know her better, and we have a rhythm – learning her sleep cues and watching her awake time to get her down for naps before she starts fussing has been key. Part of it is growing out of the constant crying, and although we probably still have a few more weeks of regular nighttime fussiness ahead, she’s already so much better in that department.
She’s also started smiling, which is basically the best thing in the world and makes everything else seem like not that big a deal.
But there are other things that are harder now. David and I butt heads constantly and sometimes I think we’re not going to make it. And in the worst of those times, I think I don’t care if we do. We were such a team in the beginning, despite a few sleep-deprived hurtful comments, and now it feels like we rarely agree on anything relating to Maggie and each of us is so sure we’re right that we don’t try to see the other’s point of view. I feel like I’m constantly asking his permission for things and he feels like I’m constantly telling him he’s wrong. I don’t know how to get through this.
There’s already so much doubt and judgment in parenting, and when the person who shares this responsibility with me questions the way I do things or the suggestions I make, it makes it that much worse. As I write that, of course, I realize I’m probably causing the same anxiety in him.
I do care, of course, and I don’t want to split up. Even in my worst, angriest, saddest moments, I know we’re better together than apart. I also know it’s unwise to make any big decisions when my hormones are still all over the place and I’m still so sleep-deprived. And so I bite my tongue. Some things, once said, can’t ever be taken back.