Thursday, May 30, 2013

Best Laid Plans — UPDATE

Lots of people have asked about my friend I referred to in Best Laid Plans.

With a lighthearted laugh she blames it on the chemicals, the oxytocin released at birth. She loves her son. Loves him "so much it hurts. Like literally hurts." Her family thinks she's crazy because this comes as such a surprise to her. "They don't understand that I really did not expect to love my baby."

It's not easy. He's not a good sleeper and the broken schedule is wearing on her. (This is a common theme among the parents of newborns in my life right now.) She's so tired. Every conversation starts with how goddamn tired she is. And it's dull. Her son is gorgeous, but he's not very interesting right now.

And her instincts aren't finely honed. This bothers her. Dad's a pro, like he's done this before. He anticipates the baby's needs, knows how to quiet him, can interpret the cries in a way she's still struggling to do. She's self-conscious about it, but considering this wasn't ever her dream she's not surprised that she's absolutely clueless. But she wishes she was better at it. I have a feeling every mom probably feels that way.

She's worried about what this means for her career. She's the primary breadwinner in the relationship, the one with the degree and the good job. The one with benefits. They know they can't survive — not near Chicago at least — on Dad's salary, but the cost of childcare is so daunting she's admittedly in denial about it. Budgeting terrifies her. It's never been something she's had to do before, and now money is suddenly very tight. It's uncomfortable for her. This was exactly why she didn't want children.

I have faith they can get past all of this because she does love the hell out of her son and her husband. She's learning to be a mom and getting better at it. I'm hopeful for them. I get the impression that things are going as well as could be expected, if not better. 

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