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“It Gets Better…”—Okay, So When Exactly?

28 Weeks
28 Weeks

Everybody said so: “raising kids gets easier with time, it does get better”.

These wise souls just didn’t say when.

Some days, I’m incredibly frustrated with Mark, so frustrated that I feel like bursting into tears and sobbing uncontrollably. Correction—I do sob uncontrollably but can’t indulge for too long because I usually have to comfort Mark afterwards.

Some days, I wish I could run away and start a new life somewhere in the jungle under a new identity (like “Jane”, for instance).

Some days, I wonder if I will ever get a life back. Like, you know, being able to relax a bit, and indulging in spending more than five seconds in the bathroom.

I’m not going to lie: raising a baby is probably the hardest job I have ever had. It beats being on call 24/7 for a political party or standing around in the cold selling flowers in front of a LCBO (yes, I had shitty jobs in the past).

I just want Mark to be happy. Sure, he is going to cry once in a while, but I hate the constant whining, sobbing, drama, crankiness, fusiness. Okay, maybe it’s not “constant” but it certainly feels like it some days.

I don’t mind completing the “baby duties”, such as feeding, bathing, changing, entertaining, teaching, playing, cutting nails and hair, cleaning, etc. Sure, it’s tiring and somewhat repetitive but I feel like I accomplish something.

What I hate is trying to keep a fussy six-month-old baby busy. There is only so much you can do with a baby. You can’t play for too long, they get tired and frustrated. You can’t really do your usual tasks and include the baby in them—they demand a lot of attention and you have to stop whatever you were doing every five seconds. So you are left being frustrated because you can’t exactly just sit around all day with the baby in your arm.

Some days, I just don’t have the energy anymore. I’m so tired that I can’t think straight. I barely remember what I did the previous day, and I can only hope for the day to end. I’m going through the motion in autopilot and the worst part is, I feel like I don’t have any stamina left for “fun stuff”, like playing with Mark or just being a “nice mother” instead of his personal slave.

Cause that’s what it feels like—bloody slavery. “I’m hungry, feed me”. “I’m tired, hold me.” “I’m bored, make funny noises.” Okay, he doesn’t exactly say that but that’s how it works and trust me, he knows how to get what he wants.

He is strong too. He kicks, punches, hits, and I have to “restrain” him when I change him, bath him or feed him so that he doesn’t get hurt—and so that I don’t get more bruises. I hate that. I wish we could cuddle, I don’t always feel like being kicked all the time, nine months of that was enough, merci beaucoup.

And it’s just the two of us, Feng and I. Whenever I take a break, Feng has to take care of him, whenever he is busy it’s my turn. Because of course, on top of being parents-in-training, we are also both working, both freelancing from home. But I don’t truly relax when Feng takes care of him—not because I don’t trust him he does an awesome job, but because I know he is as tired and busy as I am. And I’m terrified one of us is going to break down, mentally or physically. And we have no backup. It’s the two of us and Mark, that’s it.

That’s a shitload of responsibilities on my shoulders. And I do take my role seriously… but I can only do so much.

I don’t know how other people do it. I feel bad complaining, really, because I think we still have it easy. Mark is, despite everything I just wrote, fairly easy-going. I met a mother at the playground who had twins the same age as Mark, and one of them has Down Syndrome—how does she do it? I see parents with two, three, four very young kids—they seem to survive just fine.

Am I just a whiner? It’s kind of taboo to write, as a mother, that you are tired of your own kid. I hate admitting it, but that’s how I feel sometimes.

I wish someone could take care of me like I take care of baby Dragon.

I know Mark is cute, that he is bright and smart, and that he loves us. Well, hopefully he does.

But some days… some days, I wish it’d be easier. Who would have thought being a family was so much work?

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