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8 weeks - shadows of echoes of memories of songs — LiveJournal
j4
j4
8 weeks
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j4 From: j4 Date: June 3rd, 2011 03:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's an interesting angle on it -- thank you. I will try to compose something coherent.

The main thing that occurs to me is that I thought it'd take a conscious effort to love something that's basically a wailing animal, but it's a totally different sort of love & it kind of overwhelmed me.

I also thought I was prepared for all the negative emotions, & that I had coping strategies for depression, & it turns out I wasn't prepared & my coping strategies all require me to be able to sleep for more than 2 hours at a time. :-(

I am pleased to note that despite all the people who said "you'll totally stop being interested in [everything I was interested in before]", I haven't stopped being interested in other things at all -- I just have very little time/energy to do anything about most other interests (so, to try to give people the benefit of the doubt, maybe that's sort of what they meant...).
juggzy From: juggzy Date: June 4th, 2011 10:00 am (UTC) (Link)
The main thing that occurs to me is that I thought it'd take a conscious effort to love something that's basically a wailing animal, but it's a totally different sort of love & it kind of overwhelmed me.

This is what I understand it to be; not having had children (not through choice, but, you know) I've been aware - perhaps more so than many parents - of the unknowingness of this 'thing', this parental love that you have no choice but to accept. It's a bit like a blind person being aware of the colour red. As you have recently gone from a state of unknowingness of this thing, to knowing of it, I thought you might be able to capture the difference between the imagining and the reality.

YOu're the last person in the world likely to turn into a mumzilla! I mean that in a very good way.
monkeyhands From: monkeyhands Date: June 8th, 2011 05:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am pleased to note that despite all the people who said "you'll totally stop being interested in [everything I was interested in before]", I haven't stopped being interested in other things at all -- I just have very little time/energy to do anything about most other interests (so, to try to give people the benefit of the doubt, maybe that's sort of what they meant...).

There's a subset of the "you won't be interested in [X]" crowd who just mean "You'll become a selfish bell-end as soon as you have a baby", which really means "I'm a selfish bell-end and I'm hoping people will think it's because I've had a baby".

As for the others, I don't quite know what they meant. As for myself, I never thought for a second that you'd stop being interested in stuff, but I did expect you to sort of mentally and physically check out of things for a while. I thought you'd be too wrapped up in the baby, at least for the first six weeks or so, to think about much else at all, and I was astonished when I realised you were surfing the web, checking Twitter, etc.
j4 From: j4 Date: June 10th, 2011 06:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
I thought you'd be too wrapped up in the baby, at least for the first six weeks or so, to think about much else at all, and I was astonished when I realised you were surfing the web, checking Twitter, etc.

I really hope you didn't mean it like this, but to me this sounds like you're saying I should have been spending more time with the baby rather than faffing about on the internet. :-(

To be honest I thought I'd be too wrapped up in her to do anything else at all, too. What I hadn't really realised properly was that looking after a baby involved spending a lot of time exhausted and miserable, on my own in the dark in the middle of the night, being solely responsible for the survival of a small screaming kicking clawing animal that doesn't even know how to make eye contact, & spending about 12 hours of every day trying to feed said animal (which was - and still mostly is - difficult and painful and stressful). It felt horribly isolating & I was in desperate need of reassurance that there were other human beings out there. I think I would have gone completely mad if it wasn't for Twitter. Going completely mad is still on the cards, to be honest, though things feel _slightly_ easier now that she can look at people and even smile a bit & is a bit more human. Still not easy though, & the knowledge that I have to carry on doing this for another year or so makes me cry with despair most days.

And I don't write much about this because a) I know it makes me look like an even worse mother than I am, and b) I'm now part of the conspiracy that tells everybody how wonderful it is having babies.

I wonder if some of the people who "become a selfish bell-end" when they have kids actually just find they don't have enough energy left over for looking after other people as well as keeping themselves and their child(ren) alive. I guess that's what selfishness is, though, isn't it.
monkeyhands From: monkeyhands Date: June 12th, 2011 02:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I really hope you didn't mean it like this, but to me this sounds like you're saying I should have been spending more time with the baby rather than faffing about on the internet. :-(

Aaaargh! No! I've only just seen your reply, sorry, because I've been off my computer for a couple of days. No, what I meant was exactly what I said: I thought you would sort of check out of contact with other people for a while, and I was surprised when you didn't. Of course staying in touch with the rest of the world isn't a bad thing for a new parent to do, and I'm sorry if my tone made it sound that way.

My model for what new parents do is (as you'd expect) based on the new parents I've known, and they seem to divide into the holding-court camp and the hide-in-a-hole camp. I thought you would be more on the hide-in-a-hole spectrum because I knew it had been a difficult birth and I'd been warned that you didn't want too many visitors in the early days.

All I was saying is that I had assumptions and you proved them wrong. I'd never say for a minute that it's bad to keep your brain engaged and interact with other people.
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