The Physicality of MotherhoodMadelinePetersen
Being a mom is touchy business. No, I don’t mean all the mom wars of over vaccines, co-sleeping vs. crying it out, formula vs. breast, or staying at home vs. working. I mean my baby is touching me all the time.
Before I had Tate my day to day life was incredibly hands off. Working in an office that was 99% male had me spending my day keeping my hands to myself. There were a few hours in the evening spent with my husband, but let’s be real. We were usually cradling our laptops on opposite ends of the couch.
Having a baby throws you immediately into a routine centered on touch. Between kisses, cuddles, baths, baby wearing, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, tickles, hand holding, and cheek pinching, I am touching my baby the majority of every day. If I had to guess, I would estimate that at least 20 hours of my day are spent in direct contact with Tate. Which is awesome. And exhausting.
The other night my husband I talked about the stark differences in our relationships and roles in Tate’s life. We talked about my role as the “soothing” one. When Tate is hungry, sleepy, or grumpy, I usually deal with him. It’s not because Steve is not good at soothing him, or that he is not willing (he often volunteers to help out), but Steve’s schedule keeps him so busy that I know that when he takes time to hang out with Tate, he wants to play and wrestle with him, and I want them to have that Daddy-son bond which is so vital. Not to mention, Steve can’t breastfeed Tate which is what Tate is looking for when his mood swings to the negative side of the spectrum. My breaks are few and far between with Tate, and all day and night we are constantly in contact with each other.
I just never realized how physically intense this mothering gig is.
Do you find being a mom physically exhausting? Any tips to deal with it?
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