It’s not that you don’t love your bundle of joy. It’s not that a contented coo doesn’t make your heart melt. It’s just that…well…sometimes babies are boring.
And I don’t just mean newborns are boring. We know they sleep all day. (The problem is they don’t also sleep all night.) I mean one-year-olds. Even older kids, sometimes. My three-year-old “April Fooled” us that there was a lion in the yard no fewer than twenty times in a row. Whew.
It makes me feel terrible to say it, but honestly, taking care of a child all day can be mind-crushingly dull.
All They Do Is Eat
If you breastfed, I’m sure you were feeling in touch with your mammalian cousins. You’ve got a babe hanging off your boobs all day and all night. But it’s no picnic with formula either. You have sit still, hold the baby and the bottle, and everybody gets spit up on them no matter what.
It feels like all you have time to do is throw everyone’s spitty shirt in the wash, it’s time to do it all over again.
The same thing applied once solid food started. Only then, I was cooking the food, preparing it, cleaning it, AND still dealing with the bottle/nursing thing.
Prisoner of Nap Schedule
My friend’s son is still taking two naps a day, and she complains regularly about not being able to go anywhere. On one hand, naps are awesome. They are “me” time, if “me” just loves having time to do laundry, clean up baby food, and go the bathroom in peace.
Naps also tether you to the house. My son was and is not the type of child to sleep in public—even as a baby. He also got into an overtired vortex without a properly timed nap. Does this sound familiar? Naps were crucial, so timing outings to return in time for them was too.
Spontaneity is History
Babies, and children generally, thrive on consistency. You can tell they are happier, more compliant, and sweeter when they’re not overtired or hungry. (Aren’t we all?) But you’ve been an adult for a long time. Long enough to enjoy mixing it up a little. Doing things on a whim.
Now you can’t go anywhere without two tons of gear or a babysitter on standby.
It makes you feel predictable. Stuck in a rut. Now you’re boring too.
What To Do About It?
Gain perspective. All those old ladies who told you this time in your life is a “blink of an eye” all the while you felt like it’d been going on for decades? Well, don’t smack me, but: they’re right. It will end, and it will end soon.
That fact won’t necessarily help your day-to-day. What helped me was tweaking things. If you’re exhausted, have daddy or a friend keep the baby all night so you can sleep and sleep in. You don’t need to sleep until noon to feel good. Now you just need eight uninterrupted hours.
Hire a babysitter and go to lunch or be really wild and sneak off to a matinee. I know. Your idea of fun used to be partying until 3 a.m. That was then. Now an okay-ish movie in the afternoon will feel nothing less than decadent.
Most of all, find friends who have kids your age. Parenthood wasn’t always so isolating. People hung out together with their kids. Bring that back. You have no idea how refreshing a music class is. Or watching your kids play while chatting with a friend at the park. Sharing the experience makes it joyful.
Still thinking changing the thirteenth diaper today is dull? Don’t worry. You’re not a bad mother. And (shhhh) you’re not alone either.
Q: Were you a little bored with mommy duties? What did you do to keep it fun?