For any parents, there is a new F word that we cringe at.
My daughter has been going through a bit of a terrible phase. She seems to be fussy more often than not, and as any parent knows, a fussy baby can eat up your whole day. I spend my days pacing the apartment, rocking in the rocker, dancing like a monkey on the pier for change, all to keep her satisfied.
Before any other parents pop in and ask me if she has colic or gas or reflux or any of those other very important questions. No. She doesn’t.
Her fussiness is not nonstop crying, or being impossible to soothe. It is more like a diva throwing a tantrum, storming to her trailer and refusing to come out to film her scenes at the very end of a very hectic work day. She is calm and happy so long as I am interacting with her. In my arms, she is a happy baby, but I can’t live my whole life with her in my arms.
I feel like the whole becoming a parent journey is glamorized. No one was admitting how awful pregnancy was, no one was talking about how it felt more like a virus you couldn’t kick than the glow often advertised. No one mentioned the excruciating pain of pre-labour that broke you in a way that’s indescribable. They say they often can’t remember the pain of labour, because once they saw their baby, nothing else mattered.
I saw my baby and felt a love that made me feel so full, but once that epidural wore off, the pain and discomfort was there. Bathroom runs were terrifying and despite all the photos I saw of sleeping moms in the hospital, I couldn’t get a single wink of sleep no matter the weight of my exhaustion.
No one mentions how for the first month your baby is here, you are shell shocked. You are doing routine sitz baths, covered in breast milk, wearing pads you could use as a raft to escape a deserted island, exhausted, and if you’re breastfeeding, you are living off the couch.
Another thing not a lot of parents are admitting, is that not all babies are easy. Most of them are difficult in their own way… and being a new parent at times, can seem downright awful. Then, something happens that shines this bright light on your heart and reminds you why you wanted this… and then that moment is gone and you’re drowning again.
My daughter is sweet, she is adorable, and I love her more than I can put into words. However, she is a fussy baby. She likes around the clock attention, otherwise she is screaming.
And it’s okay to admit that.
Babies are different. Some are quiet, some are content, some are inconsolable, others are just fussy.
Fussy, fussy, fussy.
As parents, we should talk about this. We should be open to discussing that our babies are sometimes frustrating and despite our best efforts, fussy. It seems most parents will only admit to a fussy baby based on circumstance.
“He’s fussy because he’s sick.”
“She’s fussy because she’s tired.”
“He’s fussy because he’s hungry.”
Let me be the first to say my daughter is just plain fussy. Tummy full, in good health, well rested fussy.
And that’s okay.