i’m becoming a frazzled mom

i managed to get ramona to go down for a nap using the “drowsy but awake” method. i really need to start employing that more. it beats the pants off waiting for her to fall asleep before i put her down, & she’s clearly old enough for it now.

speaking of being old enough for things…ramona is just about seven months old, gestationally speaking. & she will be nine months old in real time at the end of the month. but she seems to have hit a wall with her developmental milestones. she can’t sit up on her own yet (like, get into a sitting position; she’s pretty good at sitting without falling over if we place her into a sitting position). she’s not pulling herself up on things, like the couch or her crib railing. she hasn’t really managed to get up on her hands & knees yet to prepare for crawling. she lays on her belly & thrusts out her arms & legs. she can’t seem to get her knees underneath her body.

i know kids reach milestones at different times & technically, she’s only seven months old. maybe that really is a little bit early to be doing some of this stuff? it’s also worth noting that she’s huge. she’s already outgrowing nine-month size clothing. i’m not sure how much she weighs, but i’ll estimate her at about 23 pounds. (for those that don’t know, this would put her in the 100th percentile for seven-month-old babies.) i have read that larger babies are sometimes slower to hit gross motor skill milestones, simply because they have more bulk to lug around. so maybe that’s holding her back a little bit too?

she sees the pediatrician again next month for her nine-month check-up, so i’m going to try not to worry about it before then. & who knows? maybe she’ll be doing some of this stuff by then. she just woke up one day & decided it was time to roll all day long. one day she was just suddenly able to sit unsupported for hours at a time. maybe it’ll be the same way with everything else. i just worry a tiny bit because she was so premature, & maybe there is some kind of developmental delay.

anyway! jared starts school again next week. he’s teaching this semester, which means he has a larger workload. he has to lead discussion sections, grade, & still make time to work on his dissertation. his schedule is also more erratic, because he’s not teaching at the same time everyday. this is all stressful for me because it means that i will possibly end up doing more baby care, & it makes it more difficult to set schedules. i live & die by my schedules & to-do lists. when i have tried to be more relaxed & not consult them, i really do just forget stuff.

bart was visiting from philadelphia last week, which was a huge disruption to the regular schedule. but it worked out okay for me because jared would take ramona on these long outings to, like, oswatomie (to see john brown’s restored & preserved cabin) & it gave me time to race around & take care of errands i’d been putting off for weeks. like photocopying zines. not gonna lie: i actually did have a small panic attack about having to photocopy zines. i’m a little bit agoraphobic & the cheapest copy shop is way the fuck out on 31st & iowa (the southwestern edge of town, & i live in the northeastern area). obviously i have a car & know how to drive it, but i hardly ever use it anymore now that i spend so much of my day looking after ramona. living downtown means that we can walk to several different parks, the toy store, bookstores, the fabric store, coffeeshops, restaurants, the pool, etc. i don’t like taking her out in the car because she always falls asleep in her car seat & i prefer for her to sleep at home where i can get stuff done. anyway. yeah. i got all weird about going to the copy shop & put it off for weeks.

i felt that i had to go to the copy shop to make more copies of “ella funt” because we were going to portland the same weekend as the portland zine symposium. i wasn’t tabling, but i thought i might walk around & try to facilitate some trades. or sell zines to portland shops. instead, i made copies, packed them, & even brought them to the symposium. then i forgot all about them in the face of how overwhelming the event was. zine fairs, craft fairs…that shit is always a little overwhelming. see above re: agoraphobia. but also, there’s just so much to look at, & awkward people to avoid, & all kinds of forced politeness, &…it’s a lot. it wasn’t until i visited a friend’s table & she said, “i want to buy your zine!” that i remembered i had copies with me. & by then, ramona was grumping hard & we’d decided to leave. (she chilled out as soon as we left. i think the whole scene was a little noisy & chaotic for her too.)

the bottom line is that something has to give. having a baby was pretty easy when ramona was a newborn, but she requires so much more interaction & supervision now. i just can’t keep up with everything i was doing before & also be a full-time mom. the problem is going to be figuring out what doesn’t get done anymore, or how to delegate. because i’m sure jared also feels that he is stretched to the outer limits of his time & energy as well. & if his constant remarks along the lines of “i’m going to be a lot busier this year,” “i’m going to need some time in the evenings to work,” “this is nothing compared to how busy i’ll be once i’m working,” etc, are any indication, he’s not looking for extra helpings of responsibility from me.

& what really blows my mind is that we only have one baby! & i really do kind of want at least one more. (in a couple of years, not now.) how on earth will we manage that?! i’m going to have to get way better at prioritizing.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

2 thoughts on “i’m becoming a frazzled mom

  1. Maybe Ramona is just really happy? My unscientific and inexperienced view is that content babies reach milestones later than more restless children. They don’t have the deep seated frustration that pushes them to try to see over the coffee table or whatever, and they’ll get around to standing a little later. The corollary is that first children do things a little later than subsequent kids because they don’t have the same force compelling them to keep up with their older siblings (and because first children get their parents’ undivided time — meaning they have adults to do things for them).

    There you have it — my groundbreaking and totally convincing observations about baby temperament and milestones.

    1. yeah, who knows? i think i am getting thrown off because ramona is so big, like bigger than the average one-year-old, i expect her to be able to do things that one-year-olds are doing. but the reality is that, had she been born on time, she would only be seven months old. it’s not unusual for a seven-month-old to not yet be crawling, let alone standing or cruising. also, most of the babies she socializes with are a couple of months older than her in real age, & even older gestationally. so i compare her against them, but they are developmentally further along.

      i should probably just enjoy this respite while it lasts. i’m honestly not looking forward to having to chase her around & prevent her from finding a new way to kill herself every two minutes.

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