The 4-month slump.

Mother Nuts: n. the intermittent state of insanity experienced by mothers and directed at their children, characterized by a melodramatic self-pity and often punctuated with childlike tantrums usually triggered by the smallest of perceived transgressions.

“I flicked water on the bathroom mirror with my toothbrush for ten minutes straight instead of brushing my teeth like my mom told me, and she went all mother nuts on me for no reason at all.”

I’ve never been very good with change or chaos, despite what I say to people who ask how I’m dealing with both the change and chaos of a new baby. I’m kind of a lunatic, actually. The last movie I should be watching right now is Braveheart, where hairy men in skirts paint their faces blue and chop people’s legs off while bagpipes (the most insane instrument known to man) blare merrily in the background, yet here I sit halfway through it, at ten o’clock on a Tuesday night with Arbor sleeping in my arms and my children cowering on the other side of the house–mommy does not appreciate fine toothbrush spatter art, as it turns out.

My brain is buzzing and I can’t think straight. I’m tired y’all, and the thing of it is, I’m not sure I have an excuse anymore. My baby is 4 months old now–hardly a newborn. She sleeps okay most nights (unless she has a cold and finds it amusing wake up every five minutes from 10 p.m. til 4 in the morning.) She’s no longer colicky, which is good because I had begun to google “how to rip out your own eardrums” because I JUST CANNOT EVEN with the screaming.

I have friends with babies. These friends are homeschooling older children and organizing bible studies, and working actual jobs, and making their own baby food from organic pears–one of them even does all this and more with two babies! And me? It takes me half an hour to brush my teeth and put on a bra.

Postpartumness is a suck fest from which there is no escape, unless you’ve been disciplined at sleep-training your baby, eating wholesome foods, and getting the proper amount of exercise.

January is cold and nasty and that’s how I feel: cold and nasty. Mainly, cold. I’m having one of those weeks where I’m convinced I’m an awful mother, a hideous wife, a horrible daughter/daughter-in-law/sister/aunt, a crappy friend, and a terrible Christian–with a haircut that makes me look like an electrocuted Ramona Quimby on a good day. I haven’t painted anything in almost a year. Expectations on all fronts are not so high, in theory–why is it so hard to meet any of them?

There’s a million books and articles I could read on how to be more productive as a person but…reading. Brain. Fog.

This isn’t one of those feel-good stories where I find the silver lining with the help of a comforting bible verse. What I really want is a mother-freakin’ bagel and a nap, plus maybe to pee without a baby in my lap. I guess I can take pride in how talented I am in that way. Well, crap, there’s a silver lining right there. Stupid silver lining.

But I am talented.

I don’t need help. I might be slow as bread, but I’ll adjust eventually, wrangling my children and counting to ten in a vaguely Scottish accent all the while. Just smile and nod and bless my heart if you encounter me in public until then.


About Toni

Mom. Wife. Artist. I take care of the kids and pretend to clean sometimes. I can cook spagetti and I have never been arrested. View all posts by Toni

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