Baby Jail

New moms are especially familiar with the hell on earth that is Baby Jail. This is a jail with no walls and no crapper in the living area, unless you count the portable crapper have to carry around constantly who is forever loading their diaper. Instead, Baby Jail is this place that you feel like you entered into freely and willingly while you were an optimistically bloated pregnant human whale, but an experience that went decidedly downhill once a baby came forth from you and you, well, supposedly prospered. Instead, you found yourself in this timeless zone of repetition - the nap, eat, poop, nap, eat, poop, nap, eat, poop drumbeat of all - and found you lost your mind along with your dignity - that is, if dignity has anything to do with not caring if the neighbours you have never met personally, but who have windows that look onto your kitchen area, now have intimate details about you like the fact that your areolas are so terribly big that your breastfeeding child's head doesn't even come close to covering them up. 

Baby Jail is a place from which you think you will never emerge because leaving this prison means that you have to get an infant ready and into a carseat which sounds easy but sleep-deprivation and not knowing what the fuck you are doing combine to make it impossible to leave the house for many, many hours and sometimes days. These many hours and days you presumably used to use to do things like: Watch endless television, paint your toenails, eat out with friends, drink, stare blankly at the wall, run for political office - whatever. The fact that it can take a person that long to leave the house with a baby demonstrates that Baby Jail is a wiley, twilight-zoney place where time bends and then your kid is turning two and you've basically been in a fugue state since someone after the first big contraction. Baby Jail doesn't fuck around. Baby Jail proves that time waits for no woman. 

Baby Jail also makes things like socializing with friends or ever sitting down again at a restaurant seem like laughable ideas which you remember fondly and then try to drown that bleary-eyed nostalgia with wine but then only achieve a hangover which is three hundred million times worse than before you entered Baby Jail. You consider a twelve step program but then realize that you'd get laughed out of it because you only drink one a week, never more than two glasses of wine, and only get hangovers and question the basic tenets of your life if you cross the line and HAVE THREE GLASSES. Then you remember when you used to be cool. At least you think you used to be cool. Maybe you were cool. Actually, that was more liekly your sister. 

Baby Jail is also characterized by Programs where you find other wide-eyed women desperately searching for the Truth. Maybe it's more like a cult that way. In any case, you have lots of company where factions are created and destroyed, much like high school, and like any clique-like environment, you're pretty sure you'll never really fit in. 

I imagine that one gets released from Baby Jail at some point, but this is my first big stretch of time and a haven't heard anything about parole except maybe some whispers about your little super pooper finally going off to school and then you becoming mildly depressed and so take up a craft or immediately replace the newly departed almost-adult with a furbaby that meets your needs and has many of your same snacking interests and nap-time routines as you.

Baby Jail is, in effect, a place where we go to resocialized into learning to live for someone else which, in the end, is both the greatest mindfuck and the biggest gift that anyone can be given.