Wednesday, July 27, 2011

one of "those" posts

another, possibly dreaded, post about being a mom....hopefully you don't all hate it when i write this kind of post.

i have been torn up about this stuff lately. the only person i have REALLY talked to about all of this is steve. i feel guilty feeling the way i feel and yet i think i only feel guilty because no on else says this kind of thing. either people either aren't being very honest because they too feel guilty or don't want to dump their feelings on others, or...i guess i am not the best mom. the mom who lives in every moment and isn't phased by the hard parts of each day.

being a mom is tough. i always knew it would be. i thought that because i had nannied young girls for a couple years i would be more prepared than i am. this newborn thing is harder than i ever imagained! my son cries or is fussy A LOT. more compared to other babies? i don't know. should i be complaining? probably not. this is where the guilt comes in. i don't want to be home with him all day/everyday at this point. i love him so much but he is draining me physically and mentally. i feel like all i do is feed him, change him and rock him. rocking for him means i am up walking back and forth across my main floor holding him. if i sit, he screams, if i stop walking he usually cries then too. once he is finally asleep i try and put him down, either in his crib, on the couch or in his swing and 3/4 of the time he wakes up and cries and wants to be rocked again. if he doesn't wake up i usually only get a 15-20 min break (during the day. evenings he often sleeps a lot longer). i look forward to the times in the day when he is content so that i can lie him on his playmat and let him look at his toys or have him sit on my lap and talk to him and admire those adorable smiles he gives. those times are my FAVOURITE!! i love the content jacob. sadly he isn't content very much in the day. we have had days where he hasn't been content at all. i feel like i am always going back and forth in my head telling myself that when he is content i should be sitting down with him and enjoying him in those moments. i need to be connecting with him and getting refueled for the next round of screams. BUT i am also telling myself that it's important that i eat, get dressed and do my hair so that i feel somewhat normal. i feel guilty if i don't sit with him and yet i feel anxious wondering when i will have time for myself.

my baby doesn't enjoy being held for long when he is awake unless he is being rocked. he doesn't enjoy lying on his playmat for long. he doesn't like to be in his swing. he doesn't like to be in his bouncer. he doesn't like to be in a sling or a carrier. he doesn't like his car seat and he is only happy in the stroller if he is content when y0u put him in there (and even then he won't last longer than 20 mins if he is awake). he wakes up screaming, none of this slowly waking up and stretching and looking around stuff. nope. it's screams from the moment he is out of dreamland.

lately in the night he has been waking up crying every hour or so. he isn't hungry but he is uncomfortable. gassy. he will calm down then start screaming a few seconds later. we rock and bounce him until the pain passes then put him back to sleep. the ovol drops are helping. he doesn't scream all day like he was before. he is much more content, but still not as content as i feel like he should be. i know i don't have another baby to compare him to but shouldn't he be happier? i hate hearing him cry so much. i feel bad for him because i know he is uncomfy. i want to do everything i can to make him feel better (the only thing i can do is rock and bounce him). is this normal? do all moms go through times with their babies when they need this level of attention? do all babies cry like this? we don't like going places with him because we will have to stand and pace and rock him most of the time. going to a restaurant with family or friends or just the two of us isn't an option because we wouldn't be able to sit and eat. right now usually one of us holds and rocks him while the other one eats dinner and then we switch. ugh. it's exhausting.

this is the way he has been for 4 weeks.

i keep looking forward to the next stage. the stage where he can go in a jolly jumper or jumperoo and be happy and bounce around while i get stuff done. the stage where he will sit on our laps and play with a toy at the table while we eat. the stage where he is awake longer and not wanting to sleep so much (ie: be rocked to sleep so much).

you might be wondering how i had time to write this post. well. this morning jacob and i went for a walk and he fell asleep in the stroller. i wheeled the stroller into our basement hallway and left him sleeping in there. i wrote some of this post in 15 mins while he slept. then he woke up and i went and got him. while changing his diaper he settled down and started smiling so i knew he was content enough to lie him on his playmat. he was fine there for 10 mins. then he started fussing so i picked him up and put him in my lap and tried to distract him with his sophie giraffe and his soother while i attempted to proof read. he is now lying on his tummy for tummy time on his playmat (which is about to come to an end since he is getting fussy again).

i feel as though i should always start these kinds of posts with "i love my son. i love being a mom. i wouldn't give it up for anything." etc etc so that no one thinks the opposite. but really, you will judge me if you want to and there isn't much i can do about that i don't have the energy to even care. all those things in the quotation marks are true, of course, but it doesn't make all of this easy.

P.S. i am posting this almost 3 hours after i started writing it...he has been fed again and is asleep, hopefully long enough for me to eat some lunch.


  1. Aw,I totally understand. Audrey stated sleeping 10-12 hours through the night at five weeks but besides that she was super needy during the days and never napped like normal newborns. I think every baby is different. I think the changing point for us was at 4 months when Audrey started crawling. So the first four months were crazy but after that it got so much better because she was able to move and have some independence. I think every mom has those days. I hope that this stage ends soon for you and that lil Jacob starts to show more of his smiles and sleeps more!

  2. I feel for you Lael! And I think that what you are feeling is 100% normal... I have had similar feelings to yours!

    Can I make a recommendation? By no means do I have all the answers, but I figure I can share my experience, right? What I found really helped with Judah was to have a set routine each time before he went to sleep... it took a while, but he learned that after I changed his diaper, swaddled him and held him in the chair and read him a couple of stories/sang a couple of songs, that it meant that sleep came next. I also got some good advice from a book called the Baby Whisperer... of course everything needs to be taken with a grain of salt, but I found a lot of useful tips reading through that book! The author really advocates for predictable routines for baby... not rigid routines, mind you (unlike Baby Wise). So, Judah had a hard time falling asleep on his own and staying asleep for longer than 30 minutes (I would literally have to hold my hand over his eyes for a looooong time to get him to sleep and repeat this after every time he woke up) and after reading that book I came up with a game plan that ended up working for us. I also realized that I became a prop for him... (this is explained in the book, but I guess it is also common sense!) he needed me to rock him or nurse him, or whatever for him to fall asleep, and I needed to teach him how to fall asleep on his own. When you eliminate him having to have you to fall asleep, it means you don't need to hold him all the time, or pace the floors, etc. It took weeks and I was exhausted (crying all of the time, feeling run down), but it has really paid off! Now I can just put him in his crib, give him a kiss and he will sleep for 2 hours straight during the day... well, sometimes he wakes up, but he is able to put himself back to sleep! And this has been going on for months now. He also sleeps for longer stretches at night because he can self-soothe.

    Ok, so I was rambling and all over the place, but I hope I make some sort of sense. I know that it can be so annoying to constantly have people giving suggestions (especially when you feel like you have done everything you can!), but take heart - it WILL get better! It will take a lot of work on your part and on Steve's part, but the hard work will pay off later! I promise! So if you are interested, take a look at that book... it helped me in a lot of ways!

  3. Hey Lael, You need a break- every mom does. Those that don't admit it are lying in my opinion. Can I come by next week and watch him for a couple of hours- or however long you need? I'd love to help you out. It's been a long time since I've had a newborn, but I'm sure it'll come back to me. Let me know, cuz I'd LOVE to give you a hand. Msg me a good time.

  4. Dear Lael,
    I will never judge you, and firmly believe that no one should. Being a parent has to be the toughest job on the face of the earth. I know you love it, but I know how much you are struggling. But I also know that you are doing you darndest to be the best mom you possibly can because you love this little kid so much.

  5. i'm also struggling with adapting to a newborn again...i am definitely feeling older and that i really really want routine. it is really hard to only get 5 minutes a time to do anything...i've heard that baby's turn a corner at 6 weeks. i'm thankful right now that my son seems to be starting to have a decent nap during the day so i can at least sleep and wind down a little. i am not good with crying. i am not good with the fussing. it wears me down. even if i only had him to deal with, it is not a fun stage...the quiet cuddly newborn is fun...anyway, its good to talk about how you are feeling. you are definitely not the only one.