Friday, August 20, 2010

Another Complaining Post

I wrote this a few days ago, but somehow it's easier for me to publish these not-so-positive posts a few days after the fact than when I am in the depths of despair (to quote Anne Shirley).


I don't know why it is that I only feel like blogging when something is wrong. Wait. Yes I do. It's because 1) writing is a release, and 2) I'm looking for encouragement and support. So here goes...

People keep asking me about how our nights are going. The answer: fine. We co-sleep, so usually we both get a great night's sleep. Joshua has moved back into the bedroom, so we are adjusting to less room in the bed, but other than that, no complaints.

What we really have an issue with is days.

I'm so frustrated. My sweet baby never wants to be put down. If he's awake, he wants to be held and (usually) walked. If he needs to sleep, he won't go to sleep or stay asleep unless I hold him or lay by him so I can comfort (read: nurse) him when he stirs. This is how we spend the majority our days:

I honestly don't mind holding him. I think it's very good for him and for me. I believe in holding my baby and don't believe it will spoil him. What I mind is that my laundry hasn't been folded in weeks, I'm only in my kitchen long enough to make a mess preparing food, and the kitty litter stinks to high heaven. I wear him in a couple of different carriers, but my back can't handle carrying him around all day. So we mostly sit.

I've been given all the advice from varying ends of the spectrum, and I've tried the things I feel comfortable with. They haven't worked thus far, and just end up making me feel more frustrated. The only advice that really works for me is, "stop having goals and making plans and just be with your baby. When I can manage to do that, I have my best days. But it's hard. As a new stay-at-home mom, I have all these things I want to accomplish. Mostly keeping the house clean and organized, the laundry done and folded in drawers, and meals. And showering. I would like to do that on a regular basis as well.

Sometimes I just feel like I'm failing at this. I feel like I should be able to manage the bare minimum of housework. And I also often feel like I must be doing something wrong if I can't get my baby out of my hands for more than 20 minutes a day without crying. As many times as I've been told that's not true, there are a lot of sources out there that say otherwise. As if I needed another reason to second-guess myself.

Everyone says to appreciate this time, because before I know it he will be too old to snuggle and hold. And I'm trying, I really am. I don't feel like this every day. About once a week maybe.

I've heard that after three months, things will get easier. Please tell me this is true. He will be three months in two weeks, and I am looking forward to it. And yet I have this sneaky little devil sitting on my shoulder telling me I should feel guilty for looking forward to my baby growing up. I know he will only be little for a short time. I ask you: why would I want to wish this scrumptiousness away?

I want to cherish every moment. But it's hard sometimes. So go ahead, encourage me. And give me advice about how a baby-wearing mama can get things done. How do/did you do it?


  1. a good swaddle and cradle swing has saved my life the last two kids. However, with my first, I felt the same way! I remember sitting and rocking Grant saying to myself, "is this ALL I'm ever going to do the rest of my life?" and now, I would give anything to be able to do that all day. However, it will be so different as soon as he can sit you have a play mat with toys hanging down that he can look at? or a bouncy seat? Praize Baby DVDs that he can be mezmerized with?? All of mine have been different...but these are a few things that all of mine liked in short intervals!! Hang in there...he will be crawling around before you know it!!

  2. Be in today. Remember, tomorrow may not come, and it may be worse. Just think about today. What is happening today. I sat with Isaac and watched Doctor Phil for weeks and ate pizza. You are a loving person and you are doing a great job!!!! Just be in today!!!!!!

  3. Our first three months with Flannery were very similar. She slept well during the day, but, had pretty bad reflux and had to be held for awhile after eating. It was really hard, especially since she's our second and Amos needed care, too. I also struggled with wanting her to grow up, I think so she could catch up with Amos and so that we could know her, know who she is. It's really difficult to live in the moment, to be content, isn't it? But the first few months are tough.
    Also (and this is totally just a suggestion, take it or leave it) the whole attachment parenting thing might not work for you all. I started with it after Amos came home from the hospital and at different times, did different parts. but i found that it wasn't working for me and i was afraid that Amos would grow up to be more high maintenance than I wanted or could handle. At one point, when we moved and he was a year old, i would put him to bed in his bed and then he would come into bed with us for the rest of the night. At some point, I couldn't do it anymore, as he was getting really active and wiggly, and i couldn't get out or leave him with a babysitter, as he would wake up frequently before we went to bed. it just took its toll. i did wear him a whole lot, though, and loved it. And i've been wearing Flannery alot and it's great, especially with Amos running around.
    Anyway, do whatever works for you. I would love to see you be able to find balance, but I think when they're so young (or at least what I've just experienced), such is life! :)

  4. Hang in there! Those first few months are definitely very tough! Have you tried a swing? Both my kids spent a good amount of time in a swing when they were little. They did better with the motion that it provided as opposed to just laying still by themselves. It does also help when they start sitting up and being able to interact more with toys and their environment. Is there anywhere he likes to be or seems more content? Kathryn also loved her carseat as a small baby, so she spent a lot of time in that as well. Hope this helps! And finding a great carrier to wear him in is a great help too. There are still some things you can't do while wearing a baby (shower...). Oh, one more thought. Maybe he gets lonely? Try placing him by a mirror where he can see himself, and maybe that will be comforting and entertaining (or freaky to see yourself when you don't even realize what's going on!). :)

  5. I wore babies quite a bit. And occasionally left them crying alone and felt horrible about it for a little bit. Then I took a shower and felt much better. I found that not much got done for me the first six months. Except help love on babies and make milk to nourish babies to help them grow from teeny little wiggle lump to moving around little fellow or girl.

    Why do we moms discount the job of feeding and cleaning and caring for our babies? Making good milk means getting plenty of nourishment into your body and enough rest. The laundry can wait. But if you get the chance to set aside one evening and maybe you and Josh can have a 'blitz' and set the timer for 15 minutes and see how fast you can get it done, then sit down and cuddle with your baby while watching a movie or something, maybe that would help.

    Just remember, mercy. Mercy on yourself as you learn how to mama YOUR style. God has designed you to learn and grow with your baby. You don't have to get it all right. I will pray for grace in the meantime. And if you get the chance, come to market for a hug and a loaf of bread. I try to give friends with new babies some bread along the way, and haven't seen much of you!!! Big hug. You are doing great. Can't wait to see how big Malachi is.

  6. I know just how you feel! Elijah was that way. He grew out of his colic not quite at three months but a little after. However, it is quite true; they do grow out of it. Until then, it's true. There's not much you CAN do. It is extremely frustrating and guilt-inducing, but it's NOT your fault. And everyone else who says otherwise, obviously has had a different baby than you!
    You'll feel like the outcast, while other moms go here and there with their babies, you might even get reprimanded for not going to church (I'm talking about me now, obviously) but it's only for a little while. Meanwhile, maybe talking to your pediatrician can help. Even just the validation that, "Yep, you have a colicky baby" can be a relief. And maybe she knows of support groups.
    You can try different things to alleviate the problem a bit, such as a swing. I didn't think to get one until later, but it was amazing! I just put Elijah in the swing whenever I wanted to hop in the shower really quickly.
    Hope this helps a bit! *hug* Hang in there! Oh, and don't feel guilty about your feelings. You enjoy what is enjoyable and who can blame you for not liking the icky parts? Even when you look back, you'll feel all warm and fuzzy but think, "I hope that does not happen again quite like that!" No matter. It's your love that triumphs and allows you to care for your son like there is nothing more important in the world.