Monday, September 10, 2007

Baby blues five months later...

I am so not cut out to be a mom, much less a stay-at-home one. I thought I was. Perhaps I still am, but I will qualify the role as ONLY being a mother to my child. If that was all I did I'd be just fine.

I like to think I'm an excellent multitasker. All those nights I carried on conversations via AIM while simultaneously writing a paper that was due the following morning, eating dinner and chatting with my cousin are nothing compared to my experience as a mother. I now completely (well perhaps not completely until I have three more children) understand the popular story of the father arriving home after a productive day at work to find a home in chaos and wondering what on earth it was the mother did all day. Well, she did it ALL. She did a LOT.

When I became pregnant I set out to be the most reasonable pregnant lady ever. And, for the most part I think I was, even above and beyond reasonable, especially considering this was the baby's room one month before she was born. No opportunity to indulge in final nesting urges there (which was just as well because I didn't have any.) I was only mildly nauseous, rarely took off work (indeed even worked OVERtime in the final stages of pregnancy), didn't exhibit any major mood swings (that I'm aware of - ha!), didn't want an epidural and so didn't get one, breastfed from the start, etc., etc.. All is fine and dandy until now. I am not capable of keeping on top of anything. I feel torn in at least 18,348 directions at the same time and I seriously think my brain will render itself useless if I don't change something soon.

I can be a breastfeeding mom. I can manage the finances and pay the bills. I can prepare healthy meals on a daily basis. I can work 20 hours a week. I can clean the house and stay on top of the related t0-do list. I can water the plants and arrange a lovely garden. I can feed, water, brush, bathe and walk two dogs and a cat. I can sort and wash the laundry. I can grocery shop. I can schedule appointments. I can attend a weekly Bible study and volunteer my time at church. I can make a lunch for Superman every day. I can file paperwork. I can read books to Kate and encourage her to crawl.

I just can't. Do. It. ALL. Something has to give, and this week it's been my sanity. How long will I have before Kate needs me again? I never know. I'll get halfway through one project and then stop to nurse and then a different task takes priority, leaving the first project unfinished, to be discovered by me later that week. I just jump from task to task, rarely finishing anything and never ever completing something from start to finish with no interruptions. Also, Kate does not nap for predictable lengths of time and never for two or more hours at a time. I have a hunch she is 'supposed' to be sleeping more during the day at this age.

I've been interrupted 7-9 times while writing this post alone; it's now not even the same day it was when I started! I don't handle this well. My brain is so fragmented.

8 comments:

  1. Mom what a great bible quote

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  2. Yup! A normal mom! And it's worth it. :)"Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary." Gal. 6:9

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  3. I can only guess that I'd feel the same way. And while it's easy to tell ourselves, "If I don't have time to clean the room, I'll just let it be messy, tra la," I know how much psychic energy is taken up by a messy room just sitting there, waiting to be cleaned. I know I have a hard time just letting things go--the only way for me to feel good about a messy room is to clean it. So...I feel for you. If you ever need a babysitter and can wait an hour for her to show up, I'm your gal.

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  4. Oh yes, I agree with the nap thing. I ignored that advice with my first daughter, I was too busy trying to get other things done, things that I thought NEEDED to be done. No one really cares if there are dishes piled in the sink, if there's laundry turning to mildew in the washer, or if you spend the entire day in your jammies. Sleep is so much more important to your health and well-being.And, on the sleeping thing, don't listen to any other mothers who tell you their five month-old naps two hours at a time. I have two children who never did that at that age, so I don't believe them. My youngest (10 months) takes two or three naps a day, anywhere from a half hour to an hour, if I'm lucky. And you know what? Now I cannot nap with her because I have an older child to care for. I should have gotten that sleep with my first when I could!

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  5. You're getting some excellent advice from the mother commenters here, especially "Take a nap" or just lie down. Dark room, soft music, sleep or not. It might change the rest of the day. Motherhood is harder than anyone lets on, it's the best-kept secret in the world. The good news these days is that it's starting to become not-so-secret. Good luck to you.

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  6. First of all, you're definitely cut out to be a mom.Secondly, I USED YOU AS AN EXAMPLE, for a pregnant lady who didn't make EVERYTHING ABOUT PREGNANCY, ALL THE TIME. You were totally low-key! Totally easy-going! I was really impressed.Thirdly (and I don't mean this as an indictment at all), is there anything on that list that Superman can take over? For instance, could it be agreed upon that he does the laundry? Or he takes care of the animals? Or he does the grocery shopping (with a list you'll make)? I'm just wondering, because it is amazing how just taking ONE thing off your list, permanently (or at least semi-permanently) can make a HUGE mindset difference. As in, AHHHHH, I can breathe again.Finally, I would have to agree with the other comments in that when Kate is asleep, if you are tired and overwhelmed, just pick ONE thing to do and leave everything else to the side. And I'd suggest making that one thing the thing you decide HAS to get done, or the world might come to an end. If the world won't come to an end if you don't clean up that room? DON'T CLEAN IT UP! Another day will come for that. And if you feel the world will end if you don't get a nap, then for goodness sakes, go with that. If momma ain't happy, NOBODY'S happy :)

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  7. I completely understand how you are feeling. I had my son 8 months ago and it's a MAJOR life change. One I wanted so badly, but realized I had NO idea. I was really sad in the beginning and it has gotten a lot better for me. I find getting out helped me a lot. I joined a mommy/baby group (something I normally wouldn't have done) and it was fabulous. I met a wonderful new mom and we live close. Now we are great friends. I found getting out everyday was my saving grace.Anyway, hang in there. I think it gets easier if we are able to remember ourselves and put us 1st once in awhile. It's hard to do and hard to figure out how to do, but once you can you see motherhood through different eyes.I'm thinking of you. You are a fabulous mama!

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  8. I know it sounds useless or even wasteful, but no matter how long Kate sleeps in the daytime, you should go lie down. Yes. it will make your day shorter - a lot shorter. Yes, you won't get everything done, but it will recharge you enough to survive. And right now it sounds like you need to survive. Don't worry about sleeping, sometimes if you try too hard you'll only get frustrated, but at least lie down WITH NOTHING TO DO - no books, no music, no chores, no lists to write or review. Just you in as dark a room as possible and nothing else. If you happen to sleep, you'll feel even better, and although it takes precious time out of a mother's day, the remaining time is twice as productive. I'll be praying for you - I know what you're talking about here, and no, it doesn't seem to get easier with more kids!

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