Friday, June 26, 2009

Not what I bargained for...


I love being a mom, I really do, but this is a lot harder than I was anticipating. I didn't expect to have a super clingy baby and I didn't expect Mark to be so busy he didn't really have time to help me. This is rough.

I knew that a baby would be time consuming, but I guess I thought that I'd be able to put her down for naps during the day. That isn't really happening at this point. I either have to hold her or wear her. If I'm not touching her in some way she WILL NOT sleep. Today I nursed her a little bit and she fell asleep on me so I put her in her swing and watched her for a little bit. She kinda moved around and made a few small noises and then it looked like she was asleep. So I looked at the clock and thought, okay, we'll see how long this lasts. It literally wasn't even 2 minutes before she was screaming. So I got her out of the swing and she was fine. Now I'm wearing her in a Moby wrap and she's completely zonked out. I have to wear her every night in order to make dinner because she cries if I sit her in the bouncer or swing, even if she can see me. I have no clue how to remedy this and I'm getting very tired. I love holding her and snuggling with her, but not ALL. DAY. LONG. I need some "me" time and I'm just not getting any. I have hopes that when Mark gets home maybe he can take her off my hands for a while so I can just have some space to breathe, but no such luck. He's so stressed out with training and studying that he doesn't really have time to spend with her. He's fine if she's dead asleep on him, but as soon as she gets fussy, I have to take over because he gets frustrated that he's not able to study. So I either deal with her fussiness then, or he gets her to sleep, and then she doesn't sleep at night so I deal with her fussiness all night. I just don't know what I'm doing wrong or what I can do to fix it, short of letting her just cry. Just sitting here typing this gets me upset because I'm exhausted and I feel like I'm going at this alone instead of Mark and I dealing with it as a team. Last night we went to bed around 11:30pm and I was up with her from 1am to 2:30am because she wouldn't go back to sleep, and then I was up around 3:30am because she was fussy, and then I fed her again at 4:30am until around 5:15am and then she was fussy again around 6am and then again around 7:15am, at which point I finally laid her on Mark's side of the bed (he had left for work) and we slept until about 8:15am and then I got up for good and to feed her. We're going on 5 and a half weeks of this and I'm reaching my limit pretty quickly. Yesterday I weed wacked our entire back yard because the stupid lawn mower doesn't work and Mark doesn't have time to fix it and I have no clue how to fix it, and our grass was almost a foot high. So I strapped Abbie on in the Mei Tai and weed wacked the yard and then raked it. My forearms hurt so bad last night I could barely pick Abbie up. I have a feeling that by giving in to all of her crying that I'm enabling her to become even more clingy instead of her learning to be a little independant, but I have a hard time letting her cry. I keep saying "tomorrow I'll get her to take a nap in her crib", but then I don't. I can't even get her to nap in her swing or bouncer, let alone upstairs in her room by herself. But maybe that's what she needs. I'm reading the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" (given to us by Mark's aunt) and it keeps saying things should be better by the time she's 3 months old.... That's 7 weeks from now. There is no way I can deal with it being like this for almost 2 more months. Something has to change between now and then, but I have no clue what to change or even how to change whatever needs to be changed. This book says that lack of sleep in mom's causes depression and causes marital turmoil, and I can understand why. I just wish Mark could get up with her once or twice a week when she's fussy, but he can't since his damn job is so demanding. Sometimes I really wish he had a normal job and we could live a normal lifestyle. It's to the point where I get that feeling in the pit of my stomach every time I hear her make a noise at night because I know it's not going to be long before she's crying hard and I have to get up with her. I don't know if there's any point in trying to get her to sleep on her own this week since we leave for IL in a week and her schedule is going to be ALL messed up there. Oh wait. She doesn't have a schedule yet... But either way, she'll be sleeping in the room with us again while we're there and there's a 2 hour time difference so I'm just not sure it's even worth it.

I look down at her as I type this, and I love that she's so little and sweet (when she's sleeping). I know I'm going to miss her being this size and I know she's going to be going to college before I know it, I just wish I was enjoying this stage a little more than I am and I feel guilty that I'm not enjoying it as much as I think I should be....




11 comments:

Janet said...

I know you don't want to hear this Monica, but I really think that you need to let her cry it out, just get it over with. I would wait until there is a halfway decent time when Mark can put up with it, but I really think this is the only way, unless someone else knows of another way, that you can keep your sanity! Keep it up girl and know that we are all plugging for you!

Janet said...

It's Stacy and not Janet (my mom) I forgot to sign her out of her google account before I wrote this sorry hon!

Em said...

Monica, I'm sorry, but I have to respectfully DISAGREE with Stacy. My blood pressure just went up and now I'm feeeling all panic-y and shakey after I just read "I know you don't want to hear this, but I think that you need to let her cry it out."

You do not need to let her cry it out. Let me just say that again: You do NOT need to let her cry it out. I had a friend call me when we were haing a lot of sleep troubles specifically to tell me to let Sierra cry it out. My friend said that when she finally let her son cry it out, he "learned" to sleep on his own. No! He learned that when he cried out for his mama when he was cold or scared or alone or just needed comfort that she wasn't there. There is nothing more important than that little person, Monica. It's not more important to finish the dishes or mow the lawn or vacuum the living. You do not (SHOULD not) let her cry it out. It's just an all around bad idea in my opinion.

You said this: "I have a feeling that by giving in to all of her crying that I'm enabling her to become even more clingy instead of her learning to be a little independant..." No, no, no, no, no, no, no! You are NOT!! What you are doing by comforting her when she cries is letting her know that you've "got her back" (so to speak). You're letting her know that she can TRUST you, that she can count on you to be there for her. She will learn to become independent on her own. And, in fact, will likely be more independent than other little ones for the exact reason that she KNOWS she can trust and she KNOWS you will be there when you need her. You are building a base with her that will enable her to be independent. Babies whose parents let them cry it out actually become more clingy as toddlers because they don't have the same relationships with their parents (see Dr. Sears).

That being said, I know that some people (a lot?) of people DO let their babies cry it out because they think that the baby should be "independent" or they've just reached the end of their rope. Sometimes it becomes necessary. There have been a few occassions when I've let Sierra cry it out (but I've felt bad about it afterwards). However, to say you NEED to cry it out, well, that's just not true. What you need to do is to whatever works for you, your baby, your family.

I know Mark is busy and has a demanding job and has studying to do, etc., etc., but Monica, YOU also have a very demanding job. You decided to have a baby together, and from everything I can tell, Mark is a great husband and father. Just let him know that you NEED an hour or so a day when there is not another human being attached to you. He can give you an hour. Then leave the house. Go for a walk. Go to the store without the baby. Something!

Do you have it in your budget to hire a babysitter for a couple hours 2-3 times per week? That would allow you some much needed time to yourself.

Good luck, Monica, and please, PLEASE call me if you want to. Even if it's just to cry a little. I understand. I do.

Em said...

Wow, that was way longer than I was intending.

Apparently, I feel strongly about this topic. I hope I didn't come off badly.

Em said...

One more thing: you look great in the MT! I think you might find it a little more comfortable if you wear Abbie a little bit higher (pull the shoulder straps tighter and/or put it a little higher on your waist til she gets bigger). You should be able to lean over and kiss the top of her head while she's in the carrier.

I just told Jason that Marks should give you some "me" time and he said "Daddy-daughter time!"

J.A.Scherff said...

not a child expert here! just wanted to say hang in there!! :) You might ask your pedatrician if they have any ideas/suggestions for you guys.

Stacy said...

Monica, in the end I know that we all have different opinions, but you are her mom and you need to do what is best for her. Everyone is going to have different opinions about subjects, especially when it comes to children and Em I am not offended by what you said ( don't know if you were thinking that, but it's all good.) Like I said you need to do what will work best for you, Mark and Abbie. Best wishes!
Stacy

Em said...

I'm glad I didn't offend, Stacy. Regardless of what my specific opinions may be, ultimately my parenting philosophy can be summed up like this: "you do what works." And what "works" will be different for every single person you ask. There is certainly a lot of trial and error. In this case of parenting (as no where else) there really are more answers than questions, and no one REALLY knows which answer is the RIGHT one. (because "right" is different every time)

Liz said...

I think all mom's can understand what you are going through. I am going through something similar myself right now and Eliana is 8 months old! It can be extremely frustrating!

That said, my take on parenting advice is this... do what you feel is best for your child and YOU. There are always going to be advocates on both ends of the spectrum. You just need to figure out what works best for you and not worry what so & so may think. Personally I am not a cry it out fan, but there have been a few times that I let Ellie cry so I can finish doing what I was doing- cleaning the bottle to feed her or something where I couldn't hold her. In the long run I cannot bring myself to let her cry it entirely out, but I have let her cry some. It didn't help my sanity either way. LOL.

Brian and Erika said...

Hey Monica, I wish I could give you some great advice, but I'm not a mommy just yet. I just hope she starts sleeping better soon and that Mark's training eases up so he can take her off your hands more. You are doing a fabulous job with Abbie. Remember what a great mommy you are! She just loves to be held by you and Mark. Give me a call if you need anything. I miss you lots!

Anonymous said...

hi sis, i have been thru this and i just want to tell you that i know the feeling. although i went back to work soon after each of the boys were born-those weeks where it was just me and them was insane. you cant lose your sense of who you are. you do need to find time to yourself. miles never wanted me to hold him when he was little like abbie but i would lay him down and rub his belly or pay his back and talk to him till he fell asleep. also, to help her go to sleep try playing music. i did this with the boys and it helped them get used to going to sleep with some backround noise. it hurts me that you are so frustrated... it is my belief that letting her cry it out does not make her think you abandonded her-she's knows you are there but catering to her every wimper is only going to teach her to be spoiled. i am by no means saying to stick her up in her room, shut the door and go about your business. if you have a pack 'n'play or swing just put it in the room you are in and talk to her. she will calm down. she is trying to figure out what makes her comfortable and the only option you are giving her by continuously holding her is you. i know she is young, but if this keeps up and you keep letting it stress you out, by the time she starts getting more mobile-you are going to be to tired to enjoy it. just remember, a child is a fulltime job but more than that, a child is a blessing. I know that you are great mom and mark and great father. she is young and you will have time to work through the kinks. i cant tell you how much i wish we lived closed together so i could help you out! can't wait to see you this weekend! love you-Cyndi