Sure, I love the squishy snuggles and the sweet smiles and little chuckles as they dream, but there's a whole lot that goes on behind the scenes of newborn days that I feel like no one ever really talks about...but I'm going to. Because I need to get it off my chest tonight as I'm fighting back tears while my gracious husband tries to calm our 'screaming-his-head-off' little bundle of joy.
I know this is my second time around, but I'm just as overwhelmed as I was the first time around by the number of judgement calls and decisions you have to make regarding when to feed and even how to feed, how to calm, when, where and how to put to sleep, how to establish a routine, how to teach good sleeping patterns and teach the difference between night and day...what to do when your baby is inconsolable and you've tried everything you can possible think of to try to get your baby to stop crying. Newborns seriously cause me to doubt my abilities of being a mom, especially when I can't tell the difference between their cries like all the books tell me I will be able to, or when the sound of my own babies' cry causes me to want to flee the scene for as long as possible...
I've never quite felt as helpless as I do in these moments and I hate it! He's crying out in pain from tummy issues and I've tried every trick in the book to help him out, but nothing's working. I don't like having to wonder if I'm the cause of his tummy issues, because of something I ate. He isn't like this all the time, but this is the second night in a row like this. I wish some days we could fast forward a few months to the smiley, interactive baby stage.
I feel like a bad mom for all those confessions. Am I the only one who feels this way?! (Don't get me wrong though...I love my babies with a fierce love words can't even describe!)
Can I also say that being a parent is hard. There's no denying that! I feel like reading all the parenting books and blogs out there and all the babysitting/auntie experience you can get just doesn't prepare you for having your own kids.
Today was another 'one of those days' in our house. Plenty of ups and downs...more than I care for. Started off with a baby that woke up at 5am and would not go back to sleep. Not fun. Played a repetitive little hide and seek game with a Lightening McQueen magnet book with my sweet almost 2 year old little buddy and loved hearing his priceless giggles and his "again?!" every time we went through our little routine. (Meanwhile little guy is sleeping soundly in his swing next to us) Super sweet. Got some major over-due organizing and put things away while a thoughtful co-worker came over and played with J while little guy continued to sleep. Yes!! Watched Cars with my little buddy while I fed little guy and stored away his sweet little expressive face in my never-want-to-forget-this memory box. Happy heart. Little guys' schedule is kinda off so my vision of sneaking in a nap for myself fades...and after two days in a row of having both boys sleeping in their own beds at the same time for 2+ hours, my streak is over. J literally screamed his way through nap time and refused to sleep today...and little guy also took longer to go to sleep than usual and required being held most of the afternoon. Nap battle followed up with dinner battle.
I should clarify that dinner in itself was on of those up and downs...made some real progress with getting J to feed himself...at last!! Then he decided to start flinging his spoon around and gets dinner all over the floor. And required a bargain with number of bites to get his yoghurt and cookie 'reward'. Grrrrr. And all this occurring while little guy decides he doesn't want to be put down so that we can eat...
Sigh...thank heavens it's not bath night!
Ah, bed time at last...not so bad with J. Merely escaped a meltdown and managed to turn out the light with no tears. Yes! Time for little guy to eat...again. Successful feeding, sleepy baby returned to bed for the evening and we finally get to crawl into bed. Or so I thought. While I went downstairs to console myself with a little chocolate and decaf iced coffee, little guy decides to wake himself up and spit up in his bed and decide he's not going back to sleep...and that's where we are now, almost 2 hours later. I was starting to lose it so Bobby took over and I am still hearing the occasional scream downstairs...
And, as I was typing, over the monitor, I heard whimpers from J so I went into his room and asked him what was wrong...but got no response and found out that he was sound asleep and must have been dreaming! Glad to have dodged that bullet, but seriously, when it rains it pours right?! And, just for humor's sake...there's a mosquito in our room that has bit me 3 times now...but I just got rid of him!
Anyway, whether that seems like a rough day to you or not, my point is, parenting is hard...and exhausting. And I'm tired! I know everyone says the days are long but the years are short and all the 'time flies' proverbs from veteran moms are true...but can I just say today was hard. And I can't wait for it to be over...but it won't really be anytime soon because I've got a newborn to feed every 3-4 hours tonight that may or may not go back to sleep in between feedings. And tonight I'm 'flying solo' because Bobby has a 7am prayer meeting tomorrow and needs to sleep...and speaking of that, I need to go relive him so he can go to bed.
I know some day before I know it I'll be looking back at these days and just smiling at the exhausted desperation seeping from this post, and I'll be an empty nester wondering where the years went, but it sure is hard to be thankful for days like today.
But I think deep inside I am. I know I prayed for these two precious gifts for a long time and wanted nothing more than to have the experience of being a mother...and God gave me the desire of my heart and blessed me with two fantastic little boys. I can't wait to see how He will use them for His glory in this world. I know He's already using them to refine me and conform me into His image...through days like today! I'm thankful He is with me every step of the way, and I know He hears my desperate cries tonight. I have much to be grateful for.
Not sure what my purpose in writing this post really was (hopefully I don't regret it!)...maybe it'll be encouraging for someone else to hear that I don't love the newborn days like everyone else seems to, or maybe it will end up discouraging someone from having kids!!?? (I hope not!) But, it feels good to get that all out, and process the day I had today. Reminding me to cherish the good days, even the normal everyday days...if those ever happen again! ;)
Thanks for sticking with me.