Monday, 17 October 2011

feeling like...

a bad mama. and wife. and general person.

so tired. J has regressed to waking up 2-3 times a night, after waking up just once per night for a long time. and i'm usually good at the mum stuff, although i find everything else hard (can manage to do washing and feed myself and get out and about to places, but tidying/washing up/making phone calls etc are mostly beyond me). i can do the bit where i sit and talk to him or sing to him for hours, i can change his nappy three times in a row (he hates pooing in a dirty nappy; i'm sure he waits for a nice clean one) without getting frustrated (... well that's a lie, but i kind of expect it now and joke with him and he smiles at me).

but these last few days my happy baby has turned grumpy and the lack of sleep has made it so much harder to cope with.

i'm still singing to him and chatting to him and caring for him and interacting with him, not to mention feeding him, but it's just five degrees harder this last couple of weeks, and i just want a day off. and i keep catching myself paying more attention to my laptop and twitter/fb than to him.

of course, i'm all about the attachment parenting. even leaving him for 45 minutes to go to the dentist seems like a huge thing to do. he doesn't really take bottles, so he is with me All. The. Time. and if i had a day off, i would find it really bizarre and i'm pretty certain i'd be back with him after all of 90 minutes at the most. but.... most nights i end up sitting up till well after midnight (currently 1.30am and counting) just to get some time on my own. and i hate that as it means i never go to bed with D.


i will say though... he went through a phase about 3-4 weeks ago when he was feeding where he kept letting go and smiling up at me. he then stopped and i was sad.

he's been doing it again today. the most winsome smile i've ever seen. when i'm getting frustrated because he's been grumpy or squawking or impossible to comfort, and he does that? it does make it all worthwhile.

i just wish i could catch up on my sleep.


i can hear other people saying it's hard and sympathise with them. give them support. when it's myself, though, i tend to think i should just suck it up. so many people would kill to have any baby, let alone such a cheery one as J. i should just bloody well get on with it.


tomorrow is the la le.che leag.ue peer su.pport training. (i'm sure you can understand i don't want anyone googling it finding such a whiny blog post.) and the absolutely maximum amount of sleep i'll get is 5 hours. probably less because he didn't feed that much before bed, so he'll probably feed at least once overnight. and i just want to stay in bed and hope he lets me sleep. but i think i need to get out and see other mums, no matter how tired i am. because it feels like it's been a bit of a while. and J and i haven't been out of the house today (monday) or yesterday. i think we're both probably a bit stir-crazy. i guess they'll just have to cope if i'm a bit late though.

... i really should just go to bed now.


biojen said...

My best advice is to read some Ask Moxie. Even if you don't get any fantastic advice that will change your life, you will at least not feel alone. Tell your husband you need a few hours and don't make it negotiable. But it really sounds like you're doing fine. This is really hard and babies are so demanding. Don't forget to give yourself a break. Good luck with the meeting, I hope you enjoy it.

Hope's Mama said...

Smiling and nodding to so much of this. Yeah, the attachment parenting thing is all well and good and that's how I parent as well, but sometimes a break would be nice, and it is ok to a) admit it and b) take the break. Angus never had a bottle in his life. Not one single bottle. A few times when he was very little he had small bottles of expressed milk to top him up, but I never missed a feed, it was always me and my boobs and having fed him for 15 months, it did take it's toll. When he had weaned, I was 15 weeks preg again! So yeah, I haven't had much me time at all in the last two years or so, but of course I would not change it for the world and this will be all over so quickly. I already can't believe my baby boy is almost two!

B said...

OMG Jen you are a genius. The first thing I read was this and... omg. I feel better. I love you!

The hubby would be happy to be left in charge but like I say he isn't terribly keen on drinking from a bottle :/ Err, that 'he' is J, not D ;) Every so often people come up to visit (parents, sisters etc) and I always plan to let them play with J while I just get on with clearing the house a bit but it never actually happens :/

And thanks, I did enjoy it. And it helped (in a weird way) that everyone went 'what's up with J, he's never normally like that'. Reassuring to know it's not just my imagination.

And thank you Sally. I should say that when I say 'bottle' I do mean expressed milk, not formula :) I'm kind of annoyed with my health visitor as I wanted to get started with expressing and giving him an occasional bottle quite early but she looked at me funny and it put me off. He took one bottle once but then wasn't interested :/

It's good to know that someone out there understands. Thank you so much xx

biojen said...

Oh - I forgot that he didn't like bottles. This is what worked for us, after we tried for a month to get our girl to take a bottle.

Mom cannot be in the room, preferably not in the house. Put the baby in a high chair and sit facing him to give him the bottle. With Kira it seemed like she was expecting to nurse if she was being held. If there was not a nice warm nipple waiting, watch out! But seated by herself (and hungry) she took the bottle (of expressed milk) just fine. I'm really glad you liked Moxie! She saved my sanity more than once.

Big Love, Big Acceptance - or so I say said...

This is like reading my own thoughts today! I'm feeling like a bad mama today because I'd really like a break from parenting for just a bit. Allie will not take a bottle so my husband can take on some feedings, and she has not been sleeping well at night or taking many naps... sigh. I know this too shall pass. And like you said, even if someone could offer me a day off with knowing Allie would be fine, I couldn't do it. But a couple of hours might be nice... :) Hang in there, mama! We'll make it!

B said...

Jen - half of me thinks that by now we may as well just wait a couple of months and get him started straight onto a cup. I don't know - we spent a load of money on bottles and stuff but... I don't know. Incidentally I can't believe we're past half way to starting solid food! I will be sad when I'm not the only nutrition he has any more, too. Arrrgh... I know D would be happier if he could give him a bottle every so often. I suppose 1.30am isn't the time to make any decisions...

BLBA - Aaah yes it's nice to know that other people out there get it!! You're right, we'll make it in the end :)

Talli Roland said...

I hope things get better for you. Sending lots of happy, peaceful vibes your way.

Catherine W said...

Argh, I read this post and thought I commented on it but I think I only wrote the comment in my mind rather than actually typed it on the computer!

I know this post was written a while ago and hopefully things are a little easier with J now but . . . you are NOT a bad mama, a bad wife or a bad person. Looking after a baby is relentless. They have no mercy!

R also will not take a bottle so it's always me. Which is is fine but yes, I find myself staying up until silly'o'clock in the evening after the kids have gone to bed just to get a bit of time to myself! To read or write or have a bath or just stare blankly at the wall without having to read a story or sing a song or entertain someone. I love doing all of those things but sometimes I just need five minutes! I always did mean to have a day off but when I'm not with them I rarely enjoy myself and just want to get back home.

I always say to R and J, "It's a good job you're so cute!" and those smiles do make up for a great deal of lost sleep.

I also tell myself that I should just suck it up. Especially with J as I'm so bloody lucky to have her and it was such an unlikely outcome. But being a medical marvel doesn't stop her being. a. toddler. Big time! Sometimes it's hard, sometimes I'm tired or ill, sometimes she's tired or ill, sometimes we get fed up with one another.

I'm so glad you are going to be a peer supporter, you'll be fab. R is still feeding once or twice over night and although he settles down again lovely, the broken sleep is difficult. Hope that J is letting you get a bit more sleep now xo