Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Please pray for me

Things have been really stressful lately. We're all sick, which means I'm super tired, and this has probably made things worse. And then on top of it comes the fact that I still can't get her to nap. Some days she'll have an awesome nap and it's almost effortless: I see that she's tired, I change her, nurse her and put her down for 90 minute nap. The next day it won't work at all. She'll just fight sleep and cry and cry and fuss.

All of this makes me feel like a crappy mother and as my frustration builds, I start cussing at my daughter ("What the hell do you want." or "Damnit, Lydia, stop crying.") And then the moment after I feel so ashamed and like an even worse mother.

Motherhood is so easy when she's sweet and smiling (or better yet - sleeping!) but I feel like I'm always failing when the it gets hard. I don't know if I set my standards too high when it comes to keeping house, etc. or if I just expect too much out of myself.

You know those women who don't really know if they want children but are sure that if they do have kids they'll be working moms? I always thought they were crazy but now I think that maybe they just know themselves a lot better than I ever have.

5 comments:

  1. Oh Bonnie I feel your pain! When Jonah was a newborn I had a sinus infection AND bronchitis! I can remember fighting so hard to keep quiet and not go into a violent coughing spell as I was nursing him to sleep. :( Those are the times to ask for help from anyone that's available! Ben couldn't take time off work and thank GOD my Mom was able to arrange her schedule so she could come let me nap. I wish I was closer so I could help you.

    Also don't feel so guilty about the "bad" mom moments, we ALL have them! You just learn from them.

    Hang in there and I will for sure be praying for you! ♥

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  2. I've been there, done that! Parenting is NO FUN when you are sick & your spouse has to go to work. No one to call in sick to! I don't have any good advice for you - when I was sick I would just make sure Aiden was happy in her bouncer/gym/exersaucer...whatever was entertaining her at the moment, and i would lay on the couch and space out. Sometimes, that's all you can do! It didn't help that between Jim and I we were both sick with bad flu/colds 6 times the fist 6 months we had her. Luckily she never got more than a sniffle... Good Luck!

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  3. Hey Bonnie :) I saw this article and thought of you. It's "8 Surprising Reasons Your Baby's Crying". http://lifestyle.msn.com/your-life/family-parenting/articleab.aspx?cp-documentid=8327139&GT1=32020

    Allow me to be a little therapeutic on you for a second: Don't be afraid to step back and take a few deep breaths (as many as you need - in through the nose, out through the mouth) until you are able to calm down. Lydia will know if you are uptight and upset. And remember, she's a baby, just doing what babies do. It's nothing personal against you and is no reflection of your parenting capabilities. Also, it may be a good idea to look at your standards and see if they are realistic. Try not to set yourself up for failure by expecting yourself to be supermom/wife.

    Forgive me if I stepped out of line by offering advice.

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  4. Hi, Bonnie. I SOOOO know what you are saying. I think most (if not all) moms have been there before. I can't say much about the nap situation with Lydia other than to keep trying to have her nap when she shows signs of being tired. Dr. Sears has "The Baby Sleep Book", which has some good suggestions, if you want to check it out. You're probably already doing most of them, though.

    As far as the outbursts on your part....I can totally identify with that. There's a lot of shame and guilt that comes like a tidal wave after the fact. Some suggestions:

    - Keep your expectations low - of yourself and of her. Any time I've been frustrated with Hannah or with a situation pertaining to her, it's been due to my unmet expectations.

    - Remember that Satan is looking for an open door - don't give it to him. I've realized so many times, after the fact, that I have allowed Satan to have a field day with my psyche, my home, and my relationships with my child and my husband. I even felt so badly for a while that I was embarrassed to go to God about what was really going on (like He didn't already know!). I pray daily (and sometimes more frequently) for patience. I will do the same for you as well.

    - When it's good, it's really good. And when it's bad, it's hard to verbalize, but do try to express yourself somehow - in a journal, through your blog, to your husband, to a friend, to God. Just get it out so that it doesn't come out at Lydia.

    - Practice asking for forgiveness - from Lydia, I mean. She's too young to understand this now, but as she grows it will be such a teachable moment when you do have a meltdown. Lydia will see you do something you regret and will also see your model of coming to her humbly to say that you did something wrong and to ask her forgiveness. What an awesome life skill for her to learn from you! Starting this practice now will make it easier for you to do later when she's older and does understand what you mean.

    - Remember you are normal. Lydia is normal. The situation is normal. You are doing a wonderful job as a parent. Lydia is still blessed to have you as her mom. She is still the child that God chose to give you.

    One final thought….I don’t know if this will be discouraging right now or encouraging. I hope it’s the latter. I can’t speak for every mom, only for myself. It has been my experience that I did not truly feel like I had a regular routine, that I had strategies that worked (for sleep, for preparing dinner, for just about anything), or that I was fully myself again until after Hannah turned a year old. It truly took me that long to sort it all out, have it make any kind of sense, and for me to feel “normal” again (whatever that is). It got better over the course of that year and was certainly better than the newborn phase, but it didn’t really settle down until she was a year old.

    I’ll keep praying for you! - Audrey (Sarah’s sister in AZ)

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  5. When #3 was a baby (she is 12 now) I was a single mom. One day she wouldn't stop crying and I put her in her playpen and left the room. I kept hearing her and went in yelling at her. . . to find her asleep. I had started to imagine her crying! I thought I was going insane but my mom said that as long as she was dry and fed, there was nothing I could do outside that and to focus on what I was capable of.

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