Lets be real OK? When I started thinking about this topic, I had some difficulties trying to think of what I would and would not share. Being open can be very scary in today’s world filled with social media highlight reels of people’s lives. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy. I absolutely love my family and even though I have a long list of things I’m grateful for, there have been plenty of days that my list is quickly forgotten and I’m throwing myself a pity party.
Toward the end of each night, I try to clean the house up a little and gather my arsenal of things I may need for the night time wakings ahead with my baby. As I was going through my routine, I was getting ready to turn off the light in the kitchen, but quickly leaned around to the entrance hall mirror. The woman staring back at me looked run down and had food in her tooth just as suspected. I don’t expect to be glamorous with a new addition to the family, but was I walking around like this all day? And when was the last time I brushed my hair? Not just a quick comb over into an up-do, but actually brushed it? These days I have to choose what items are most important when I do get a free moment and I guess my hair was not a winner for the last two days. I took this as an opportunity for a quick photo shoot to share with you how glamorous I looked and tried to think of the many emotions I feel on any given day.
My alarm pretty much every morning these days, goes from faint to blaring crying from a very hungry newborn, and this sounds right around 6:00am. Never mind that I was just up close to an hour before, it is time to get up! My right ear is being tugged by little Ira as he lays next to me. He crawled into bed with me in the middle of the night again. I put him to sleep in his bed, but he’s gotten used to the routine of coming to sleep in my bed now. I think a big motivator for him to actually get out of his bed in the middle of the night is that he can see Isaiah. He also may want to feel close with me since we don’t get as much one-on-one time during the day anymore. I have to hold Isaiah a lot during the day because he has reflux. I lay him down elevated and also put him in his bouncer sometimes, but it still aggravates his reflux a bit. The only way to see major improvements is to hold him upright for around thirty minutes after he eats. He eats pretty often, maybe every hour to two hours, so this puts him in my arms a lot!
Little Ira doesn’t really complain, but he does show signs that he wants more attention. He tugs or rubs on my ear for comfort and he also does it to himself, but he has been doing it a lot more now that Isaiah is here. He used to do it maybe 15-20 times throughout the whole day, but now I’ve lost count. He’s actually doing it right now as I type this. It used to annoy me when he first started doing it all day, so I denied him and told him to give me a break. I felt terrible, even though I was short on sleep, hadn’t eaten anything all day and was in the middle of cleaning both Isaiah and myself up from the glorious perks of reflux. Little Ira looked worried like he was at a loss for what he could do to comfort himself. I told him to just rub his own ear and to give me a moment, but he just wanted to feel close. I let him do it and reminded myself that this one minute will hold him over so that he doesn’t feel like I’m brushing him off.
Isaiah doesn’t always sleep in long stretches because he is often woken up from the reflux, needing to eat or the need for a diaper change. Then add the additional 30 minutes after each feeding that I have to hold him upright and that leaves very little free time that I don’t have a baby in my arms. When it comes down to putting Isaiah to sleep during the day for his naps, it can get very frustrating. He often gets overtired from his naps being interrupted by how noisy little Ira’s can get. Ira also likes to sneak to the room to rub his cheek or back of his hand on Isaiah’s arm, which of course wakes him up.
I am so tired at the end of the day and my back is killing me! My husband works nights and sleeps during the day so I juggle the majority of little Ira and Isaiah’s needs by myself, in addition to my regular daytime cleaning/cooking. I have to save the majority of things that need to be done for after the boys go to sleep.
My peace comes from reminders. I am so grateful to have my boys. Times that I am annoyed that I don’t have a hands-free moment, I think about the parents that don’t have their little ones anymore and would give anything to be able to hold them again. Or the people that are trying to have children and haven’t been successful. That seems extreme, but it really helps me. I also think about the fact that this is only temporary and that I will miss these days of holding my baby, because at some point he will become much more independent. I try to count my blessings by looking from a perspective of someone else who might love to be in my position, then I can see all of the little things that I have to be grateful for much more clearly.
To all the other super parents out there, it is perfectly OK to have moments of frustration! I have them often, but it’s very important to be sure that you don’t let that take over your emotions and how you act toward your child. I am guilty of slipping up and letting my frustrations show for little Ira to see and I immediately feel guilty for it. I started asking myself if I was the best mother I could be at the end of each day. Initially it was because I felt like I didn’t do enough that day. Now it helps me to identify moments that I feel could have gone better and try to think of what all lead up to the moment that I slip. 99% of the time that I lose my patience is because I’m just exhausted from lack of sleep. What has helped me a lot is that I try to be sure that I go to bed as soon as possible after they are asleep, especially because my baby will be waking me up in just a few hours and how often he wakes up sets the tone for the following day. If I can push some cleaning and other tasks until the morning, I will. Short breaks to take a breath or listen to a quick song also help me in those moments that I’m growing frustrated.