Motherhood is hard!

So I've had some ups and downs during the last couple weeks of trying to figure out how to be a mom.  I've been obsessed with the schedule, with needing to wake him every 3 hours for feedings, and with looking at that timer/clock, and I think that's been to my detriment.  Babies don't work on schedules!  At least not now...when they are toddlers, schedules are good things.  Realizing that I have to be more flexible has been a hard lesson to learn, but a night of screaming baby, crying mama and frustrated dad will do that.  Calling my mom at 11:00pm in hysterics with Graham screaming in the background saying that I hate my baby prompted me to take a good hard look at how I was coping (or not coping) with being a mom.  I went to my OB out of fear that I was suffering from post-partem depression....she assured me that these feelings are NORMAL because this is hard, and more women need to talk about those times when they want to drop-kick their crying baby.  She also deduced that I am not depressed because I actually want to see people, eat, take care of myself....but she does think I'm having anxiety due to this challenging transition.  I've realized (with the help of Jeff, my mom and Dr. Dowlut) that I need to continue to take care of myself and do some things that I enjoy, which will also help Graham.  So, I've been told I have to leave the house at least once a day (even if it's just for a long walk)....I'll be happier and Graham will nap, which (although it seems counter-intuitive) means he'll sleep better at night.  I've started doing some light exercise as well - walking more and my post-natal yoga DVD.  I feel MUCH better after doing something physical, and I'm getting excited about doing something more strenuous again (though running is going to be a real challenge at first).  I'm also going to talk with a therapist about making this transition.

I think acknowledging that I need some help and that this is challenging, and recognizing that I can't force Graham to be on a schedule, has already helped me.  I feel more calm and better able to deal with him when he fusses.  I've also finished reading The Happiest Baby on the Block and after about a week of trying his techniques, am getting the hang of things.  Graham is responding well to the swaddling and shushing.  I'm also feeding him whenever he fusses, despite what the timer says.  He's happier when he's full and he sleeps better!  We're still working on the falling asleep at night....he'll be all sleepy in my arms and then 5 minutes after laying him down, he gets fussy.  But he doesn't outright cry, and seems to eventually settle down if I keep my hand on his chest and jiggle the pack and play.  Last night I actually pulled him out of the crib, fed him an extra 5 minutes and then put him back down, and that seemed to help a lot.

Napping has also helped me, though I don't feel the need to nap EVERY time he naps, and I'm getting tired of all the random people in stores and such telling me I should be napping when they see me out with a sleeping baby.  I'm happier when I've spent time out and about during the day than when I've spent all day lounging on the couch.  That drives me nuts.  And frankly Graham doesn't nap as much on the days we're just at home, and then is overly tired and fussy at night.  Although, speaking of napping, I didn't yesterday, and was super tired this morning.  Graham and I fell asleep on the couch and Jeff took a couple pictures:

He's going to be 4 weeks on Wednesday, about the point at which most of my friends have said it starts getting easier.  I think that may be true...I hope it's true!  In some ways it's seemed like a long time with Graham, but mostly I can't believe it's been almost 4 weeks!


  1. That is a great book!
    Babies are fussiest between 3 and 6 weeks then it starts to die down. Using the swaddling and making sure they are full really helps. Some days Pippa will eat every 4 hours, some days it's every 1.5 hours. Just like you can't spoil a baby for the first 4-6 months, you also can't get them to comprehend the schedule either. It's really really hard but look at all the people with multiple kids...somehow they got through it over and over again.
    I agree though, sometimes I can't even make a sandwich because she's fussy or I don't want to put her down. But I'm happier when I eat. The doctor is right, take care of yourself first and you can take better care of that baby. He's so precious. Enjoy every moment because it never comes back.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts