I’m sipping my third cup of coffee. Trying not to guzzle. To be perfectly honest, this mug is decaf in an attempt to trick my tired brain. The second cup was only half-caf…And, I feel rather “healthy” about this compromise. Oh, dear.
In honor both of Abby’s 16-week-milestone and of my meltdown last night, this will be a different post from my usual “Dear Abby” letters. Perhaps a bit more honest. Perhaps a bit more focused on the less glamorous aspects of life right now. Perhaps a bit more soul-cleansing than usual. That is if I can stay awake and Abby stays asleep for as long as it takes my fingers to type…
Some characteristics of life right now are hard. VERY hard. Break-my-heart-and-soul-and-body-while-I’m-at-it hard. I am a mommy to the most amazing little girl in the whole wide world, but she is not an “easy” baby. Once the three- to four-week honeymoon of newborn sleepiness wore off, Abby has never been shy about expressing her opinions…loudly and quite frequently, I might add. While she no longer fights sleep like she did when colic was upon us, she still doesn’t embrace it. She detests tummy time. She really doesn’t like to be left alone or ignored for more than a few minutes if she is awake. She doesn’t have a predictable schedule, and I don’t have the heart to enforce one right now.
Because, I’m about to leave her.
Now, for all of you working moms, I know that this is old hat. However, I can’t help but dread the upcoming teaching year. Hours and hours away from my baby. Yet, here is also where my emotions conflict.
She is demanding, and I’m probably on the verge of postpartum depression. After trying to get pregnant for so long, I feel bad anytime that I would like to just go to the gym and work out my worries. Anytime that I wish that I could take a long, luxurious shower without a baby monitor or my milk letting down. Anytime that I wish that I didn’t need to pack up 3/4 of my closet because I can’t pull the shirts over my shoulders or button the pants. Anytime that I wish that sex didn’t hurt REALLY bad. Anytime that I would like to eat dinner without bouncing/entertaining a baby. Anytime that I don’t want to be awake for the third time that night, and I certainly don’t want to pump. Anytime that I want to drink a hot cup of coffee…without microwaving it first.
Then, most hours of the day and night, I can barely stand her long naps, because I miss her so much and want to snuggle her. I’m afraid that I’m delaying her development when I give-in and flip her onto her back when she fusses during tummy time. I relish the smiles she readily gives me when she has nursed, her belly is full, and there is most likely another layer of milk drying in the rolls of her neck. I’m crying right now…
I love her that much.
On top of it all, we are selling our town home (we have been renting it out to friends for the past several years, while we rent from David’s parents). Selling one’s house means driving across town for appraisals and inspections. It means emails and more emails. It means (like last night) complications when your water furnace doesn’t mean inspection, and the buyer’s loan officer can’t guarantee her loan until the issue is inspected again and potentially replaced. It means worrying about how you will pay a mortgage and your own rent if the buyer backs out. It means falling apart on your husband when you should be enjoying a movie in bed and nearly sending him into a panic attack. Selling one’s house can be the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. And, this mama’s back appears pretty worn out if I do say so myself.
Add to that…internet service has been patchy so it is hard to get anything done even when I have the chance. (Sorry for not commenting on so many of my fellow bloggers’ updates…I AM reading them when I can!) I haven’t touched my curriculum/classroom decorations for this upcoming year. I’m passionate about my doula business, but don’t have the time or finances to invest in it as I desire to do. I’m stressed about finding childcare for my upcoming scheduled clients. I have failed to email/text/hangout with many of my dear friends that I normally attempt to remain connected with. I rarely have a quiet time. I am putting back on my baby weight (how is that possible?!?).
Did I mention that I let Abby roll off the bed? Not that she has rolled before or since…
So, what do I think about motherhood after 16 weeks? It is the most depressing, distressing, deliriously happy experience that one could ever be given.
And my dear darling is awake again and giggling…
Hey pretty lady, I feel for you. I understand so much of where you are right now. I’m emailing you. Call me anytime.
Thank you so much for your email. I wish we lived closer too! At least we are kind of in the same city. Big hugs to you too. You are going through a lot right now also…at least we have our babies to snuggle 🙂
Awwww! No one said it was easy, but I know you’re doing great, even if you may feel overwhelmed, sad, or frustrated. Praying for you, love!
Thank you so much. Writing about it definitely helps…
Have you thought about talking to a counselor? I can relate to a lot of what you’re feeling, and I wish there was something I could say that would help. Just know you aren’t alone in this, and if you ever need to talk you can feel free to email me- email@example.com . I’m so sorry you’re going through so much right now, and I hope things start getting easier.
Thank you, and I am considering it. However, just writing about it is very cathartic for me…we will see. Thank you so much for your support!
Oh – Samantha was napping on my chest ( mommy was snoozing too) and she rolled off my chest onto the floor. I immediately woke up in a panic. Your not the only one
Thanks 🙂 still it is hard to not feel terrible!
I really liked this post. Not that I enjoy reading you are having a hard time, but it seems like every new Mama has these moments, and reading of other people’s moments is helpful. Your Dear Abby posts are great, but this feels like the reality behind the obvious love you have for her. My Peanut is 16 weeks too, and while it has been difficult in a very different way, I’ve come to realise it is never easy. Hang in there!
Thanks for relating. While your challenges are much more daunting than mine, I think there must be similarities of emotions among all new moms. It feels good to write about it and be honest. Hugs!
I’ve realised challenges are all relative. When the Peanut was first born I felt angry at other Moms who would complain about their “normal” baby behaviour. But some time has given me a bit more perspective and I’ve realised it’s just hard work! And challenges are challenges. Just because there are bigger challenges someone could be facing does not mean their situation is any less challenging. That felt very convoluted!
Anyway, hugs right back at ya! One mama to another!
I am right there with you Lauren. I had my own meltdown 2 nights ago. This mommy gig is rough sometimes and the lack of sleep is no laughing matter! Praying for you 🙂
Thank you! Right back at you!