I’ve been waking up at 4:30 or 5 a.m. the past 10 days. Partially because my back aches (we got a new mattress topper and it is not jiving with my lanky form) and partially to get a few precious minutes of solitude before Sabine gets up and we start the madness that is Toddlerdom all over again.
I relish this time alone, but it is also wearing me down. I remind myself that just like the sleepless nights of infancy, this too shall pass.
The Professor came home at four yesterday and found a haggard wife, walking back and forth in the living room with a finally sleeping baby strapped to her back. (Possibly another reason my back is hurting lately.) I continued to pace for another 30 minutes until she woke up at 4:30, guns a-blazing. She wailed. She fussed. I handed her to Daddy and crawled into my too squishy bed and passed out until 6 p.m. He reports that she slept on his chest while he rocked her for another hour after I went away. Go figure.
Yes, this is the third day in a row I’m writing about this. But hang with me for a few more sentences. There is method to my madness.
It’s taken 14 months but I’m finally learning how important it is to carve time for yourself in your days and weeks as a SAHM. My worst days are when I don’t get an escape, and no, a nice long nap while I clean the house does not count as an escape. An escape is when I leave my house without a diaper bag. Without a sippy cup. Without a lovey. Without a baby. An escape is when I go to the gym and put all my energy into my glutes, or my quads, or my chest (please, tiny boobs, don’t sag like deflated balloons when we are finally done nursing). An escape is when I carry my yoga mat to class and breathe. An escape is when I take a slow, steady, asthma-laden jog.
A wise friend of mine once said, “What do you mean you ask your husband permission to leave? Just go!”
“What? You mean just walk out? What about Sabine?”
“They will figure it out.”
And they do. I’ve stopped asking permission. I inform.
“I’m going to yoga tonight. I need you home no later than 6:45. I’ll have dinner ready for you and Sabine and you will be in charge of bed time.”
“I’m going to the gym in 15 minutes. You need to get up and watch Sabine. Breakfast is in the microwave.”
I don’t ask. I inform. And it is working for the most part. This week I had to miss yoga because Sabine had a fever and this morning I’ll miss the gym because we have to clean for the mother-in-law, but this afternoon I’ll pick back up. I informed him yesterday that I’ll be going to the gym after we run errands and before he picks his mother up. Just like that. I’m going. And he agrees. And I feel so, so powerful. Until Sabine wakes up and we begin again. :)
Congratulations, Sabine. You have just won yourself a seat at the only child table. Any shred of feeling that I wanted another child – be it through IVF, embryo adoption or regular adoption – has just been tossed down the drain.
I know these days are supposed to be developmental and only a tiny blip on the parenting radar but holy fucking shit. I can’t take anymore. I just called my husband and told him he needs to come home as soon as possible. I’m at that breaking point. I can not be whined at, hit, tugged on or bit one more time. She is an absolute angel for everyone but me and I KNOW this is because she feels safe and blah blah blah but it is just too much.
For the record I would never, ever harm my child or myself. I just want my fellow
sufferers parents to know that even I, she who will always and forever be able to “do it for herself” has found the threshold of “I can’t.” I love you guys and thank you for your words of wisdom and encouragement yesterday. It is truly the only thing carrying me through at the moment.