Posts by Belle
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.
For the past 14 months I have felt like while I was not bringing home any money, I was doing a rockstar job raising a kid. Sabine was such a fun baby and we had great times together at home and our with friends. She was a happy kid and in my eyes that meant I was doing a good job. I at least went to bed most nights feeling like I had kicked parenting in the ass.
Lately that is changing. Sabine is challenging. She is always under my feet and always fussing. I try to play with her and she crawls off and fusses. I read her books that she used to sit for and she crawls off and throws more books at me. She yells at me when I offer food, she yells at me when I try to put her down for a nap, she yells at me when I step into the bathroom. She gets angry at her toys and furious when she tries to walk and fails (she still is not walking.)
I know she is frustrated with not being able to do the things she sees her friends doing, like walking and talking. I know that part of this is the age we are at (14 months) and that it is not always a reflection on my parenting. But when Daddy comes home and she is an angel for him, sitting still and listening to books, playing nicely and giggling up a storm it makes me slink off to the bathroom and cry. Sabine is a delight for Daddy, the sitter, her friends and their moms but not for me. I see this and all I can think is that clearly she would be happier in daycare.
I hate feeling like a failure and I really hate the days that I am relieved to put my kid to bed. I try to talk to my husband about these feelings and he just blows them off and then coddles his cat (who is having some issues of her own adjusting to the baby – a post for a later date).
The guilt I am feeling over all of this, plus the returning to work stress, is eating me alive. Compounding the issue are the complex emotions that come with parenting after infertility – I fought so damn hard for this and waited so damn long and now what? Now I don’t like it? I am failing at it? Are you kidding me? It is one thing to go to personal training school and decide it is not the career for you. It is an entirely different thing to go through IVF, have a baby and then feel this way about parenting.
Sabine is finally napping after being up since 6 a.m. (it is 2 now) and I am going to take a few minutes for myself. I’ll have a cup of coffee, eat some chocolate coconut ice cream and wait for your pearly words of wisdom and encouragement. Dirty dishes and laundry can wait an hour…