Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Real Life With Baby

Right now:
I do everything one-handed and leave just about every task half-finished.  This can be really frustrating, as it takes double the time to do anything, and there is hardly ever a sense of accomplishment.

I know babies cry, it's natural, but it makes me feel awful.  On the changing table, in the car, it doesn't matter where, I hate it and I have to stop it as soon as I possible.  This also makes me tense.  Which then makes me snappy and irritable sometimes.  Then I feel guilty for being snappy and irritable.

Guilt and doubt are feelings I fight.  Guilt for paying little attention to anyone on those fussy baby days.  Self-doubt creeps in easily when I'm exhausted.  I hardly feel like I can give anyone their fair share of me.

I sometimes wear the same outfit for days.  No, I always wear the same outfit for days.  I usually don't have time for makeup or hair.  I take 2 minute showers every other day. I have huge under eye circles from waking up at night.  My hair is always in a pony tail. The other day I had to run into the local grocery store and as I'm entering the store, I'm checking to see if my nursing bra is latched, and pulling a dorky clip off the top of head where I stuck it there that morning and totally forgot about it.  Not an ounce of makeup.  Baggy yoga pants.  I looked like I just woke up after a hard night partying.  I look like that more days than not.

When my husband complains of being tired I can shoot daggers out of my eyes and sometimes I have to bite my lip and sometimes I don't and just say, "Do you really want to complain to me about that?"

And in spite of all this, I look at this precious little tiny baby girl and I love her so much my heart can burst.

She outgrew a few outfits this week.  I went to put them on her and they were too short.  Patrick and I were paging through his scrapbook last week and I looked at his first year...how quickly they go from those beginning unpredictable tiny need infants, to babies who sit up on their own, and then crawl, and eat food, and walk away, and then run.  I told the kids the other day, "This time next year, Janey will be playing in the back yard with you!"  It panics me a little when I see her getting bigger, even though I know my life will get easier.  I used to feel impatient waiting for that next milestone, the next phase of parenting, but I know that it's a precious piece of time that is gone quicker than I can notice it leaving.  And that every baby I was gifted with is so worth every sacrifice, short-cut, and compromise I can make.

45 comments :

  1. I love your blog but especially appreciate the ones as honest as this one. I find so much comfort as a new mom hearing my own exhaustion, frustration, self-doubt and guilt expresses by someone on their sixth baby. It makes me feel so normal! It also gives me hope since I ask myself frequently if its all worth it.

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  2. What a great post! Been there, done that twice in two years! It is calming for me to read that a mom of 6 feels the same as I have. The hardest thing for me was to interrupt grad school twice to have babies. To go from the fast pace of grad school, the rush-rush of deadlines to having a baby and not being able to do *anything* for probably a full year -- not even feeling like you can cook a meal. It was very hard. How quickly it changes! Ah -- I sometimes wish I could press 'pause' on my girls' babyhood, but time marches on. Bittersweet, for sure.

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  3. Thank you for being normal. She is beautiful.

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  4. Thank you, I really needed to read this tonight. We had a rough day and now everyone is up at 2:30! It helped to hear that It is ok to be aggregated about doing things with one hand and usually half finished. I know it goes by so quickly but it is just so overwhelming sometimes.

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  5. I still get sad thinking of the day I realized my daughter had outgrown her infant onesies (she's almost 5 now). I honestly had thought they had shrunk in the dryer, but my well-meaning neighbor mentioned that her clothes looked a little tight. As irrational as it sounds, I thought she would be in those soft, plush pjs forever. Watching them grow is the very definition of bittersweet.

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  6. If I ran into you in that grocery store ... I would give you a big hug and carry your groceries.

    Remembering feeling just like that, ages ago.

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  7. I have no doubt that you are doing the best you can everyday and that's all you can do. Everyone will survive a little grouchiness, they know the love is there.
    You're a good Mom, Sarah, don't forget that!

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  8. Thanks for the post it is reassuring to hear that we all have tiring days, weeks, and months!

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  9. YES the reality of motherhood!!! If it wasn't for those first tiring months, I would have 10 kids!

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  10. Prayers for you today. That is a precious picture. That is such a hard season, and I think the sleep deprivation makes everything seem way worse. No guilt, no shame, no blame. Momming is hard, and we all do the best we can.

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  11. I love your honesty. The best thing I heard when my kids were babies to get me through is

    "The days are long but the years are short." So true.

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  12. What a beautiful picture of your Janey! Last year, when our youngest of 4 was a newborn, I felt the same way. And the silly thing is, I kind of miss those days. They just go by way too fast. =)

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  13. Thanks for the honesty. I'm due with #5 on Christmas Eve. I am overly nervous about the timing for this with all the chaos of the holidays. I am already worried about my grouchiness post-baby and making sure the other kiddos enjoy Christmas and have some normalcy. Mine are ages 6, 5, 3, and 17 months...so they don't quite understand the whole thing about me being grouchy for a while after baby, but I am hoping for some eager helpers!!
    Thanks for keeping it real! :)

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  14. "Guilt for paying little attention to anyone on those fussy baby days. Self-doubt creeps in easily when I'm exhausted. I hardly feel like I can give anyone their fair share of me."

    Just now, it is right that the baby has a larger share of you. Don't feel guilty about that. You are in this as a family and maybe spending less time with you/making fewer demands is their contribution to your, fair share of family life.

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  15. I found, that for me, the first 4 months of my babies' lives went by in a blur. A wonderful, happy, sleep deprived blur. Thus, making having the next baby exciting, because I forgot about those feelings you just described! I think it is God's way of helping women have more than one baby :). Hang in there and keep on loving that sweet little angel. You inspire all of us!

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  16. What an honest post. I so remember those days and now, fondly. At the time, not so much.

    She is beautiful and while these are tiring days, they will pass all too quickly.

    Enjoy and celebrate every moment. You have a beautiful family.

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  17. Aw, those feelings and times are tough - even though you know how quickly this time passes. Somehow, it's hard to picture you as anything less than beautiful! But we've all had those days of just plowing through the day somehow. And sometimes that's all we can give as mothers. She's a doll!

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  18. As I read this, I can see how much you love Janey, but you remind me of why I'm not a baby person, and I am so much more a toddler person. The baby stage is so hard and demanding with few rewards and lots of hormones!!

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  19. So glad I'm not the only one! Thanks for sharing honestly. You are an amazing mom.

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  20. I am going to have my first in April and love reading your baby posts. And I suspect this is something I will have to learn on my own, but it doesn't hurt to remember that a veteran mom swears by it:

    And that every baby I was gifted with is so worth every sacrifice, short-cut, and compromise I can make.

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  21. My baby is 2 and I still look like that many days!

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  22. Sarah, is it REALLY true? I had my second baby 9 months ago, and it almost felt like I was ripped in half. I always imagined having at least four kids; I LOVE my two and life is much more balanced now, nine months later; but still at bedtime I often wonder, how could I possibly divide myself up even further? Won't the guilt and doubt just grow even larger every time?

    You are the best for your honest posts like these. Glad to know I'm not the only one who's spent the majority of the year frazzled and unshowered.

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  23. I know! You are able to articulate my exact experience when I had Caroline. Jackson over heard me telling Jeff that I feel like I live in black yoga pants. A few days later he said to me, "Mom, are you going to wear your Ninja pants today?" Hey, I thought. That sounds way cooler than yoga pants! So now they are ninja pants.
    And good to know I'm not the only one wearing the same outfit 3 days in a row - and I don't have a newborn! In fact, if I put make-up on Jackson asks me why I'm "so fancy" today? ;) I love your posts Sarah.
    Thinking of you lots.

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  24. Love this post! Always makes you feel good to see you are not the only one in that boat! I always struggle too can't bare a screaming baby either and so I held my last one 24/7 and it was so hard to get ANYTHING done. It sounds terrible but she is 20 months now, and I still don't get a lot of sleep because she still likes lots of holding and attention. I have to remind myself I trained her this way, and even though it is frustrating that I can't get things done I would like, I am savoring every minute I have because I know that the "rocking" time passes too fast! Thanks for your honesty...we all love it.

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  25. I'm going through this exact thing right now. A newborn, another toddler running around, managing and running the house, and running my business out of my house.
    Last night after both babies were in bed I had to PEEL myself up off the couch, rub the tired out of my eyes and get the necessities of cleaning done (with the help of my husband, hallelujah). I finally went to bed at 11:45 (because Nora was crying to be nursed so might as well call it a night) and as I got into bed tired but accomplished feeling with what we had gotten done, I saw our white quilted shams...filthy dirty.
    And this fast thought of IT NEVER ENDS!! I CAN'T DO IT ALL! I DON'T HAVE THE ENERGY! THE GIRLS NEED ME! EVERYTHING NEEDS ME!
    but as quickly as that thought came...it left.
    Because the Holy Spirit inside of me hushed it.
    Just do what you can, and let Me prioritize your life. I promise I'll give you all you need to do what I've called you to do.

    And the flippin' pillow shams can be dirty, ok? We're creating life and raising small children to be amazing adults. All we really need to do is love them and feed them.
    I have no idea WHY we put the pressure on ourselves to have it all. Rockin' body, beautiful clothing, hair and makeup, spotless and gorgeous home, etc. Yeah right. That's not what motherhood looks like when you have really little ones.
    Do your best, but don't expect something that's not only unachievable without a great deal of stress, but is not even desirable. Real is beautiful.

    And like you said, it gets easier and easier as they get older. This is just a season:)

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  26. You are doing so well, Sarah. Even a job half done is an accomplishment when there's an infant in the house. All those feelings of crabbiness and frustration are what we all feel the first year. I certainly did with my six. My youngest is 15 months and everyday when I start thinking of all the things I didn't do, I make myself mentally list all the little half-done things I did do. It makes me feel better.

    Janey is such a beautiful baby!

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  27. You're doing great Sarah! I'm in the same boat over here. But now mine is 9months old. I'm still exhausted half the time, but as you know...it's soooo worth it:)) I hope Janey had a decent night last night. I always felt better once my babies would go right back to sleep after they nursed.

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  28. Thanks for being so transparent so all of us know we are not alone. Your family is so blessed to have you!

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  29. Hang in there Sarah. I love what everyone has posted here...all such true words. The sleep deprivation might be the worst part. Just think how much you will miss this time when Janey is turning 10. You will have forgotten all the yuckiness and it will have seemed blissful!

    She is a beauty and so are YOU!
    With love,
    Amy W
    Chicago

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  30. A beautiful post and so real. It's good for mommies to know that we are not alone in this crazy, yet beautiful thing called motherhood. As crazy as it can get, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I love reading your blog!

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  31. Oh Sarah~ I love your posts...and especially these that are so honest...so true...and so true for so many of us. When I read about these days with your little one I can't help but think back & wish I had your words back when mine were babies. So helpful & real. But I soak up all the others too because my boys are 6 & 8yo. :) That old saying that the days are long but the years are short is so true. Hang in there & try to enjoy the beautiful moments of your journey. Thank you for sharing. Love & hugs, B

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  32. Love this Sarah, your words are such a gift to new mommies, boy I wish I had them when my daughter was a newborn. I was way too hung up on making everything perfect and sometimes you just can't do it all. But you have to take heart that you are doing the best for your little baby...and that is what your family needs at this moment. Yep she's gonna get bigger, I told my youngest not to, but he didn't listen :) You are right to take in all that the newborn stage has. Thanks again for sharing :)

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  33. Oh, the hair clip on top of the head... I have so done that. As well as the glare when my cute husband tells me how tired he is. Thanks for making me chuckle. I soon will be having these types of days again for the third time. I was glad to hear a veteran like you has such days because sometimes I think I am the only one. Wishing you a nice long shower soon.

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  34. Thank you for this. My third son is two weeks younger than your Janey so I'm right down in the trenches with you. I found an outfit that works with a nursing bra and wear it almost every day. Showers everyday are overrated anyway, right? Wishing you a beautiful day!

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  35. I really needed this today. I'm 8 months in to life with my third, and this still describes a lot of my days. Thank you for reminding me that it's okay.

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  36. Keep going, Sarah. You're doing all the right things.

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  37. This nearly brought tears to my eyes. My 2nd baby is nearly 8 months old and I'm still struggling to finish tasks and get into any resemblance of a routine. Your honesty was refreshing and encouraging :)

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  38. I loved the way you talked about never having a feeling of accomplishment. SO true when you have a baby! It's the most frustrating thing. Every thing is done half way and nothing ever feels completed. Sarah - I think about you every day! I can't imagine how you must feel (I always feel so stretched with three!). Just know that you are doing such a good job with your kids and remember that it's good for them to have to fend for themselves once in a while. They grow a lot when that happens! Every mom feels snappy and crabby and a total mess during the stage you are in. You know better than anyone that it is only temporary and before you know it you will be sleeping better and everything feels so much better once you can get more sleep! Hang in there! She is a beautiful baby Sarah and like you said - so worth it all!

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  39. You are such a good mommy. I bet no one even notices the stupid clip and the baggy yoga pants. It probably looks like you just finished a great workout at the gym and you are going home to shower and then off to lunch with girlfriends. :) Let's go with that.

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  40. Love the reality check. I get so tired of all the hype about getting dressed to the shoes, yada, yada. When my twins were newborn I was lucky to get a shower. I felt like I was crazy compared to all the perfect housewives. Thankfully I realized pretty quickly to give myself a little grace. I now enjoy getting ready and doing my makeup and hair but my youngest is 27 months and my twin boys are in kindergarten. I always tell new moms to try and accept the chaos. Despite all the books and blogs on "doing it all, being it all, organizing it all", there are seasons when the bare necessities are a moms only reality. Bravo to you for your honesty. Women need this. I bet you rocked those baggy yoga pants. ;)

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  41. Our baby girls are so close in age, and I can't tell you how comforting it is to hear an experienced Mama voice the same concerns and little frustrations. It quiets that fear (for a few seconds at least!) that I'm not a horrible mother, that everyone goes through this, that snipping, and feeling annoyed, then weeping over how much I love her is 100% normal.

    And those daggers come shooting out of my eyes - who am I kidding, my mouth - when my husband says he's tired too :)

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  42. It is so hard to find that balance between everything. You're doing great! I'd tell you to enjoy this special time, but I know you are. :)

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  43. I know exactly how you feel...only there is no precious baby at our house...just us two older grandparents raising two grandkids ages 14 and 12 and me the sole caretaker of them and my dear husband who had a stroke last year. It is tough....but think of the alternative. God Bless You.

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  44. Love this post and your blog as a whole. Your sweet baby girl is so cute and your family is beautiful. I think for the first time I feel that 4 years ago when my little one was born what I was feeling was normal! Thanks! I wish I could have had more babies but having the first at 39 and then 4 miscarriages after that I do not think it is in my cards. I am so grateful for Gods one gift of a child and his many other blessings in my life. I too loved every moment when she was a baby and miss them too. Some people would tell me when she was a new baby not to hold her too much or go to her every time she cried. I would just look at them as they were crazy. I was not going to miss any second of this blessing. The "baby phase" was so fun (even though I looked a mess most of the time)and I am also having fun at seeing how "grown" she is now. Time flies!! Enjoy! Thank you! Michele M

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  45. oh my goodness, thanks for this post. Glad I'm not the only one.

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