Today has been a crappy day, to say the least. Actually, it started weeks ago, but today was the worst.
Amor Chiquito used to go to bed around 8:30 and would sleep until 7-7:30. She was napping at noon or so for about 1.5 hours. Lately, Amor Chiquito has been going to sleep at 9:30 and gets up around 6:30 or so. She was waking up twice and lately we have had nights when she has woken up five times. What is worse is the nights, like last night, when it takes hours to get her to go back to sleep. Lastly, Amor Chiquito has been eating poorly, for the most part, the last few days.
Yesterday, Amor Chiquito did not go down for a nap until 3:40. She napped until 6:10, so I knew she would not be going to bed early. Sure enough, Amor Chiquito was up until 10:30.
At 2:00 is when things got interesting. She woke up. I nursed her and put her back in the crib. Less than an hour later, she was awake again. Both Geeky Entrepreneur and I took turns trying to help her go back to sleep. Eventually, I decided I would try co-sleeping. Sadly, it really does not work for us, but last night I was desperate and was willing to try almost anything.
Co-sleeping was not working. We had been awake for hours. She kept wanting to nibble or wanting to hold a nipple. Picture your nipple getting squeezed for a long time. It is not pleasant. If I knew that after 10 minutes of it, we could all go to sleep, it would make it worthwhile, but that was not the case.
So, anyways, I tried the crib again. No success. Lots of that heart-breaking cry, lots of mommy, mommy. When I picked her up, she ran to our bedroom and climbed into our bed. I decided to try co-sleeping again because, what the hell, nothing was working. This was the option where she would be the least miserable. Hours later we were asleep.
Long story short: I got 4.5 hours of sleep. Geeky Entrepreneur probably got 5 or so. Ari got 6.5 hours of sleep. She needs at least 10 hours.
Fast-forward to naptime… Same thing… Amor Chiquito was very tired, but she would not go down in her crib. She wanted to co-sleep, but I just couldn’t do it. My nipples were quite sore after last night. Eventually, I nursed her to sleep on her bedroom floor. Yes, her bedroom floor; that was the best I could do. I am not proud of it, but, she finally napped. I got somewhere.
Of course, I am asking myself the usual questions: what the hell is going on? Is she not feeling well? What is it? What can I do to help her feel better? God knows I’d do anything! Is it the molars? Something else?
I know that this is nothing, really, that many kids and their parents out there have it a lot harder. But, right now, today, after 4.5 hours of sleep and a long, hard day, I am feeling so frustrated, so tired, so useless, so helpless, so anxious… There have been multiple times today when I have wanted to hide somewhere and cry. I know something is up with my kid and I can’t figure it out. I am her mother. It is my job to protect her and to take care of her. And, yet, I can’t even freakin’ get her to sleep! I feel like I am failing somehow.
I am a very private person. I don’t go around telling people about my issues. For example, I really struggle with anxiety and only a handful of people know about it (I think four and one of them is my husband). So why am I writing about this on a public blog? I want other parents to know that they are not alone, that all of us parents often have hard days and that it is ok to get frustrated, to want to cry, to reach out for help. This happens. It happens often, even if we do not talk about it.
In addition to what I wrote above, I wish someone had told me what parenting really is like before I got pregnant. Please do not misinterpret my words; I love my daughter to pieces and I would not change having her in my life at all. What I mean is that people always tell you “Wait… It is hard… Blab la bla…” But they don’t really tell you anything. No one tells you that there are times when you feel helpless because you can’t make your baby feel better. No one tells you that when your baby is a newborn, you need to nurse every 2-3 hours, at least, and that you will be sore as hell for weeks. No one tells you that even at 22 months you will be having rough, sleepless nights.
So, moral of the story: for me, being a mother is wonderful, intense, rewarding, hard, life-changing, overwhelming, humbling, among many other things. If you are thinking you would like to become a parent or are thinking of adding to your family, educate yourself. Don’t just talk to your mother and mother-in-law! Go on parenting message boards, for example.
Yikes, I realize this post is all over the place and for that I apologize. Normally, I would go back and edit, but I am too tired for that today! I need to take a shower and go to bed. Who knows what is in store for tonight. Fortunately, so far so good. She went to sleep at 8:45.
Oh, one more thing, whatever you do, if you want to have kids, make sure a 21-century dad fathers them! I don’t know how our mothers did it! I will admit that if I didn’t have a wonderful man at my side like I do, there would be no doubt: I’d go get my tubes tied! Geeky Entrepreneur is great, though, so I might want to try for #2 someday, despite the fact I’m still not sleeping well!
Done rambling for now. Thanks for hearing, well, reading me out!