Well, it happened. I had my first major “This is so hard” moment on Saturday morning and I let it all out.
Don’t get me wrong, there have been many, many hard moments since Prince Will’s birth, but I’ve been trying really hard to keep my focus on all the good things that have happened in our family since we grew from four to five. And really, there is so much good. He is the sweetest little boy and I love seeing Ruby and Hank love him as older siblings.
Having three kids is definitely busy, but despite the busy-ness, I’ve been managing okay. I get overwhelmed sometimes, but most days I was getting a break while the boys napped and I was getting a decent sleep at night. I can function on three to four hours of sleep as long as those hours are consecutive.
And then October happened. I mentioned it a little in my last post, but my sweet wee one just… stopped sleeping. I know all about growth spurts, sleep regressions and teething, but last week was just ghastly. There were no naps, and his night time “sleep” regressed to hourly wake ups (if he slept at all), which was even worse than when he was a newborn. Right now he won’t take a bottle and is exclusively breastfed, so night wake-ups are my shift.
By Friday evening I was a zombie. By some miracle I actually got him down in his bed by 8pm so I was faced with a choice: do as my body commanded and go to bed immediately, or do as my brain / heart pleaded and go out for dinner with friends to preserve my sanity. I opted for dinner out, and it was so, so lovely. For two whole hours no one needed me. I ate my food with both hands, and I talked to grown ups. It was magical.
But I paid for it dearly.
Friday was probably the worst night the baby has had since coming home. He first woke up at 11:30, then it was hourly wake ups before deciding just to be awake from 3:30-6:30… which of course was when Hank and Ruby decided to get up. The Hubster took everyone downstairs for me so I could take a few minutes alone to shower. To say I was fried was the understatement of the year. I turned on the shower, stood there in the heat and sobbed. Like shoulders heaving, my soul is broken sobbing.
I thought I had it all out, but as I left the bathroom and went to my bedroom to get dressed, there is was: my bed. My glorious, comfortable bed that I had slept in for all of two minutes the night before. All I wanted to do was crawl back in (forever) but of course we had a million things on the go that day that couldn’t be canceled so my exhaustion took over (again) and I had another good cry. The Hubster found me this time and held me while I cried, and cried, and cried.
It didn’t do much to help with the exhaustion, but somehow letting all that out felt so much better. My mom had already planned on coming down for the morning, and she held the baby while we talked and talked… and by the time she left I felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. The Hubster took charge of Hank and Ruby so I could sit with the baby in our recliner and sleep.
Parenting is really hard. (I originally had the word “sometimes” written at the end of that sentence, but let’s be real here.) I sometimes feel like admitting that this is hard and showing emotion is viewed as a sign of weakness or inability… The lack of sleep combined with very little no time for yourself and the pressure to do everything “right” can be really overwhelming. I’m still working on finding my balance, but it’s a work in progress. I know this part passes and things get so much better, so for now, I’m hanging in there. I’m trying to take things day by day, though some days it feels more like hour by hour.
We seem to be through the worst of whatever the last 3 weeks was. He is napping a little again, and when he is awake he will lay happily on his mat or in his bouncy chair and doesn’t need me to hold him on my shoulder all. of. the. time. Last night he even slept from 10:30 – 3:30, which is the longest stretch he has done in weeks. I feel like a million bucks today. :)
I’m still learning that this isn’t a perfect process, and I don’t have to be perfect at it. I am doing my best, and though my best might look different from someone else’s, that’s okay. There will be days when I need to cry it out, but I also know the sun always comes out tomorrow.
In the words of Anne, “Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it. (yet.)”