Thursday, August 12, 2010

Going It Alone


I don't know where I read this recently (like in the past couple of days recently) but I read something along the lines of "People make the mistake of thinking that when a woman stays home with her young children, she's not alone and thus not lonely.  However a woman is never more alone than when she's home alone with her children."  That's sorta how I feel.  I think having a new baby is a lonely venture.  

The past few weeks have been great as we've had 3 different sets of family come to stay with us during this transitional time.  We still have 1 more visit coming up in another week.  B was so lucky to have a super easy rotation in his residency and during the past 5 weeks has come home early every day--usually around 1 or 2, and sometimes as early as 10:30.  It's been wonderful.  So as my mother-in-law left yesterday and as B's last day of getting home early is today I can't help but feel a little abandoned.  Wait! not now, I'm not ready yet.   I knew I wouldn't have help forever, and I knew I'd have to do the day-in and day-out with 2 kids by myself eventually, but I can't believe it's already here.  Now I know why people like to live close to family while raising their kids...it's never been an option for me and truthfully not something I feel like I need or want all the time, but when I have a new baby it sounds really nice.  

Do I sound all post-partum depression-y?  Well I admit to having a fair share of anxiety lately over Lamp's napping issues.  Here's what I've deduced so far.  My baby's crazy.  The last few mornings I've spent almost all morning, and I mean ALL morning, trying to get her down for a nap.  I tried all the tricks I knew and nothing.  Yesterday she slept for two 40 minute naps in the morning, but I kid you not, I spent 5 hours total trying to get her down for said naps and they just weren't enough as she kept crying and being sad.  Finally, FINALLY at 2:00pm she went to sleep....for 5 hours!  The day before it was similar....fight, fight, fight all morning....come 1:00pm a 2 hour nap...followed by more naps...until bedtime. WHAT?  Yeah mornings she'll fight and cry and scream and be overtired and cry because she's overtired...then the afternoon comes and she'll take some monster naps.  Then go down for bed relatively easy as well.  

Perhaps it doesn't sound that bad like, If I can just make it through the morning... but you can't spend HOURS trying to get a crying and fussy baby to sleep and not have it frazzle your nerves a bit.  And when my nerves are frazzled I start to feel anxious, which makes me feel sad and uncertain....and well, that makes me feel baby blues-ish or post partum-y or whatever.  

So truth be told I think that's what's at the core of my loneliness.  When you have a new baby I find that it's a struggle and you do it alone.   No one can do this for me and it's tough.  But I try to remember what my midwife said when I was in the throes of labor with Beanie.  I was physically and mentally exhausted and had said more than once, I can't do it!  I can't do it!  Then my midwife said, You can do it and in fact you're the only one who can.  

So there's my mantra for today...I can do it.  And I'm the only one who can.   



20 comments:

  1. sooo lonely. I know exactly what you mean. I don't have time to write a lot of comments but know that you are not alone in thinking this and this is something that they don't tell you about motherhood. very lonely. my mother tells me how lonely she was too.

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  2. I really liked this post. You are a fabulous writer. I wish I could help you out somehow. Just know that people are thinkin' of you, and wishing you the best!

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  3. I hear ya! This is one of my favorite reasons to blog. Honestly, I have felt so much more connect to other women. Just knowing I'm not alone in my lonely, lost, chaotic feelings. And knowing that a lot of us have ups and downs.

    You've been on a roll, Miss Miggy. I'm eating this up!

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  4. Thanks for your comments ladies.

    It's a wonder we ever live through this whole motherhood bit.

    Likely, that's good to hear. Yes even my own mom talked with me about her babies and how hard they were for her. So GOOD to hear.

    Adri--thank you again. I have to say I find myself jealous of moms who are past this whole baby phase and I feel like I should bow down to you...(you are past the baby phase right? :))

    Abbie--Exactly why I love blogging as well. It has been SO therapeutic. Especially from the stay at home mom standpoint...like you said, just knowing I'm not alone helps so much.

    Thanks you guys.

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  5. Oh and Abbie--I'm not sure if you feel this way, but I have to say part of me is also sad that this time I'm having a baby but NOT in NYC because I actually felt so much less isolated there than I have felt here. I really miss being able to walk 3 blocks to the park and know I'll probably see at least 1-2 friends when I get there...sigh...so I hope NYC has been the same blessing for you.

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  6. You know Amy, I'm really feeling for you right now because I've felt and still feel the way you just described. In fact Claire is almost 8 months old and I'm still struggling with those feelings. It's lonely and hard and newborns and the uncertainty that comes with each day not knowing how they will be and if and when you get them to sleep how long will they stay asleep, and the crying--oh I get anxiety just thinking about it so I know I am of no help but at this moment I'm thinking about you and want to cry with you because it can be lonely at home, by yourself with your little ones. It just doesn't feel good to have a little pit in your stomach like I seem to always have lately. In my perfect world I would have a "turn off feeling knob" on my body.

    The suburbs are definitely more isolating--ah, sigh . . .

    Anyways, you are inspiring and I really do think little lamp and beanie are lucky to have you as their mom.

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  7. Oh yes...I know those feelings, especially with this demanding resident schedule. I have to admit, I did not expect it to be this bad. So let's hang out now that B will be back to the grind and chase those blues away together.

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  8. Thanks for your comment on my blog! So sorry we haven't been able to connect recently. You are totally fighting the good fight, here! Even though Gabriel was such a less fussy baby than Noah was, it was SO hard to have another little newborn. You've described the feelings perfectly. Especially with husbands MIA and demanding preschoolers in tow. Just remember how quickly things change and how many little phases they go through. It seems like your blog is so theraputic for you, so important to have stuff like that. For me it's exercise -- totally obsessed right now, but it's the only way I get through my days! Let's try to touch base on the phone soon! Call me anytime -- I lost all my contacts when my phone died 2 weeks ago.

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  9. Anonymous10:33 AM

    That quote about being lonely is SO true! When you're a mom you're NEVER alone, but you always feel alone.

    The other comment I want to make is to kind of add to what your midwife said... so if you really start thinking about someone else who could do the hard parts of parenting for you would you really trade it? While I was pregnant (and hating it OFTEN) I would say that I wished someone else could carry the baby and then I could just have it in the end. So one day after one of my many complaining rants Josh said "okay, say we had a surrogate, would you really want someone else feeling your baby growing and moving inside of them just so you could have it easy?" Da*nit if he didn't make a good point. I wouldn't trade the crappy stuff for all the good stuff. I guess that meant I had to go on ;0)

    Here's another quote "you take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have..."

    Love,
    Laticia

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  10. Miggy, (this might be too much info., but I'm sharing anyway ;) )

    Yes, I'm past the baby phase. But I'm a "nut", because I STILL crave having another baby. I know, gasps across the board! I think I'm the only person on the planet who LOVES being pregnant (well, minus throwing up 2 times a day for 7 weeks straight), and loves giving birth even more! I swear, I'd have 3 more babies, if I could.

    Sadly, my husband and I know our family is complete...everyone is here. Happily, I DO know that no one is missing in our family (through many wonderful spiritual experiences), which is a great thing! However, it means that my baby-craving will never be satisfied. I've decided that if we don't move (my husband's job is on the rocks), I'll sign up at our local hospital as a volunteer...and just hold those precious babies for as long as they need me to ;)

    I won't lie though...it's much easier when kids are older, and you can "reason" with them. Yet, when those precious babies get strong personalities of their own (ready to go into the wide, wide world), it's a completely different set of challenges, which are equally tiring, frustrating, and worrisome.

    Parenthood is definitely the most intense, most WONDERFUL, and most challenging job EVER created. That's why I love being married. I don't have to do it alone! :)

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  11. Not to tell you what to do, but my babies always crash in the bjorn. Maybe just going to the park or museum with Beanie and sticking Lamp in the Bjorn would help? I know I always feel better gettting out of the house, and even if the sleep isn't as good quality as sleeping in her crib, at least she'd be resting?
    Just a thought
    xoxox

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  12. So very true. The entire post rings true, and is SO relatable.

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  13. You've done it before, and you can do it again! You are part of a great sisterhood and have a divine heritage that enables you to do this! It will get easier and be different. I get those postpartum feelings too, but it passes and "joy cometh in the morning."

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  14. Your post takes me back about 4 months ago when I was alone with a crazy colicky 3 week old baby and a toddler all by myself for 3 days straight. Yup. No husband. It was really hard. Let's be honest. It just sucked. All three days and all three nights. Pretty miserable. I'm so glad that babies really do learn how to sleep better. Good luck with your little one. Your getting closer to that happy sleeptime schedule!

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  15. Hi, new reader here. Anyway, ugh. That first few months was pretty horrible with the ONE I have (now 8 months)-- she was colicky, I was depressed, it was a terrible winter--so two will probably be all the harder. I never realized how much work it would be getting to know your baby so you could parent him/her right! I figured--hey, it's a baby. I teach her what to do! Not so much. After we got past the "spending all morning (sometimes all day) to get to the falling asleep" part, it still was taking a solid thirty minutes of rocking only to get her to sleep for thirty minutes and then wake up b/c she was hungry. Finally, I realized one day "maybe she doesn't want me to rock her!" (she was about 4 months) So I put her down, she fussed for a few minutes, and right then she finally started taking good naps. Anyway, so far it seems to be quite a journey figuring out what they need, and all the while stuck in your house--egad!

    It is so nice to remember you are not alone.

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  16. That's going to be my new mantra too. I needed this today because I TOTALLY relate.

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  17. I like that mantra. Sometimes it's hard thinking you are the only one who can do it, but on the flip side there is something nice about the fact that only you can. I once heard a mother I respect a lot say that anyone can replace a 'Condelezza Rice' (or any other professional job) but no one can replace a mother for her child. NO ONE can replace you for your two little daughters.

    Thank you for sharing so much of your life and feelings on this blog. I enjoy reading it. My personal mantra is "Carry On". So just keep doing what you are doing.

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  18. Think of those WWII advertisements with the pretty women trying to look buff flexing their muscles and the phrase written below: "You CAN do it!" :)

    I see that the sleep issues have improved since you posted this, and I'm glad you got a few nights of uninterrupted sleep. Things WILL get better, and even though you are alone at home, just remember you have a ton of friends in similar situations and you can always call them for empathy!

    Miss you and the Western Hills Ward girls!

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  19. You are so beautiful and wonderful! Your girls are absolutely precious. I'm awed by your strength and insight. You are doing fabulously. I think #2 was my toughest. You must keep writing--you're very talented!

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  20. You are so beautiful and wonderful! You must keep writing. Your strength and insights are inspiring. I'm so glad I finally got to read your posts...I caught up with your mom a few months ago. Your girls are absolutely precious and you're doing fabulously well...it is VERY tough and makes you so strong!!!

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