Sunday, January 3, 2010

Highs And Lows

Before I get started on the subject of this post, I would like to beg your forgiveness for a moment of thoughtlessness in my previous post. I don't know how I did it, but I stupidly asked for peoples opinions about posting child pics from those with blogs and kid(s). Effectively telling those people who are still trying for number one that 'you couldn't possibly have an opinion since you haven't actually experienced parenthood yet.' Of course you would and I welcome your thoughts on the matter. I feel awful and I am also sorry that it took me so long to apologize. I woke up in the middle of the night and realized my arrogance not two days after I posted it. In the future, please feel free - no, I encourage you - to point out when I am being insensitive to those on the IF journey.

I swear I have all these ideas about blog posts in the middle of the night and here I am with a rare occasion to blog and I can't think of anything pertinent to say. How about some random highs/lows of parenting?


Well, this isn't really a conversation, is it? My apologies for complaining about being pregnant and parenting. It is the truth the way I see it right now. In a way, it is also my answer to people who try to coerce others into having kids. It is wonderful, but it is not without it's trade-offs. While I believe choosing to live childfree / childless after infertility is the hardest path to take (how do you turn off that desire to parent?), there is also a reason why studies show again and again that those without children are happier than those with children.

High: I am sure there is at least several times each day when I am delighted to watch LB learn and grow. Tonight I put LB to bed early. She has been teething and/or had a bit of tummy trouble and she hardly napped today. She fought it as she usually does, but it all fell apart when her stuffed duck told me she wanted to go night-night so I laid her down on her side. LB cried the cry of the heartbroken, but it was cute at the same time. I don't know if she was sad because the duck went to sleep when she wanted to play or it was a clear indication it was indeed nighttime. Either way, it was an insight into her world. After I assured her that the duck would get up with her in the morning, she quickly fell asleep.

Low: I got back out of bed at the late, late hour of 7:30. This is a rare treat - normally I go to bed with her closer to nine o'clock. How wonderful to have some quiet time to myself. I decided I would start a crochet project for which I bought the yarn somewhere around 2 years ago. I gathered everything up (and imagined blogging about it for Perfect Moment Monday) and decided I was way too tired to follow directions never mind get my tired eyes to focus. I have not been well rested since late in my pregnancy with LB - not even a day. Just as she started sleeping pretty well, this pregnancy has been taking it's toll. Some nights I am just wide awake and I don't know why. I am hoping I will get some much needed sleep in a year or two.

High: Oh my god, I can't come up with another 'high'. That tells you how tired I am, I guess. I like being a mom, I really do. What do I like about it? . . . . I like getting hugs and kisses from LB. I like that she comes to me when she needs comfort or reassurance. I am not auntie or second best. I like being the one.

Low: Who am I? I find that my day is often a day of doing: Make breakfast, tidy house, take a shower, work, tidy house, make dinner - all interspersed with playtime. What happened to my hobbies? What happened to that feeling of self I think I used to have? I know I am the adult here and can set expectations and make time for myself. I am always working on doing that better, but it is hard for me. After waiting so long for LB, I find I want to give and give and give. My job isn't satisfying and I entertain the idea of quitting, but then I wonder if I would disappear all together.

High: Our morning ritual: Ready or not (usually not) LB wakes up and is ready to eat! Sometimes I can nurse her back to sleep for a blessed 30 - 45 minutes, but usually she signs "eat" with vigor. Stalling, I ask, "Are you hungry?" "Yeah." "What do you want?" "Banananana." "How about some cereal?" "Yeah!" "With banana?" "Yeah!" Then she climbs on the momma-express and we get a small bowl of cold cereal and sit on a stool (LB on my lap) and watch the sun come up while we eat. It is a good, peaceful, if sleepy time for me. Soon we will be playing with toys or taking a shower or tidying house until it is time for a more nutritious 'second breakfast'. Yes, we also often have elevensies, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner and supper.

Low: Husband? What husband? OH! You mean the daddy! Even though Brad and I have a standing date night and so get at least 2 hours / week together to be a couple, so much of our time is spent parenting LB. I can spend all day with my poor hubby and still miss him at the end of the day. Where is our friendly banter? Didn't we used to have sex? At least cuddle? Ok, it isn't that bad - well, the lack of sex is, but we find times to connect intellectually throughout the day. Still, it isn't like it used to be. I suspect it is just one of those trade-offs. I think as we move out of the toddler stage, we will have more time to simply be together and less of, "Isn't it your turn to take her to the potty?" and "Oh look how cute she is!"

High: Cute factor. Need I say more?

High and Low: Mama! Mama! Mama! Mama! Mama! Mama! Mama! It isn't a form of address around here, it is command. With limited vocabulary, "Mama!" and some signs/pointing is about all you need to get your point across.

This is great when I notice how well we can communicate with only a few words. It isn't great when I am lacking in patience or feeling . . . micromanaged. LB is getting increasingly demanding and prone to tantrums when she doesn't get her way. I suppose all kids go through this (again and again, I suspect) to see what they can get away with. This is hard for me, as I have said. I hate to see her upset because she wants something and doesn't understand why she doesn't get it or get it immediately. Necessity is teaching me to be strong and to find creative ways of saying "no" (like walking away from a tantrum), thankfully.

High: Emptying the dishwasher. I think this is a 'high' Oh, it is. Given my normal lack of patience the fact that I almost never think "hurry up!" while we unload the dishwasher together must mean it is a good thing. I can be tiring though. The dishes are easy - she takes them, hands them to me and I put them a way. The silverware (after I have quickly removed all the knives) is more of a process. She will get a spoon or fork, walk over to the silverware drawer, turn her back to me, say "Mama!", I pick her up, she figures out where the particular item goes, and with no small amount of time actually manages to place the item in the correct spot. Put the baby down and repeat.

I will end with a question - What do you do (if you have kids) or imagine you would do (if you are trying for kids) to maintain a balance between your role as mother and your other roles?


battynurse said...

Ok so the apology to me is unnecessary. It wasn't something I took offense to.
Right now I can't imagine how tired you are. I hope things calm down a bit soon (although I know it's not likely) and you feel like you have a bit of time to yourself.

Riley said...

I'm at the point where after everything we've tried hasn't worked - including DE/DS maybe it's because I'm not cut out to be a mother. Reading your post exhausted me - I can't imagine how you must feel. While I can't picture my life without kids, I'm starting to wonder if it is really worth the effort and money to keep trying.

Leah and Maya said...

a bit of a depressing post! I didnt' catch onto the last post either and I would think anyone how blogs who is still trying to have children has thought of it.

Well although Maya is now 3 which I have to say so far isnt' my favorite age at times still I dont' find the problems you have and I nver did. Because (I know you have heard this from me enough time) but becasue I put Maya in her crib or playpen for her naps and at bedtime I have always had lots of time to myself or with Joe and I ourselves. we snuggle all the tiem on of the couch and in bed (since the Maya is in hers). I fianlly feel like I am someone again, not horse trainer or horse person but a mom. Of course I also dont' have a problem saying No to her, its a part of life and not everyone will cater to her and really thats just life. I think the thing that gets in your way is the no time to yourself, and it doens't get better because once they quit napping its mostly gone. LB II I'm sure would love to sleep in his/her own bed from the beginning although you still ahve LB to retrain but oh to have the joy of time to yourself, and I love to listen to Maya in her room, singing jingle bells and making up stories with her bear. you might end up like my in laws each sleeping in different beds with their differnt kids, for me no way to have a marriage.
I have had sleeping probelms too off and on, very frusterating.

MrsSpock said...

I don't have a lot of time to myself, since our son doesn't require much sleep. He's up until 10PM and sleeps until 8AM.

Now that I work from home, I have my lunch break to myself, and an hour after I work to try and blog or exercise. We also designate Saturday as "my" day and Sunday as "his" day to do what we want. On Sunday, my husband plays sports all day and coaches a high school team. On Sat, I go to a movie, or shop, or go to a coffee shop and drink hot chocolate and read/write.

But it's taken 20 months to refine this routine.

I like the toddler period better than the newborn one. I absolutely dread another newborn phase, and would hire a nanny to help at nights if we could afford it.

Tracy said...

I really didn't think this was a depressing post, but maybe I'm reading it from a different perspective than some? As momma to twins, I have some empathy and understanding of what you're going through, though I don't know what it's like to be pregnant while raising a toddler (the thought exhausts me!) We are just now getting to the point where we are all well rested, but our mornings start early (sometimes before 6am) and some days we don't nap well, which gives me no break. And with two, the troubles with sleep/nap/demands are doubled.

I don't quite know how to answer your question about keeping a separate sense of self. I guess I figure this is all temporary. What I'll do when they don't need me like they do now, I don't know. I figure I'll keep adjusting, just as I do they evolve through their phases.

I do try to squeeze in a workout every day, as well as some time to read, but I am with you on the toll it's taken on our marriage. We're fine, but it's different. And definitely not enough nookie. ;)

Frenchie said...

I can relate to so much of what you are saying here. Right now I am sitting here--SO tired--barely the energy to anything other than catch up on blog reading or watch really mindless tv. And even still I relish this time and am getting it only because I put Handsome Man in his room for mandatory "quiet time". HM also does not require much sleep and has given up naps altogether. I don't know if I'm exhausted purely from pregnancy or taking care of HM or if it's both (probably both). Anyway, too tired to think of anything deep to say, but, hang in there!!

Me said...

Dude! Your back must KILL after unloading the dishwasher!