Lewis is getting so strong! He can hold his head AND shoulders up unassisted. He may be unsteady, and he may cry from the effort, but he loves to show off!

It is so hard to catch a Lewis smile on camera because when he is happy he is usually screaming with joy, resulting in this face. The sound is enchanting, but the pictures just end up looking silly!

Freedom

I love my son. And I love being a mom. Really I do. But I am envious of the freedom my husband enjoys as a father.

Being a father is so different than being a mother. He has all day away from baby at work (a blessing and a curse, because he misses Lewis desperately when he is gone) and he can go where he wants, when he wants, and be completely free of baby duty (and baby doody!). But me? Even if I get to leave the baby instead of bringing him out with me, I have to pump while I’m gone, or hurry home to feed him. That’s not real freedom.

As it stands, Lewis is basically a permanent accessory (and a damn cute one at that!). I’m home all day with him, changing diapers, feeding him every 2-3 hours, holding him, trying to entertain him, and worrying about him.

Then the evening comes, and even if Kyle manages to escape work on time (which has been rare lately), I’m still on the mommy-clock because Kyle has stuff to do at home and no other time to do it. Same with the weekend… I certainly can’t be upset over the fact that he needs to change his oil or repair our fence. But it does mean that I’m still on baby duty even when Kyle is not at work.

Kyle is a wonderfully enthusiastic participant in our son’s life. He helps with absolutely everything he can. But if there is a one-person baby-related job, it is always mine. Literally, there are things that Kyle just can’t help with, even though he wants to.

The inability to take my burden entirely probably frustrates Kyle. And I love him so much more for feeling that way. But I envy his freedom.

Just one day I’d like to get out of bed and eat breakfast when I’m hungry instead of when the baby allows. Just one day I’d like to go to bed when I’m tired and not when Lewis has decided to finally fall asleep. Just one day I’d like to wear something besides a nursing top. Just one day I’d like someone else to change every single poopy diaper. And boy… I’d really like to finally make it to the gym.

I’m so grateful not to be truly alone as a parent. Imagine how magnified this feeling would be if I were! But even so, feeling content as a human (not just as a mom), is my biggest challenge at the moment.

I’m brainstorming ways to reintroduce the small freedoms into my life. First on the list are easier bedtimes and getting to the gym.

My “mom” self is as happy as a clam right now. I have the most wonderful baby, and he and I are so bonded. Just like people told me, I didn’t know what love was until I had him. But I’m sure there is a balance to be found so that my “me” self and my “mom” self are both satisfied. At the moment, my “mom” self is the star, and that diva needs to sit out a few scenes every once in a while.

Until I get that all figured out… I guess I’ll just sit here in bed dreaming about breakfast, staring at my chunky little son sleeping in my lap. You should see the rolls on his fat legs! Heart melting. So adorable.

Results

It would appear that all my sleep experiments were a fail last night. The verdict is in on Lewis sleeping unswaddled, and the grade is unsatisfactory.

That’s not to say we didn’t get any sleep. Because we totally did. But he was not a marathon sleeper like normal.

He went every three hours, which resulted in me being up more than normal. But at least I was able to fall back asleep quickly, so the sleep has accumulated.

I think I’ll have to keep going with the sleep sack anyway, just because it is supposed to be so hot. We’re hitting the mid 90s this weekend, and it would simply he cruel to bundle up the baby in that heat. I’d much rather wake up a few extra times than overheat him!

I may also give another try to putting him in his crib before he is fully asleep. I feel like that should start to work soon….

But the fan is just a no-go. He thinks that is way too awesome and neither one of us would sleep ever again if I turned it on. His fascination with the fan makes me feel very clever for not having a mobile above his bed.

Sleep experiments

Three sleep adventures today.

1. Despite it being quite warm in Lewis’ room tonight, he will not have the ceiling fan on. I had to turn it off while rocking him to sleep because he couldn’t stop staring at it. It was so interesting that sleep became uninteresting.

2. Trying out a lightweight sleep sack (aka wearable blanket) instead of a swaddle because it is too warm to bundle him like that. I’m hoping he is just as good a sleeper unswaddled as he is swaddled.

3. Put Lewis to sleep in his crib before he fell asleep. Then left him to get myself ready for bed. 15 minutes later, he was not asleep and seemed rather annoyed. Definitely not close to sleeping. I guess he can’t put himself to sleep yet. Because here I sit, rocking him and waiting for his eyes to close. We’ll try that experiment again another day. 🙂