Lewis and I are still not doing well with our new life patterns. As much as it pains me to admit it, I must concede that mommyhood has finally gotten the best of me, and I’m not sure where to go from here.
Daycare: Yesterday Lewis had such a bad day at daycare that one of the teachers had to take him with her on her break so he could get away from the other noisy babies and calm down. And he ate almost nothing. The only way they have figured out how to deal with him is to put him in a swing. All day long he sits in a swing. No stimulation, very little interaction, almost no food, crying his brains out or sleeping.
Evenings: When I get home with Lewis, despite having a million things I need to get done in the 3 hours we have before bedtime, I have to sit down immediately and feed him since he hasn’t eaten all day.
Well, my boobs don’t produce a whole day’s worth of milk all in one sitting. So he sucks me dry for a half hour. And then we have two more 30 minute sessions throughout the evening. The starving baby literally eats half of the time I have in the evening. I treasure the time with him, but some of the joy is taken out of it because I know that every minute spent feeding him is a minute less to get chores done. Cue: stress.
Milk Production: Between pumping regularly at work to avoid engorgement and have milk for daycare, and Lewis trying to eat an entire day’s worth of milk in 3 hours in the evening, my breasts think “Lewis needs more milk”, and my milk production increases like crazy during the week. Because of that, on the weekend when Lewis is at home eating normally, I end up with waaaaaaay more milk than he needs. So this last weekend I ended up engorged again. The engorgement triggered a slow-down in production because my body thought Lewis didn’t need as much as it was producing. I see this cycle repeating itself every week until Lewis figures out how to eat at daycare.
Sick Baby: Lewis is still sick enough that he chokes on mucous every time he takes a deep breath, which leads to coughing and screaming. I can’t seem to get the mucous out with the sucker. This happened 3 times last night, and then he finally gave up trying to sleep at 5 am and cried the entire morning until I took him to daycare, where I’m sure the crying started again.
Mommy mess: Because poor Lewis was so upset and needed my attention this morning, I didn’t get to dry my hair (prioritizing, man!). I’m not even sure I remembered to wash it while I was in the shower. And I am so tired that I didn’t even notice that I had berry smoothie stuck in my teeth and on my nose. I stopped at 7-11 and came to the office with Albert Einstein hair and smoothie all over my face.
I have always thought of myself as such a tough person. And I’ve always thought that anything can be handled with an attitude adjustment and a good dose of humor. While I still believe that is true for most situations, I do have to admit that I am not handling this very well. I am trying – lordy lord, I am trying so hard to be positive and find a way to figure this all out. I can always be positive if I have another angle to try. But real talk: I am out of ideas, and I am struggling.
No matter how much brain power I apply, I’m unable to problem solve
my way out of this one. I just don’t see how I can change the situation to make it work better for me. And I can’t figure out how to cope if it stays the way it is.
This is all so hard for me to say. I don’t feel like myself when I am not tough! But sometimes the strongest thing you can do is admit you’re weak.
My toughness has gone out the window, and taking Lewis to daycare each morning erases any attitude adjustment I’ve managed to make. My ability to
see the humor in the situation has faded in direct proportion the
increase in my fatigue.
I just don’t know what to do.
Everyone keeps telling me that all daycare moms and babies go through this. That we’re both just adjusting and it will get better with time. It doesn’t help me that other moms and babies go through this. Their past experiences do nothing to ease our current suffering. And that’s exactly what it feels like: not adjustment, suffering. I’m not used to passively sitting around and letting time solve my problems. I’m not good at saying “this is just the way
If I’m not actively trying to better the situation, I’m lost.
But until I have a lightning-bolt idea or things work themselves out, I
guess I have to stop desperately searching for a solution and just
survive. Maybe this is just the way it is right now.
Endlessly problem-solving when there is no solution seems to be making
me feel even worse, so I think I need to let it go and just try to
forgive myself in my moments of weakness. I would never expect anyone
else to be tough all the time, and it makes no sense that I would hold
myself to a different standard.
And even if I don’t like letting time solve my problems, time is passing. And I must try to remember that even though it feels like I can’t do this, I can. I know I can because I am.