How do you other moms function?

I’ve always had a difficult time with balance. For example, working a 40 hour week and being able exercise, cook, clean etc. Never could do it. It was either work and eat cereal every night and do nothing else. Or not work and do my best to attempt to exercise, cook, clean, errands, and keep on top of everything.

Now add in my sweet babe…and I cannot balance anything. My entire day is meeting each and every need of this little guy and then doing it all over the next day. I don’t know if he just needs more attention than some babies or what but I find I do very little in regards to regular life activities.

Here has been my day so far, which began at 4am.

4am – 5:15am: Feed baby, put baby back in bed. Baby wakes up, feed baby again, put back in bed. Get up six times to soothe him back to sleep.

5:15 finally crawl back in bed, hold breath to listen and see if he woke up, again.

5:35: Tell W his alarm went off and he hit snooze.

5:40-5:45: hold breath hoping W getting up and getting ready for work doesn’t wake L.

5:45-6:35 – SLEEP!!!

6:35- L is up. Change diaper, dress, play.

6:45-7:40- head downstairs, feed baby, drink coffee, W makes me breakfast so I don’t starve to death since I have no use of hands.

7:40 – 8 am: Feed baby, snuggle baby.

8am – fail at moving sleeping baby off my lap

8:02 am – change diaper, try to get baby to nap (he has puffy eyes and won’t stop yawning!)

8:05am, change diaper again.

8:06-9am: playtime, tummy time, change diaper again.

9:00:9:25- feed baby. snuggle sleepy baby, try to put baby down. Again.

9:30am: Baby wakes up and screams because he’s over tired. Change baby again.

9:35-10am: Rock baby in rocking chair to calm him.

10am – 10:10am – put baby in swing in hopes of him falling asleep.

10:15am – breathe sigh of relief.

Exhausting!

And now here I am typing away…Yesterday we did all of that above until he fell asleep at 2:30. He eats roughly every hour to hour and a half, anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. Completely unpredictable. He woke up from his nap at 6 last night, then it’s time for fussiness, cluster feeding, bath time and bed!

So someone explain to me how I have a “social life.” I have a hard time making plans because I know I can’t stick to them. Screaming hungry baby? Drop everything, feed and soothe.

I’m not sure if this is a lack of my life balancing skills, new mommy hood or what. I don’t know when this changes or if this is what it is for now. I’m not complaining, hanging out with L and making him happy and meeting his needs is my entire priority. I am thrilled and grateful to have the opportunity to be his mommy.

But I know it’s affecting everything else. I’m not capable of running errands. I have said for 5 days in a row that I’d go grab groceries and some needed supplies. Every time W has tried to come home and bring me the car so I could drop him back off at work and run errands, L has been asleep or I know he’s about to be hungry.

After W is home for the day? Sure let me grab my keys….and cue screaming hungry baby.

I think I’ve eaten with two hands maybe 6 times in 9 weeks and only because someone (mom, mother in law, friend, husband) took pity on me and held the angry baby so I could inhale my food.

And I will gladly do this each and every day.

But my inability to do a little work from home, run any errands (someone screams non stop in the car) or even see/talk to/text my friends…can get frustrating.

But I think the one hard part is I know other people are capable of doing it…and I’m just not right now. So to you awesome mamas who are pro status at this, keep on keeping on! I know my limits and my flaws, and I just can’t.

Unfortunately, I can definitely tell friendships are sliding, people are feeling ignored, neglected, etc. Things I would usually be able to keep up on, banking, paperwork, etc are falling by the wayside.

The same happened towards the end of my pregnancy. I was exhausted and stressed (and my awesome mom was here for a month!). So again, lots of me being useless to anyone but myself.

It also happened a year and a half ago when I had my miscarriage. I was completely consumed by grief for upwards of six months. I functioned at a very minimal level but I was emotionally unavailable and unreliable.

Maybe I’m selfish. Maybe I’m weak. I made many mistakes and I will make many more.

These last three years have been wonderful and hard in so many ways. Great friends were made and then lost, due to the way in which I cope with and handle my life.

Thus my pattern continues as this sweet angel of mine takes up my whole heart and nearly all my attention.

So to the fun plans I have cancelled, or will cancel in the future, I’m oh so sorry! The birthdays I forget, the thank you cards I don’t send, the phone calls and texts I miss and forget to return, I’m sorry. And to those who are patient enough to put up with me, thanks. I know I have my flaws, thank you for accepting me as I am. I love every second of being with this guy but having a newborn has been so much harder than I ever thought!

Now while he’s sleeping…do I shower, eat, sleep, write, check emails, clean???? So many options and so very very little time!

Siggyforblog

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2 thoughts on “How do you other moms function?

  1. A friend once told me that motherhood is death by a million papercuts.

    You are NOT a failure. You are absolutely NOT being only helpful to yourself. You are a mom to a higher needs newborn baby. You are used to being there for others and having external cues for success. Well, babies don’t give those cues, other than putting on delicious chubby rolls and grinning more and more.

    I found it (and still find it) very hard to go and run errands. Truth be told, I make my husband do all the grocery shopping (and cooking) and run most of our errands. I know you won’t get that luxury soon. So, as humbling as it feels (believe me, I know!), run your errands with the complete understanding that the kid will want to eat every 20 minutes. Keep your eye out for benches (by pharmacies in grocery stores) or fitting rooms or chairs in waiting areas where you can nurse a bit. Plan them out that way. My kid hated the carseat up until a year old. Daycare is only 5 blocks away from home and he would scream bloody murder the entire 5 blocks. Pull over if you need to (safely, of course) and nurse the kid or sing to the kid or whatever to keep him happier for another mile or two. He’ll eventually get to the item permanence stage of brain development and realize you’ll be back.

    Social lives are hard to come by with a tiny baby. Some friends once made dinner and brought it to our house so we could have dinner together and visit. I am sad to admit that on the first anniversary of that friend’s dad’s death, I thought about her and made plans to send her a message, but I got caught up in baby stuff and forgot to follow through. She still loves me, thankfully.

    A cousin of mine has a higher needs son, too, and she still makes sure to hit the gym for an hour after work every day before she comes home (she is a marathoner). I couldn’t do that yet. Neither of us is a better or worse mom for that decision. Maybe in your new home there will be a gym like a YMCA that has childcare available, so you can drop the kid off for an hour while you work out. Being a SAHM might mean you’d have less guilt about it than I do as a Work-outside-the-home mom.

    Smart phones are nice to have if you have one hand free while nursing/snuggling a baby. That’s the best way I’ve found to keep in touch. Which still, at almost 2 years later, isn’t all that great.

    It is very common for people to kind of fall off the face of the planet for a few years after a baby is born. It seems like those friends are more visible again once their kids are aged 6 and up. The good friends are still there. The bar-hopping acquaintances might not be. Everyone changes through the years, and not just due to babies.

    Wow, that was long. Anyway, I guess I want to let you know the struggle is REAL and little babies don’t understand the concepts of the need to run errands. On your best days, you can plan for the errands to take 4 times as long, with lots of time to sit and nurse. On your worst days, you can sit at home, unshowered, with half a piece of peanut butter toast in your belly, but with a beautiful baby boy snuggled in your arms. (possibly screaming at you)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jill,

      Thank you so much for sharing! I am so glad I’m not alone in the struggle!

      I’m just getting out of the phase where I don’t want to cry every time he cries. So hopefully soon I can stomach going out and running errands. We ran errands together the other day and what would have taken us an hour two took us 3.5 and we gave up on the last two errands and went home!

      With my hubby having such long work days and the store on base closing early he usually can’t make that happen (thank goodness for fast food some days!).

      At the end of the day, while I wish I could be superwoman and do all the things, if my baby went to bed with a full tummy and as cared for, loved and happy as I could make him, I’ll go to bed happy.

      Like

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