07 September 2011

What the Hey Am I Doing?

This is a bit of a rant, but maybe it will strike a nerve with the pair of people who read this blog, maybe a few more who stumble upon it by accident. While motherhood is wonderful and I wouldn't ever trade it, there are definitely some aspects of this job that have surprised me and are very frustrating. Like the fact that most days seem like one long unanswered question.

(Yes it is a job. One with 16 hour days that often requires 24 hour surveillance and attention, as well as tasks and situations to which I don't have the right answers.) Which leads me to this post. . .

I'm a reasonably intelligent person. I'd say I'm pretty sensitive and tolerant with spending my days almost exclusively with someone who can't express their needs or have a conversation. I'm an introvert so have less need for constant adult company. With that said, I often wish I could just turn around and say, "what should I do?" Over and over and over. A thousand questions pop in my head on a daily basis and I don't have the answers to any of them. Here's a taste:

1. She stopped waking at night for a few nights but has started back up again. Should I ignore her and let her work it out? Go in? Nurse or not nurse?

2. I'm seeing the beginnings of temper, of vocal whining and willfulness. Do I ignore the unbecoming behavior? How do I address it?

3. She's trying to crawl, does some good creeping, but gets frustrated a lot (see #2). Should I be letting her always figure it out on her own, or should I pick her up and bring to the toy when she complains?

4. Still screaming fits at bedtime. This child will turn me gray on this issue alone.

5. Naps have been shorter and unpredictable lately. Is this permanent? And with the transition from two naps to one, how do I handle that? And when do I know it's the right time?

When I do ask these questions, the response I get is mostly, "It's hard. . ."
To which I think, "No #$% it's hard!! I get that, I want to know what to do!!"

It's hugely frustrating!

Thank you. . . oh and if anyone does have the answers to any of the questions above- tell me!!!!


  1. Haha..with you!! Can i add to that how do i get her to sleep in the crib? And pick up her own pacifier :)

  2. Sarah, I have so been there. I am not exaggerating when I say I felt like I spent the first 19 months of Finn's life trying to get him to sleep and dealing with all kinds of related repercussions. (you may remember that he miraculously starting sleeping like a normal baby when we moved to raleigh). I came to the conclusion after talking with TONS of other moms, parents, etc, that he was just in a class all his own in terms of sleep difficulties. NO ONE I knew or talked with had these kind of problems. it was isolating and very difficult. But...he grew out of it. Which is a copout answer, but it's true. We still sometimes have issues--waking during the night, etc--but 90% of the time things are good. So in terms of Lyla's screaming fits at night, all I can say is keep at it. Try to keep the 2 hrs or so before bed as totally consistent and routine as possible. If she is screaming a long time, go in at intervals and say the exact same thing, and don't pick her up. It is the most painful thing ever but if she's anything like Finn, picking her up will only delay the process.
    (also i nursed finn when he woke once in the night until he was 12 months..i was desperate..it was the only way he'd go back to sleep peacefully)

    As for naps...we went through a FIVE MONTH transition period from 2 to 1 nap. Again..it was awful. my only advice there is not to let her fall asleep anywhere but the crib (ie carseat).

    as for whining, etc, in my opinion some of it is developmental. finn was much fussier before he could walk. once he started walking he could do more on his own. he was also MUCH fussier from 15-18 months. i think it was because he was struggling to figure out how to speak. now that he can he is so much happier.

    sorry. i know it is hard! and it is a 24/7 job that doesnt get the respect it deserves!!!

  3. No answers at all. But I can tell you I am going through exactly the same things. I want to be there for my daughter so her needs are 100% fulfilled, but there is a line that when crossed can compromise their independence and growth. Where that line is we'll be trying to figure out until the day we die. And each day when I think I have her figured out, when I "know" that a go round in the rocking chair and a binky will have her right to sleep, she changes it up. So exhausting. The best and hardest job in the world. Lyla and Harper will both turn out beautiful and strong and smart and we'll have no idea how we could possibly be responsible.