Thursday, April 23, 2009

A New Kind of Lullaby

Alternate title for this post: "This is What Happens When Moms Don't Get Enough Sleep" or "I Think I've Finally Gone Bonkers!"*sigh* I don't want you to think that life is all rosy and happy here on the farm all the time. No, I'll be honest. As much as I love Little One and as much as she is my entire world right now, she does exhaust me.

Yesterday, I felt like the crappiest Mom and wife in the entire world. I know millions of women raise families, take on all the housework, cooking, errands, helping their husbands/partners and everything else...and manage to earn a living at the same time. HOW do you do it? I feel like I am struggling here. I feel like I sometimes can't do it all. When I talk to my friends, no one ever talks about how exhausted or drained they are or that they are feeling even the tiniest bit overwhelmed. Then I just feel like it's just me. I feel like I'm incompetent and can't juggle everything like every other mom can. I feel like so much is being put on my plate and that eventually things are going to start falling off my plate. If I do vent or talk about how I feel, I often feel like I'm complaining because no one else talks about how tired and overwhelmed they are. I feel like I should just shut up and suck it up.

I mentioned before that Little One has been super cranky because her gums are bothering her. Now, not only are her gums bothering her, but she's also learned that she can try to fight sleep. Yes, she is exceptionally cranky when she's tired now. Instead of falling asleep like she ought to, she has decided to fight sleep. Why, oh why would anyone do that? I have been known to embrace sleep these days! Heck! I've been known to fall asleep sitting in a chair or while nursing the baby!

Anyway, Little One loves music and when she's sleepy, cranky, happy, upset, or wide awake, I sing to her. If she's not exceptionally cranky, she either smiles and coos (she gets so excited that her arms and legs start flailing around like crazy) or she falls asleep.

In true C fashion, I often change the lyrics to songs. Here are a few I came up with:

At first I was afraid.
I was petrified...
That my darling Little One would not let me sleep.
She just keeps on wailing her head off
and doesn't seem to soothe.
She is cranky
and I'll never sleep again.
Oh no, not I!
I won't sleep.
My head is aching now and my back is gonna break.
A little 8 lb baby can get so darn heavy
when all I can seem to do
to get her to stop crying
is to hold her.

What would you do if I sang out of tune?
Would you stand up and walk out on me?
Would you be kind
and perhaps take a nap?
I would love it if you would do just that.
Oh, I'd get by if you nap for a while.
Yes, I'd get by if you nap for a while.
Do you need Mom or Dad
to hug and kiss you g'night?
Cuz I'll do anything
For you to sleeeeep tight.

(In her defense, Little One sleeps very well through the night. It's just during the day that she fights sleep and is Little Miss Fussy Pants)

You are my Sunshine, my only Sunshine.
You make me happy, when skies are gray.
You never know dear, how much I love you-
Especially when you take at least one nap during the day.

I try to say sleep tight, but I can't.
I try to walk away, but I linger.
You just don't want me to leave you in your crib
all alone.

Hey, my Little One!
The days seem so long and slow.
Then when I look at you,
I see that all you do is grow.
It makes me sad to see
my baby is growing up.
Sha la la la la la la la la la la la la
My brown eyed girl.
(Actually, her eyes aren't brown. I don't know if her eyes are still in transition, but they're a a pretty shade of grayish-green right now)

All we are saying,
Is give sleep a chance.
All we are saying,
Is give sleep a chance.

Of course, the crankiness doesn't last all day. In the mornings she's active and playful. We have loads of wonderful, tender moments that make even all the crankiness in the world seem worthwhile. Why? Because she's ours...and we love her.

Oh, and another reason we love her? She puts up with is entertained by giggles and coos at my super silly songs.
If you can name the titles of the original songs (before I butchered them), you win something.


merinz said...

Love the lullabys!

I have finally responded to your invitation to list some thoughts about motherhood! Not original thoughts but they expressed some of my feelings about the trials of Motherhood! See my blog.

Dina said...

Oh Chrissy! Please do call me to complain, vent or just talk. I can and WILL tell you how exhausted and overwhelmed I am at times- no sugar coating it from me!
10 months of not sleeping through the night, 3 am feeds and cranky mornings has made me a very honest woman! You are not alone my dear friend!!

Jinxy said...

I'm terrible with song titles. I sing to Lily all the time too.

I have no clue how Moms with jobs do it either. A friend who's baby is two weeks older then mine went back to work recently and she was telling me about her busy schedule. I would go crazy.

You are not alone. If I get the dishes done during the day I'm happy, if I get anything else I'm thrilled.

I'm always around if you need to talk or vent.

C said...

Absolutely beautiful! Love what you posted about motherhood. So special! xo

J at said...

Oh hon, you are NOT alone. NOT alone at all. I don't think it's possible that any of these moms you're comparing yourself to aren't going through the same things. Maybe you're just talking to the wrong moms. ;) These things you're going through? EVERY mom (and many dads) that I know goes through these same things. Especially the lack of sleep, which makes every other single thing in your life more difficult.

Oh, and regarding moms who work? I went back to work for a month when Maya was 4 months old, and it was about 1,500 times easier than being home with a baby all day. Not nearly as fun or rewarding, but EASIER. Coming home and having all of the chores, not so fun. My advice there is to let your husband chip in, to let your standards go a bit, and do whatever you need to do to get through this difficult, albeit very rewarding, time.

Oh, and when she sleeps, you sleep. Still true as much as possible. :) As she gets bigger and bigger, she's draining you more and more (literally, since you nurse her). Cut yourself a huge amount of slack, OK? It would be exhausting doing all of this, even without the lack of sleep and nursing. With them? It's huge. Just go easy on you.

C said...

Ummmm...I was thinking of calling you this wek sometime! LOL! :) Not to vent, but just to catch up.

THANK YOU! I'm so glad you commented on this post and said what you said. I almost cried when I read your comment. I feel better knowing that you feel this way too. I was truly beginning to feel like a failure. Why don't women talk more about these things? Is it because we feel that we need to be Super Women? Is it because we don't want others to think we can't do it all? Are we worried that people will think we're complainers? Honestly, it really helps getting it out.

I have spoken a bit about what I feel and what I'm going through, but the older generations pretty much say "Well, we did it all. We didn't have help. We didn't complain"...and then I feel like sh!t for even opening my mouth. *sigh*

C said...

Thanks :) Actually, I run my own business ( and was contemplating accepting students soon. I thought about it, and started bawling. I'm so tired and Little One takes up all of my time (which I don't mind, because I love her so much), I worry that I won't be able to handle having students just yet.

Not only do I teach them, but they also come to our house after classes and live with us 24-7. We've got a student interested in coming in a few weeks. Don't know what I will do. I can see why in Canada, many women are able to take 12 months for maternity leave. You really do need that time.

I don't want to give up working. I love what I do. It's just that right now, LO requires so much attention. Though she is healthy, she's still a preemie and has doctors' appointments of all sorts every week or every other week. Exhausting.

C said...

THANK YOU! Can I give you a hug??? I feel badly for Hubby because I sort of broke down in tears last night.

I was deciding whether or not I should accept students next month. I know it may not be a good idea yet and I need more time for just the baby and me. It might be even more overwhelming.

I think I was kind of freaking out thinking about my responsibilities toward the student, baby, then having to do all the cooking, cleaning, etc.

Starshine said...

Alternate lyrics make the funniest lullabies!

Starshine said...

Hilarious! My word verification for the comment I just left was "muzzle"...apropos for a post about a fussy baby! ;)

hotmommy said...

chirs did she nap today? i feel for ya hun. my kids went thru that amnd i can tell you that ur not got to the point where i was so beat and frusterated that as soon as the hubster walked thru the door after work i'd hand him the baby. couldn't take it. not that i didn't love taking care of my baibes but it is alot harder than people think it truly is a full time job. and i don't care what anyone says but i'm not a belierver in crying it out. i'll talk to u about that if u care to hear what i have to say. i know ur not a believer in letting her cry it out either.

i think i know the titles!
i will survive
with a little help from my friends
you are my sunshine
ah- that macy grey somng. i can't remember the title!
brown eyed girl
give peace a chance

Eve said...

I am tired, things fall off my plate all the time. Does that help? I hope it does! Motherhood is often smothered with guilt...I can't help it, try as I might there is always something to feel guilty about.
I think those of us that are long time moms are just used to hiding the guilt a little better.
It's really about give and take, because a baby is so unpredictable, some days are going to go so well, others you will look around your house and wonder what hit, or if you'll ever climb out from under the chores that are piling...I'm going to give you a little tip...ask for help! Easier said than done, I know, but from what I've read you have wonderful friends around you. If you're desperate, call a girlfriend up so you can take a nap, or hire someone to come and clean once a week (if you can swing it.)
Maybe meal swap with a small group of women so you don't have to worry about cooking every night.
I hope she starts sleeping better for you. It's nice when you can really predict nap times.
Good luck Chrissy!

louann said...

Don't think you can't complain / rant. It is but normal to feel exhausted / incompetent / tired.

Refer to my blog C, I am always complaining! teehee though I try not to sound too whiny.

I really wish we lived close to each other.

t said...

You know I can't relate Chris, because I'm still a childfree career gal. LO is such a sweetheart and just from all my visits with you guys when you were still at Mount Sinai, I know that she is a very good baby. She is a dream baby. Hopefully the crabbyness will abate soon. I'll talk to you soon, ok?

Veronica said...

You're not the only one overwhelmed and exhausted. I'm so tired I could cry.


Anonymous said...

Oh sure, all moms feel completely overwhelmed at times. I certainly do...which is why I had my kids 6 years apart. I was way too overwhelemed with 1, especially after I went back to work, to consider adding a pregnancy and the another child to my life for a long time!

Just go one day at a time. Babies, except minor set-backs here and there like teething and sickness, do get easier as time passes.

I, BTW, do very little to take care of my home...and do not help my husband with much. He takes care of himself. We support each other as needed, but I do not do his lauhdry, make his lunches...etc. I take care of my kids (with his help)and(sometimes)myself and do the bare minimum to keep my home from being disgusting. Setting priorities and limits on what I can do, even while on maternity leave, makes it more manageble.

Also, you may want to look at another carrier. 8lbs feels heavy to you because of where you started and how much LO has grown, but it is not at all! It is still lower than Charlotte's birth weight. I carry/wear Charlotte at least 2-3 hours a day, and she is now at least 14lbs. So, if you are already feeling the weight with an 8lb baby, you need a new carrier LOL! I reccommend looking for one with padded support on both shoulders, as well as lumbar/waist/hip support. A Moby wrap would be nice (maybe hot in the summer though) and an Ergo, Connecta, Beco, Pikkolo, Trekker, Mei Tai or First Journey would also be good options. Don't bother with a 12 lbs or so, they already start to be uncomfortable due to the lack of back support.

Rosie : ) said...

Life with a tiny baby is tough... No one ever told you? :) Everytime we had a baby, no matter if it was the first or the seventh, I felt like I would never be able to juggle it all. The feelign of beign overwhelmed happens weekly now, not daily... But it is still there. Sometimes, it is best to just think of one day, not ten days in advance. Although, maybe I am just loopy from the 12 years of lseep-deprivation I've had. ;) {lol}

Pat Leduc said...

OMG Chris, I forgot about this site (too much into FB) but found it bookmarked! Believe me, WE ALL feel like you do! You know how many times I sit thre and get annoyed because the house is not clean as it should be because there aren't enough hours in a day between the kiddis and ther duties?!?!?
At least you get to sleep at night- a crankier baby during the ayis better than at night! I'm still adapting with A, shes sooooo different then B! It's frustrating at times! She's a girl. More fuss I think!
Love the lullabies, epecially "Give Sleep a Chance"!
Pat :)

Patti McKenzie said...

YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!! I can completely relate to you. I don't know how some moms seem to have it all together, but I am definately NOT one of them. My house looks like a disaster zone, my hair very rarely gets brushed, my dishes are always piled high, laundry is NEVER put away (just ask anyone who comes over to visit, we always have to clean off a spot for them to sit on the couch!) Anyway, my point is that it's OK that things seem to fall behind because in the end those things don't matter. What matters is that you and your family are healthy and happy. A little more sleep never hurt either, but be patient, it will come sooner or later.

merinz said...

Hope you are getting more rest now.
I have added more to my Motherhood blog.

C said...

:) Alternate lyrics do make the funniest lullabies, don't they? Little One just loves them. Of course, she doesn't know what the words mean, but she gets a kick out of the songs! LOL!

C said...

LOL! Muzzle! That is too funny!

C said...

Thank you for your comment and for your suggestions! Sounds great. You're right about the guilt thing. I know I'm trying as best as I can, but for some reason, I always feel like I need to do better (or not really better, but MORE). If I don't get things I want done in a day, I get upset with myself because I didn't get them done or couldn't get them done.

I mean, I did four loads of laundry, but didn't get things folded or put away. I did all the dishes, but didn't get them put away. I also feel like I'm starting to run out of steam...and this is only the beginning! LOL! Little One isn't even mobile yet! Oh, boy! :)

C said...

:) Thanks for that! You just made me smile with that comment! Wish you lived closer too!
BTW, my lola just got back from the Philippines. She gets to meet Little One for the first time next month at my cousin's wedding! So excited!

C said...

Thanks for the phone call, girlfriend! :) It was great chatting with you. I miss your visits at the hospital when LO was in the NICU. Lunches at those restaurants on Baldwin Street were the best!

C said...

Okay, I feel a lot better knowing I'm not the only one who is so tired I can cry...AND I only have ONE baby!!! I keep thinking of all my friends who have two or more young children. I guess we learn and grow as our babies learn and grow. I'm hoping I learn how to cope better and manage time better. I just feel so disorganized having to juggle everything right now.

C said...

Thank you for your comments. I tend to do very well for a few days and then all of a sudden get these panic attacks where I feel overwhelmed by the work that needs to be done (I need to get the landscaping done outside since our front lawn was torn up from the renovations on the house), the housework (why do laundry and dishes seem to pile up even though I just did them a few minutes ago???), and then the baby's been cranky and wants to be held and soothed.

I think I'm going to take your advice about looking into a new sling. You are absolutely right about there not being much back support. I have Little One in the Bjorn or the Peanut Shell when we go out for our 40 min walks and then when I'm doing work outside and also when I'm cleaning the house.

Luckily, she's been letting me put her in her crib, playpen or on the play mat lately. That's a bit of a relief so I can get a bit more done.

C said...

Merci :) Actually, I thought of you the other day. I was feeling overwhelmed and then I thought, "OMG! I have ONE baby and Rosie has SEVEN kids! If she can do it with seven, then there's no reason I should feel overwhelmed with one!"

We'll be in your neck of the woods again next Mon.

C said...

Thanks for that :) I wonder why more moms don't tell each other what they're going through and just deal with it? For me, it helps to talk about things. I spoke with another mom at lunch a few days ago and I mentioned how overwhelmed I felt about my messy house and how all the cleaning seems neverending. She told me, "Well, I never had any problems with my children. My children never cried. My children never got sick. My children were never cranky..."

Okay, that just made me feel even crappier! LOL! Then when I got home, I thought, "Well, how could her kids NEVER get sick or NEVER cry or NEVER be cranky??"

C said...

:) Okay, that totally makes me feel A LOT better! It's going to be really busy here starting this week or next. Give me a shout and we'll get together with the babies. You can come here or I'll head to yours. Let me know. :)

C said...

Yes :) Thank you! I'm getting a bit more rest these days. Surprisingly, Little One is still sleeping and it's 8:55 AM! Why am I on the internet when I should be cleaning? I don't know. LOL!

She's been in a good mood for the past three days. I think I just get flustered when she starts crying and doesn't soothe for a while. I know crying is their way of communicating. I usually know what her hungry, annoyed, upset, sleepy cries are, but lately it's all been just crabby cries and the only thing that stops it is for me to hold her.

Knock on wood, she hasn't required that for three days. She's been so much fun! Lots of playing, cooing, smiling :)

I checked out your post! What a wonderful writer you are!

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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