Parenting: A cycle of change

Calm down.

Calm down?

Why is my husband telling ME to calm down??  He has no idea what it's like.

Having this...thing... practically attached to me.  Twenty four hours a day.

HE gets to keep sleeping right now and I am awake.  Again.

He gets to leave the house in the morning.  He gets to go talk to grown-ups.  He gets to worry about more than just a newborn's bathroom habits.  

I had no idea it would be this hard.  I had no idea how difficult breastfeeding would be.  I had no idea how little sleep I would get.  

2:30 am.  And here I am again.  In the rocking chair.  Wondering if my nipple will actually fall off this time.  Hoping that if the timing is just right... and I can just be quiet enough... and not breathe at all.... that I can sneak the baby into the bassinet and get back into bed.  

For what?  

An hour of sleep if I'm lucky?  

So here I sit.  In the darkness.  With google to keep me company.  And another mommy forum.  With another post from another desperate mother wondering "will a pacifier ruin my baby?!"  

Every parent searching for answers.  When will things change?  When will I sleep?  When will it get easier?

Finally.  

Calm.  Quiet.  Baby is sleeping.  Snuggled on my chest.  Cozy.

He looks so sweet when he is sleeping.  

I love you so much.


You must be kidding me!  I just need to pee!

C'mon kid, just enjoy the swing for five freaking minutes. Look how fun it is!  I wish I had a damn swing.  I will pee and make lunch and then pick you right back up, promise.  

Please.  

Please.  

Ugh.  I just don't get it.  We finally finished transitioning from the swaddle, things got better,  and now this?  I cannot even put you down during the day, totally awake?  What the hell?!  

When do I get to stop wondering why you won't stop crying?  I have not slept well in over a year now.  A year!!  Good grief.  I have forgotten what it feels like to NOT be tired.  

Is this teething?  Fucking teeth.  You hate solids anyway, what do you need teeth for?

Okay, okay, I get it, you hate the swing!  I hear you, I'm coming!

Hi baby.  Hi, it's okay.  I've got you now.  Aww, is that a smile for mommy?  

I love you so much.


I have got to get out of this house for awhile today or I am going to lose it.  

Where do we go, where do we go?  Where can I manage you?  Little maniac on the loose.

We'll go to the mall.  I will make that return I have been putting off.  And he can play in the play area for awhile.  Win, win.  

At least I'm at a stage where I no longer have to worry about what to put in the diaper bag, ha!

Sigh.  Someday, I will be able to ride in the car again without listening to these ridiculous songs. 

Toddlers are so exhausting.  Look at them running around!  Where do they get the energy?  Man, those other kids can jump so high.  Why can't he jump yet? 

And they're so talkative!  How many words does he have?  5? 6?  That doesn't seem like enough.  Is that enough?  I can't remember what the pediatrician said.  

Is it naptime yet?  I'm so tired.  Wait, we haven't eaten.  First food, then a nap.

Time to go sweetie.  Aww, I know you're sad, we can come back another day.  Do you want to hold my hand?  

Your hand fits so nicely in mine.  

I love you so much.


Change is constant when it comes to parenting.  Just when you have things figured out, the rules change.  The stress of having a newborn becomes the stress of having a six-month old, then a toddler, then a preschooler, and so on.  

The worries and concerns will shift, morph into something else, something bigger or smaller, but there will always be something.  

You will doubt yourself.  You will wonder if you are doing it right.  Trust your instincts. 

Parenting is HARD.  Really hard.  It is overwhelming.  It is lonely.  Find the support you need.  I promise you are not alone.  You can do hard things.  You can do this.  One day at a time.

Written by: Kirsten Ludwig