Thursday, July 18, 2013

How come no one told me?

I think for most young people it's normal to at some point want to get married and have a family. It sounds so perfect and so fun to grow up.  Planning your perfect wedding, buying a house, getting to spend lots of time with your significant other, finally having kids and raising them to love you.  It sounds easy and nice and fun.  The problem with that idea is that it's not necessarily all true. Yes, I'm sure when you look back at your life, you're old and grey... you'll think it was all that, but as you live that moment it's not always as you thought it would be.  No one tells you what really happens when you're older.  That life as an adult is actually pretty hard.  To enjoy the freedom and fun of being single and unattached to any major responsibility. To wait to get old because there is plenty of time for the hard stuff.

I'm almost six weeks in as a Mom and I can tell you it's nothing like I was expecting.  It's hard.  It's really hard.  Ya, I knew I was going to have some sleepless nights and that my body was going to be a human cow but I figured it couldn't be all that bad.  I have a great helpful husband who will do as much as he can, and a lot of caring family members. A couple of months and it'll all be better, right? 

I was wrong.  It's not just a couple of sleepless nights.  It's every night.  Up three or four times.  And yes I'm a cow.  I'm the only cow in the house.  Husband... still a man.  Wife...the only cow.  And the maternity leave I thought would be so nice?  Not so nice.  It's called maternity leave and not vacation for a reason.  There would be no time for work.  You feed, you play you put them to sleep.  You hope they sleep.  Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't.  When they do, you take a shower because otherwise you might miss out that day.  And you eat if you remember.  If you're really lucky you might get around to cleaning the bathroom or putting some laundry in.

When they don't sleep, you wait it out for a little hoping for a miracle, then it keeps going and you try to fix whatever problem they might have.  Since talking isn't an option you guess and you do your best and then you walk away again hoping again they'll calm down.  But they don't and that's when things get dicey.  You start to stress out. They scream louder and louder until they start chocking on their spit because it's such an intense cry so you go in and try to soothe them and for like five seconds they're ok, but then they start again and you wonder what the hell is their problem because you've done everything you possible could do to take care of them.  Then you start questioning what kind of parent you are and if you're good enough and eventually they really just get to you.  And for me, personally, I just have to put them down.  I walk outside and just cry it out.  You wish you would have never had this kid. You wanna give them back and never see them again. And then you feel bad for even thinking that. It sucks.  It really sucks.

Hopefully someone else is in the house to take the load off, but most of the time no one is around.  Its just you.  Your wonderful husband who you thought you'd be raising this child with has a job. Of course someone has to work.  You get it, and you hate it all at the same time.  But alas, you better man up because this kid needs you.  You walk back in the house and put him back on the cow because for the most part that's the only thing that shuts him up. Then you change his diaper and you start the cycle all over again.  This time, you hope he falls asleep. 

This was just about two hours of your day. 

They say it gets better.  And I'm sure it does.  I can't imagine why other parents have more kids after the first one otherwise.  It's just not what you think of when you're young and decide you want a family.  I wish someone would have told me what really happens. 

For the people who wait, I envy your decision.  I thought I had waited long enough.  I thought I was ready.  But maybe I am ready and this is just the way it is.  Maybe I wouldn't have been any more ready five years from now.  It's hard to really say.  But what I will say, is that if you don't have kids yet, really think twice about what your doing.  I'm not saying it wont be the best decision you'll ever make and that your kids wont make you the happiest person in the world.  But it's hard and you need to be ready.  Mentally prepare yourself for it because there is no turning back. I finish writing this, it has taken me over two hours. Not because of the amount of words, but because I'm a mom and I have someone to take care of.  In the last two hours I fed, and changed diapers, I cuddled and played.  Noah "played" great today and even held his rattle all by himself. Then was the nap routine in which this time the crying began for him as described above.  And I soothed and came back to the computer and he settled, and he cried again and I rocked and he kept crying... until finally, it was over.  Sometimes the light does shine at the end of the tunnel. You catch a glimpse.

I have not cried yet today and I'm hoping for a tear free day.
I just wish someone would have prepared me for this.
I wish someone would have told me the truth about being a mom.
It's hard.  It's really hard.


  1. Totally agree. Some days are brutal, and then others are good. I'm in the "you cry all morning because the thought of sending your kid to daycare makes you feel like a bad mom, but you want to work and need adult time" phase. Ugh! Hugs to you momma!

  2. I used to be a Lamaze teacher and a mother of twin infants, the truth is there is NO preparation that is sufficient for the experience. IT IS HARD. But you are doing it! My twins graduated from high school last month and I would not trade a moment, neither will you! TAKE CARE of YOU too! HUGS!

  3. This is true for ALL new moms! It feels like it will be forever but it will start going faster. Hang in there and know we all have felt what you're feeling and you will get through!

  4. You have articulated very well exactly what I felt 30 years ago when I was a new mom; same routine of non-stop crying. Hang in there - it gets better. Ask hubby to take the overnight shift (bottle feedings) one night a week so you can get an uninterrupted night's sleep. It's the best gift he could ever give you, and it will restore your reserves so you can cope better. At 4 months baby will stop crying and you'll fall so completely in love with him that all this will seem worth it. Meanwhile, make sure your MD knows how you're feeling and coping or not coping. You may have a touch of postpartum depression, which is very common and better to acknowledge and treat it than to try to tough it out.

  5. Take care and please ask someone for some help!
    You really need to rest a while and then I think everything will be better.
    I had 3 kids with 21 months in between (a girl and then twinboys) and it was not the easiest times...

    Now, my kids are 23 and 21 years old, but I can still remember how hard it was!

    However I manage and I think you do to, but Take Care!

  6. Cristina, My heart goes out to you. I have raised four amazing children, three girls and one boy. And there is no doubt about it, IT IS HARD. But it is also delightful, rewarding, exciting, and so so worth it. My one daughter literally did not sleep through the night until she was almost two, and yet my son ALWAYS slept from day one. The fact that you are honest enough to say that it is not what you expected tells me that you will be a good mom, and really great moms are getting increasingly harder to find. Parenting is about sacrificing yourself, and as I look at my four children, now 28, 24, 22, and 18, I am so very glad I did. When Noah leaves for college, you will say then "wherever did the time go?" I know that right now it seems like that day will never come. The best advice I ever received was from a friend who told me to enjoy every day, and I truly have. Love that little Noah with all of your heart and I promise, that love will come back to you tenfold..

  7. I wish I could come over for coffee and talk motherhood. Two things: don't let yourself get too stressed. It's okay to lay him down for awhile. Also, best thing I ever did was let my babies learn to lay down to sleep. Yes, they'll cry, but the worst is over in three days and then when you lay them down in their crib they know it is time to go to sleep. My third child was born and I had an 18 month old and a 2 1/2 year old. Pretty stressful. I would bath, dress, and nurse. Then laid him down and bathed the other two. He was my easiest one because he learned to cry himself to sleep at 5 days old. Never any bedtime issues with him. It' hard time for mom to listen to the crying. I cried also. God bless you.

    Jo Anna

  8. Hang in there. Ask for help....from your husband (bottles are there for a reason)from family and from your medical team. I didn't have a single maternal instinct in my body.....the rush of love just didn't happen for me. It was a slow process, creeping up on me quietly. At first it truly was a case of the blind leading the blind...but we survived. I'm now mum to a 22 year old, a 20 year old and a 9 year old and love them all to bits. I also run a pre-school, where I see a lot of new mums. I'll pass on the best bit of advice I was ever given: rest when the baby rests (housework can and will wait) and do whatever you need to do that works for you.....if you fall apart, life gets really tricky. Hugs and prayers. xx

  9. You have written an honest description of having a newborn in the house. So many women pretend everything baby related is wonderful and it's not. Eventually they do sleep through the night (and so do you!). Tell your doctor about this. It is so much better to get help early on rather than waiting. You can get through this. I was not particularly fond of the newborn stage when the babies are helpless, but much preferred when we could interact. Hang in there.

  10. Many of us have been where you are and know how you're feeling! It is hard! Something else I found helpful was finding a group of young, new moms that I could share how things were going with. Then you don't feel quite so alone. Take care! Sending positive thoughts!

  11. I hope that writing that helped you some. Talking about it was the only thing that saved me as a new mother. And some help from my doctor. I had bad postpartum. I hope you don't get too bogged down in this and that some of these wonderful comments left will help you along in your days ahead. Hugs!

  12. Oh how I feel your pain. My best advice is sleep when he sleeps. Hubby can learn to cook and clean. You need your rest.