Horses Atelier belted field suit (size 6)
Eytys canvas sneakers (a few years old)
It’s been a rough week around here.
Hawk had his first cold last week and is just getting over it now. He handled it well, better than me, and was just a little more fussy and tired than usual. Oh, and he became a fountain of snot. Ew. Nasal aspirator and Fridababy snot wipes to the rescue.
He’s also going through a major sleep regression that started a couple days before he got sick. He had been sleeping through the night for months, going to bed with no problem around 8 and then waking up around 5:30 for a quick feed then back to bed for another hour or so. Those days are long gone, and it feels like they’re never coming back. Now, he goes down to sleep around 7:30, then wakes up an hour later, then a couple more times after that. Sometimes he wakes up screaming and other times he wakes up quietly and is back to sleep by himself in a few minutes. He’s been waking up around 2 to eat, then again at 5 or so. Then, he’s awake at around 7 for good.
Because he’s not sleeping well, I’m not sleeping well, and I’m not getting my much-needed coffee/alone time in the mornings either. Remember how I cherished that time? so fleeting LOL. Oh, and have I mentioned that he doesn’t take long naps during the day? He will go down for 2-3 naps but only for 30 minutes at a time, which is enough for me to just catch my breath. I am finding this all very very challenging.
I had a complete breakdown about my body this weekend also.
Yesterday I was just going through the motions, trying to keep it together. Trying to keep Hawk happy, and make it through the day without clawing my eyeballs out. Today is better. Motherhood is the weirdest, most complicated and saddest experience I’ve ever had. It is also joyous and peaceful, about 49% of the time.
ETA: I started writing this yesterday. Last night at 2 AM while I was awake for the I don’t know how many times that night, I said to myself, “that’s it, I’m giving him back.” As if I could. Of course I wouldn’t, but in the moment, wow…I felt like I simply couldn’t do it any longer.
RIght now, I’m writing this and he’s sitting in his high chair teething on a rubber star, being an absolute angel. He has some teeth coming in on the bottom, which could explain some of the fussiness. He is also more hungry lately, and perhaps I haven’t been keeping up with that as I should; it’s so hard to navigate bottle + breastfeeding, and how many ounces of formula he needs. He’s also ready to start on solids, so that’s a whole other thing.
I’m beginning to think that motherhood is mostly figuring out a way to keep going when you just can’t anymore. Somehow we always do. That makes me feel like superwoman on a good day, but also puts me in awe of every mother out there. I had no idea.
Said angel 😉
You look AMAZING in that jumpsuit! Just sayin’, cuz I know you’re not feeling it right now. And Hawk IS an angel. He’s just doing baby stuff – wouldn’t it be great if they could just tell us what they need? Eventually, you’ll get there. Yes, motherhood is periods of just holding on, interspersed with moments of great joy. And lots of tiredness! Being sleep-deprived affects everything…EVERYTHING! One day at a time…
You look fabulous despite the feelings of uncertainty. Motherhood is akin to riding a boat through the sea: sometimes the water is turbulent from storms and you bail as quickly as you can to stay afloat. Sometimes the waters are glassy and smooth and you can put you feet on the railing of the hull and tilt your face to the sun. Sometimes it feels like you are the captain, first mate and desk swab all at once. But women are amazing and that’s why they are the ones that have the babies. Ask for help, take care of yourself and know that the skies will clear until the next storm. My thoughts are with you!
Oh honey, you are doing great! All those feelings swirling around at once. It is so hard. What a beautiful little guy you have.
What a whiner. I knew that you’d have major mommy issues, kvetchin’ Gretchen.
Motherhood. A brutal slog interspersed with profound, astonishing, addictive joys. Leading, if we’re lucky, to insight and purpose. Sending you a big hug.
Motherhood is hard the first year. You just do it, that’s it. In the same time, we all need a break. i would suggest hiring someone to watch him 1-2 days a week during the day for a few hours so you can have “alone time’.
Aww what a cutie! Sorry it’s all so tough right now but this phase will be over before you know it. Is he at the 4 month sleep regression? I started sleep training Emi early around the 4 month sleep regression because the baby books told me they can handle it. But of course each baby is different. I used a combo of the book Baby Wise and the insta account Taking Cara Babies to navigate the sleep issue (and I used the book baby led feeding and the insta account Feeding Littles to figure out the eating solids situation). Hang in there!
Elaine´s last blog post ..Cuyana Review: Recycled Cashmere Crewneck Sweater
Hang in there! Cold + teething sounds like a recipe for terrible sleep. It will get better! Have you considered sleep training? Not for everyone but it was great for our family.
Sounds like he is teething. Try giving some pediatrician recommended painkiller at night. That should help a lot.
Motherhood is not for sissies, that’s for sure! Above all, be kind to yourself — for feeling all the feelings and being overwhelmed. I can say for sure that we have all been there. There are easy days and there are incredibly hard days. In the beginning, I really “mourned” my previous life and often asked myself, “what have I done?” but you go on, putting one foot in front of the other and it does get easier. Sending you much love.
A wise friend/mama said to get ahead of my daughter’s teething pain and do Children’s Motrin. So before she went to bed, Motrin. It just helps them (and you) sleep! Whatever it takes sometimes. It’s not forever!
That jumpsuit looks so amazing on you, that’s a great find. And I agree about “abandoning” Hawk for a few hours (24 hours?) to a trusted person, it helps so much to recover from everything (a good night sleep, some “me” time). My mom did that for me and that was the greatest gift… And I think it’s healthy from a motherhood point of view as well (it takes a village…).
This brought back so many memories … memories, meaning that period is firmly in the rear view. Hang in there.
Also, not that you asked for recommendations, but rice cereal in that final bottle right before bedtime may be able to sustain him a little bit longer through the night. Once I started, it improved nights!
I’m not sure if you meant your comments as a joke; they come across as cruel and completely unnecessary. I’m not sure why the internet lets us say things we might never say in person – you might want to consider:
“Before you speak ask yourself if what you are going to say is true, is kind, is necessary, is helpful. If the answer is no, maybe what you are about to say should be left unsaid.”
Beautifully stated, Kris. That Meltzer quote is such an excellent guide.
And Grechen, I only have to look at your precious, adorable, thriving, son – to see you’re doing a wonderful job! Raising babies and kids, it often feels like a triumph just to get through the day, and it’s ESPECIALLY challenging on every level when one is sleep-deprived. Oi, it’s a roller-coaster, for sure!
The field suit looks super cute on you. 🙂
I don’t know about Children’s Motrin but I know babies under 6mos aren’t supposed to have Motrin (maybe also Children’s?) due to an increased risk of a GI bleed…I think Tylenol is better.
I agree! Respite care & self care! No shame in taking time away or hiring a sitter for some scheduled time off. Being a mom is wonderful- but we can’t lose ourselves in the journey! Lots of hugs !!
Just came across your blog. I’m about to turn 41. The mother of a 19 month old. Full time working mom. So much weirdness about my post-pregnancy body, exhaustion, aging, etc. You are speaking for many of us, sister, and it feels good to be reflected. I saw some people above disagreed with your statements about the difficulties about motherhood. I think we need to be more honest about how challenging it is, and the complete disruption it causes to our person-hood. I adore my little one, I cherish him. He was desperately wanted and the result of expensive fertility treatment and a lot of emotional angst….and I still have those days when I say, “What have I done!” Solidarity! Also, you look amazing.
Might want to trim his hair.