This modern mama hasn’t been crafting much lately. Between three rounds of sickness coursing through our home since school started (thank you kindergarten germs), a trip out of state with all three kids and enough luggage to move in somewhere, work, a mobile baby, and well… life, this momma is running on fumes.
First let me reassure you moms who are still in the first year and going through this for the first time, things do get better. The mom fog that prevents you from thinking clearly, the sleep deprivation, the feeling that you are constantly giving to everyone else and putting your needs aside (ok well this one sticks around for a while)… after the first year the Mom cloud does start lifting. Somewhere between 1 and 2 years of age you start to notice your toddler plays for longer stretches without needing to be held constantly, and you probably get a little more sleep at night. I’m just letting you know it gets better. There is a reason why at 1.5-2 people start thinking about a second child.
However, I am still in the thick of it. Baby is sleeping better until teething kicks in and it seems for the last 2 weeks she tosses and turns a good chunk of the night. She is nursing non-stop. She bites me too when she falls asleep nursing. All it takes is one terrible night’s sleep on top of an already tired mama to feel like you can’t function. It’s been many months of inconsistent sleep patterns, one bad night can really throw you off.
I have enough going on with work responsibilities that I am constantly working, barely taking breaks during the day so I don’t need to work too late and can get back to my family for a few hours before bed. When I am not home to feed on demand, I spend my breaks at work pumping and washing my pieces, grabbing food, and jumping back into my work. Everything is done with purpose and efficiency in mind, work is not an escape or a break. It’s a task and it is prioritized.
My two older boys turn into gremlins with unlimited energy if they are not in bed by bedtime. Those witching hours are the hardest. They run and scream, shriek and jump. It’s loud and chaos and my anxiety climbs up with every warning I state (ok, more like yell) and they ignore completely. Sometimes I just count the minutes to the point all of them are sleeping, and the house is finally quiet. Just for a half hour of calm. To feel an ounce of control.
I am a mom-bie sometimes. Some days are worse than others. Some people may not notice, because this is what I am used to and it’s not always so difficult. I still find enjoyment and fulfillment in my work and family time. I may be tired but I forget about that when I am in the middle of my day. When the house is quiet and the kids are sleeping, I usually waste too much time scrolling through the internet for things that amuse or inspire me. I probably should sleep now because the baby will toss and turn between 2 and 4 am. I should put that stack of wash away or run the dishwasher right now.
Halloween is around the corner and we bought our kids costumes, haven’t visited a pumpkin patch this year, and have no pumpkins to carve. It’s ok to not get to everything. We will draw and color pumpkins, and trick or treat together. Hey, we recorded all the Halloween Paw Patrol and Peppa Pig episodes to watch… that counts for something, right?
But this phase does get better. Hang in there mama, you’re doing great things and you are an awesome mom. You won’t be a mom-bie forever. And if you are a dad-bie, I get it too. This stuff is hard work. Be proud of yourself, you got this.