Ma, what the hell kid of phone is this? It doesn’t get Elmo on YouTube or Toddler Tunes on Pandora! Wtf?! #parenthood #iphone
When Grey was a newborn and getting up every two hours to eat, I remember thinking that if I could just get 5-6 hours of straight sleep every night, I’d feel like a new woman. Well, here it is, nine months later. I was wrong. I’m still tired. Thank god for the Keurig.
What did you say, mom? I shouldn’t eat the paint?!
My husband and I just had a half hour conversation about moth balls. This is proof that your level of intelligence definitely decreases when the baby wakes up at 4:30am. #exhausted #parenthood #motherhood
Enjoying the view #bestfriends
I spent some time today reading through the social media posts of the lists of the things that everyone is most thankful for. Of course, the top items are listed again and again: friends, family, spouses, children, jobs, homes, health. And of course, these are the most important things in life. I thought long and hard today about what I am thankful for. The items above are obviously top on my list. But again, the point of this blog is to share the things that people forget to mention. It’s ok to admit that on this Thanksgiving day, I am probably most thankful for the two hours of sesame street on the iPad that got Greyson and I through the treacherous four hour drive to Albany. As a work at home mom, I want to share some of the little things in life that I am extremely thankful for on a daily basis.
1.) Nap time. Enough said. I could stop here and be happy with this list.
2.) Keurig coffee. A quick cup of coffee at any moment is a necessity when caring for three children all day.
3.) Kids on Demand. Sometimes, you just need a little Bubble Guppies ASAP.
4.) My babysitter. As much as I love to spend all day with Grey, being able to leave the house once in a while is a magical thing. Thank god for a good sitter.
5.) Pinot noir. After a long day, a large glass of red wine always does the trick.
6.) DVR. Unfortunately, Prime time television occurs during prime time bedtime. If not for DVR, we’d be extremely out of touch with what’s new on TV.
7.) Baby gates. Sometimes, the only way to get anything done is to keep ‘me contained.
8.) Concealer, foundation, bronzer. A girl needs good makeup to cover up those tired eyes.
9.) Facebook. Since our nights out are few and far between these days, Facebook makes me feel little more connected to my former social life.
10.) My husband. I’m not trying to get all sappy here, but by 6:00pm, I need backup.
So like all of the other posts you read today, I’ll say that I am most thankful for my family and my friends – but it’s that list of the little things that get me through the day. Happy Thanksgiving!
Sent from my iPhone
I want to preface this post by saying that there are one million reasons why being a parent is the most amazing thing you will ever do in your lifetime. There are also one million people who will tell you that. Of course, I feel blessed to have the opportunity to be a mother and most days, I love every second of it. However, the point of this blog is not to be just another person telling you have amazing parenthood is. The point is to share some of the things that parents don’t tell you. It’s not all rainbows and butterflies, people, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with talking about that.
I thought a lot about whether or not to share these thoughts…. But ultimately, I decided to write this whole blog so that I had a forum to vent openly, so here goes.
Have you ever watched those shows on TLC about having children and being new parents? Every one of those mothers says how amazing it is to fall in love with someone so instantly, that childbirth is such a miracle, that they are adjusting well to having a newborn in the house… and so on. I can’t tell if these people are serious. You just can’t be that positive all the time. Right? I mean, don’t get me wrong, overall it is an amazing experience; But I remember my first night at home with Greyson and if you interviewed me, I would have said, “This is insane. What the hell did I get myself into? I don’t know what I am doing.”
One of the common quotes I hear these women say is that they can’t remember life before having children. Well, here is where I think they MUST be lying. And during our fiasco here at bedtime last night, I was definitely dreaming about my life before being a mother. Typically, Grey goes to bed at 8:00pm. Last night, we didn’t get him down until 11:15pm. I cannot explain how utterly exhausted I was/am. I don’t even feel like sharing the details because I am too tired to think about it. While I was trying to stay relaxed, I was dreaming about what life was like before I was responsible for another human being…
I remember when my day didn’t begin before 6:30am. EVER. I’m pretty sure I didn’t know that 4:30am even existed before Greyson was born. I remember when I went to work, talked to adults, and then went to the gym for a few hours. Hell, even the commute to work was amazing. Listening to anything besides “toddler tunes” on Pandora and having the music as loud as I please because there wasn’t an infant sleeping (or crying) in the backseat. Those were the days. I remember when picking up a mess on Saturday morning meant cleaning up the empties and the cigarettes around the fire pit from a Friday night with friends, not emptying a diaper genie and wiping down a highchair covered in sweet potatoes from Friday night’s dinner. I remember when I spent the evening hanging out with my husband and having dinner while we watched primetime TV. I remember when I used to be able to take a bath on a Sunday night while enjoying a quiet glass of wine and good book. I remember when we spent our money at the bar on the weekends, not at BJs stocking up on diapers and formula. It was a selfish life, and I know that what I am doing now is so much more amazing, but damn, I do miss it once in a while.
When I called my mother last night at 10:00pm for some moral support, I shared these thoughts with her and asked her if I was a bad mother. She laughed and said of course not and that she treasured her daily trip to the mailbox just to get some peace and quiet. It was definitely a challenging night and an overtired rough day today, but at least I know that I am probably not the only mother to feel this way. If you are reading this and you are a parent who truly has never felt like you were in over your head, maybe should get in touch with TLC – I am sure there is a show that you’d be perfect for.
My two favorite boys
One topic that parents are constantly talking about is the importance of sleep for children. You can find a countless number of books outlining different methods, each claiming to be the most effective for getting your child to sleep through the night. During pregnancy, I really put in a valid effort to check out some of this material. Unfortunately, I’m not sure any of this has helped Grey learn to sleep through the night. In fact, the only thing these books did was put ME to sleep. Seriously, if you have insomnia, read a few pages of Health Sleep Habits, Happy Child. No offense, Dr. Weissbluth, but this shit is boring. “Sleep is the power source that keeps your mind alert and calm. Every night and at every nap, sleep recharges the brain’s battery. Sleeping well increases brainpower just as lifting weights builds stronger muscles, because sleeping well increases your attention span….” Blah, blah, blah.
While I am poking a little fun at these doctors and their strategies, I did actually try a few, with no success. I wanted the “cry it out” method work. The idea of letting Grey fall asleep on his own sounded great. I tried – and after several nights of A LOT of screaming, I gave in. I read all of these testimonials from mothers who said after a few nights, there baby stopped crying and just went t sleep. Maybe Grey just doesn’t want to conform to what all of the other well-behaved babies are doing at bedtime. I decided the best thing to do was what worked for us. While I am happy to say that our bedtime routine doesn’t take a long time and that Grey has been sleeping through the night all week (Hooray!), I have learned that whether or not you are following a doctor’s methods, bedtime is definitely a science.
Let me explain myself. Ensuring a good night’s sleep for us starts around 8:30am. A good morning nap is crucial to a happy day. I always make sure that Grey eats plenty at his meals, which will hopefully help keep him from waking up hungry at nighttime. An afternoon nap is crucial as well so that he doesn’t fall asleep earlier than usual. The actual bedtime routine starts around 7:20pm. We have to be sure not to start too early, because if he falls asleep a half hour early, he wakes up a half hour early. Bath time comes first, then lotion, fresh diaper, and clean PJs. While my husband dresses the baby, I make sure his sheets are clean and fill the humidifier with enough water to make it through the night. We try to hold Grey off until 8:00pm before his nighttime bottle. Most nights, he falls asleep while drinking his bottle (which is a horrible habit, I’m told… I’m sure Dr. Weissbluth wouldn’t approve). Then comes the most important part – the transfer. I slowly carry Grey to his crib and as carefully and quietly as possible, lower him to his mattress. In order to make sure he thinks I am still holding him, I literally lean as far down as possible. I keep one hand on his back, still singing his favorite lullaby. Seriously, I might as well just get in the crib with the kid until he’s asleep for as much work as it takes to trick him into thinking I’m still holding him. As I tip toe out, still singing that lullaby mind you, I close his door and let out a huge sigh of relief.
While this process might sound a little crazy, it works. Maybe I should give Dr. Weissbluth a run for his money and write a book outlining my own methods for ensuring a good night’s sleep. I may not be a doctor, but our own little scientific take on bedtime seems to be working out just fine.
Exhausted!! Heading to bed.