Friday, June 17, 2011

solicited advice

Let's pretend you have a nearly-5-month-old baby. Let's also pretend that you have a full-time job that sometimes takes you out of town, a dog, a house, a husband who is gone 55-ish hours a week, and tons of personal commitments. Now let's pretend that your infant has regressed to acting like a newborn in the evenings and at night (you know, the only time you get to see her) more often than not for about 3 1/2 weeks--crying more, screaming sometimes, turning breastfeeding into a nightmare, waking up not once but sometimes 2 and 3 times a night. You love this baby (and husband and house and dog and most of the personal commitments). You miss the baby while she's gone, while you're working. But the screaming baby? The baby who is suddenly high-maintenance? The sleep deprivation of the parent of a newborn? You don't love that so much. You at times want to run away. You probably need to run away. You need free time that doesn't involve your job. Your idea of free time isn't even something terribly exciting. It's more like running errands by yourself. Perhaps talking to a friend on the phone. Marking something off the To Do list. Maybe even washing the new pots and pans you bought 3 weeks ago that are still sitting in their unopened box in the dining room. So if you're pretending all that, how do you leave for that free time? How do you justify spending even less time with your kid?

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

you justify it because those little bits of free time is what keep you sane, thereby, a better parent. guilt be damned.

cph

Jessica said...

You deserve that free time. Make sure you give it to yourself!

Katie Lady said...

The justification is that 'if Mama ain't happy, ain't NOBODY happy.' You are a much better mother, wife, employee if you are getting everything you need. Including free time.

Lunch, baby. I do lots of things at lunch. I also try to work 7 hour days when I can and take care of things around the house that need to be done. One of the perks of working from home, as you know. If you can, just stop early, take care of a few things before you pick up chicken, then log back into work after she's in bed, if you need to. Talk to work about it, work something out in advance so everyone knows what to expect and that you are AWOL from 4-8pm or whatever. I've had several friends do this who aren't even working from home, and it's worked great for all of them.

Also, have hubby go in early to get his 55 hour weeks (that's what JB does) so he can pick Chicken up and you can have a cocktail or something before they get home and de-stress or just unload the dishwasher. No idea where he works, but that's what we do. Or have him take her to school and you have some morning time to yourself.

Breathe. Have a night out. And remember that this too shall pass.

ndh said...

Drop her off with me tonight and just take a breather...breaks=sanity and that is a good thing that should not have any guilty associated with it...

NDH

Anonymous said...

I have been there and Katie is right. You need to realize that if you aren't happy then S will feed off of your emotions. You have to take time for yourself; go to the spa - dishes is not time for yourself. I have hired a housekeeper and it is so much easier now!

Katie Lady said...

Oh yeah, HIRE A HOUSEKEEPER/CLEANING LADY! We had one until we were paying for 2 daycares and I couldn't pay myself regularly (being self-employed and all). TOTALLY worth it, even if it's just every other week.

nora said...

I will love to come by next week and babysit so you can a few hours to yourself and cross some things off your to do list. Call me and let me know what is a good time Saturday or Sunday.

StaceyG said...

What they said. Guilt is a synonym for Mother, so just suck it up, take care of yourself and know that you're doing this to be a better wife, mother, employee, YOU. There's a great book about the importance of self-care at www.pearlandtherapy.com.

angelq said...

I feel your pain. And I could add about a half-dozen other variables in there. It's hard but you have to make an effort to do things for yourself once in a while. Maybe if you view it as a way to teach your daughter the value of self-worth it will take some of the guilt away. But Stacey's right - Mother and Guilt definitely go hand-in-hand. Sounds like you have quite a village, take advantage of it. You'll be amazed at how taking even five minutes for yourself will make it a little easier to deal with the second and third night waking - which may be a sign that she's getting ready to reach a milestone.

Loretta said...

You have some wise friends. You time is good for everybody. And when it is impossible, remind yourself that you should be having some time for yourself.

And this too shall pass. I agree that these periods of regression often precede big milestones.

In the moments you are (deservedly) at the end of your rope, sing to yourself:

"Where are you going my little one, little one? Where are you going my baby, my own. Turn around and you are one. Turn around when you are four. Turn around and you're a young one having babes of your own"

Anonymous said...

thanks