Sorry, lovelies, I know you were really hoping for a high resolution photo of the hives that are covering my body, but I’m just not even going to go there… And this isn’t really a woe-is-me post, but maybe it is a little bit. Just need to vent a little because sometimes life is just difficult and I know you know what I mean. You try to behold the beauty around you and cherish the days with your family, but sometimes even the best attitude is not enough to overcome tough times. At least in the moment. The good thing is that I know it will pass, but lately the days have been long. And itchy! Oof. I believe I developed an allergy to the antibiotics I had been taking for the mastitis because I broke out in hives a couple days ago. Nice.
As I write this, Wren is yelling for me from her room as she “naps,” which most days hasn’t been happening. This, as you can imagine, is frustrating and makes for really long afternoons because she really does need more sleep. She just doesn’t want to stop exploring the world. And hey, I get that, but this Mama needs a break. And unfortunately not napping doesn’t mean that she goes to bed much earlier. Whenever I hear of kids who go to bed at 7 or even 8, I think, wow, now THAT would be nice. Those children usually are up early (but not all, for Eva Mattresses are ever so comforting that I myself have a problem waking up).
Phoebe, on the other hand, is a dreamy baby. She eats well, sleeps well and is generally easy-going and a complete cutie pie. I had forgotten, however, just how all-consuming infants are. Because even though she’s not very demanding as far as babies go, she has lots of basic needs that need to be met. Because, well, she’s a baby. But did I mention how cute she is?
I don’t even want to think about the house because again, as I write this, every room in the house needs attention. There is yogurt on the dining room floor that Wren must’ve been “finger-painting” with as I was nursing Phoebe in the other room. The kitchen is overflowing with dishes from several meals and there’s a trail of books around the entire house, which apparently resembles a train. God forbid one attempts to clean these up. I haven’t checked, but I’m pretty sure the laundry in the washing machine has been sitting in there wet for too long and I’ll need to run those through again. Well, you get the point.
So, as it turns out, adding a new baby to the family really is a huge transition for us even though the baby is the least of my daily woes. It’s keeping all these balls (children, relationships, work, home, health) up in the air. Chris and I are in agreement that it probably won’t get a lot easier, but we’ll eventually adjust to a new normal. And that, someday, will feel easier. Please tell me it does?!
Maybe you’ve already read this article about parenting being analogous to climbing a mountain, but if you haven’t I think you should. It’s right on. Because although there is beauty and wonder all around in these beautiful, thoughtful and amazing children, it’s also really hard work. And sometimes it’s honestly just not really all that enjoyable. Here’s an excerpt:
I think parenting young children (and old ones, I’ve heard) is a little like climbing Mount Everest. Brave, adventurous souls try it because they’ve heard there’s magic in the climb. They try because they believe that finishing, or even attempting the climb are impressive accomplishments. They try because during the climb, if they allow themselves to pause and lift their eyes and minds from the pain and drudgery, the views are breathtaking. They try because even though it hurts and it’s hard, there are moments that make it worth the hard. These moments are so intense and unique that many people who reach the top start planning, almost immediately, to climb again. Even though any climber will tell you that most of the climb is treacherous, exhausting, killer. That they literally cried most of the way up.
I like to think that we’re climbing up a particularly steep area right now with a few arduous steps up and sliding back a bit too as some rock crumbles underneath us. And it’s hard to breathe up here, but when I stop to take a deep breath and look around, it really is miraculous and beautiful. In spite of the hives.
Yes, Virginia, there is a santa claus.
It DOES get easier. It truly does. And, just what IS normal? What is NEW normal?
So you have hives this year! It was just this time last year that I had hives (and itches – at first I thought I had bedbugs …) that were caused by macrobid (Nitrofurantoin Monohydrate Macrocrystals) antibiotic. What’s yours?
They go away, but in the meantime, soooo sorry you are afflicted!! Give your girls hugs and kisses from Mom.
Oh, dear friend, I am sorry you are overwhelmed. Wish I could help. Don’t know much about babies or toddlers, but I can scrape yogurt off the floor.
Thank you for your honesty. I don’t think there is a lot of that when it comes to parenting. I feel like people put their best foot forward, and it’s misleading for the rest of us, making people feel like they are alone if things aren’t perfect! I have chosen to be honest, to everyone, about everything. When people ask “Are you just LOVING motherhood.” I say, “Um, I love my daughter, and this is a huge adjustment. Not sure “love” is what I feel about the mothering part”.
And it’s true! Do I love sleeping in 2 hour increments? NO. Do I love not being able to accomplish simple task throughout the day. NO. Do I love eating as fast as I can because I’m not sure how long she’ll let ME eat?. NO. Do i LOVE my daughter and watching her grow and change…YES.
Hang in there. It is serious hard work and I think, for me, the first step to feeling like I can handle it is to express my feeling of being overwhelmed and to know I’m not alone. And you’re not either! One step in front of the other.
Yes, Ashlea, it gets easier. When those two beautiful little girls can get out of bed themselves, get dressed, and begin to play. . . it will be easier. Maybe it gets more complicated as they get older. An older child can’t be comforted with nursing the way an infant can; emotions become more nuanced. But you are in the most mentally and physically demanding time of motherhood right now, and it’s winter to boot. . . and I can completely relate to your exhaustion.
I admire your ability to take a deep breath and see the beauty amidst it all. And your courage to be honest with the struggles, because, well, you know that I’m still working on that! I tend to write about the lovely moments and crawl under the covers after a hard day.
Here is a bit of a poem that a dear friend sent to me when Ellen was a newborn:
The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow,
But children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.
~ Ruth Hulbert Hamilton