sleeping babies and horror stories
So when was raising babies easy? Lately we have had all these friends and acquaintances have babies. You ask them how they are going and they are like, “Great! The baby is always sleeping, feeds every 4 hours and we sleep most of the night!". I’m over here saying, “where is all the horror stories?”.
Our baby blew our world to pieces. Just shattered it. Not only was the birth a horror show but he was always nursing, never slept, and had a horrendous witching hour (more like 2-3 hours on a good day). I think he was one and he settled into two hour sleeps at night and would go a little longer during the day but was awake most of the time and was always needing mom right there. He wouldn't nap unless he was on me and I mean on me. He needed to make sure I wasn’t going anywhere. And I did just that twice a day I would hold in a huge pee and whisper everything just so I could have some downtime no matter what that looked like. I also feel I’m pretty lucky to be able to hold in a huge pee. That’s not lost on me... So maybe it was our parenting style that made it so difficult for us or our survival style or maybe we just have a full on kid or our expectations of ease was a bit on the embellished side. I also wonder if it was the fact that everyone before before us had perfect births, parenting styles and babies that just did the Hollywood movie thing and just slept all the time. It took me about 4 months before I decided I wouldn’t take him back. Sometimes the jury is still out (only kidding). Why 4 months? Well it didn't get easier so that wasn't it. I think it was our bond building. Sometimes the greatest bonds are grown through hardship. I had many people say "this too will pass", but I never thought it would and I thought I would be stuck that way forever. Plus when I said anything negative I felt people looked at me like I was exaggerating. Geez I was just trying to vent.
I think it’s important to remember that everyone has their own experience and it’s not always cuddles and sleepy days. Sometimes it’s screams from both sides, not knowing what the baby wants/needs, scared parents that argue because they have no idea what else to do. Sometimes it’s road trips that take 12 hours longer than they should and moments of “should I just keep driving" when you pop down the shops for a bottle of cream. Other times it’s fierce jealousy of people that “have it easy” with grandparents and Instagram moments and babies that sleep in their crib all. night. long. When you are hearing an experience that is not pretty, don't give advice like "if you only did this or you shouldn't be...". Try "I hear probiotics may help a colicy baby", or "geez, that must be hard. Keep telling me, I'm here to listen". I have a two year old now and those horrible moments are looked upon with love and respect (It took a lot of therapy and Chinese medicine herbs to get me to this place sister!). I can now listen to others birth stories and beautiful parenting moments and be truely happy for them and hope that their baby never has a witching hour. The truth is, we need to be honest with our experiences. We don’t have to tell all the gritty moments, but let’s be honest because this gig is hard and chances are you need to vent too. It’s hard for mommas, dads and the kid. It’s a new world for all first time parents and first time siblings and it’s the only job that doesn’t come with training. It’s okay to mess it up, it’s okay to get mad, it’s okay to scream into a pillow or cry yourself to sleep. It’s okay. Tell #yourstory. It may help someone with theirs.