Sometimes I Feel That Way Too
Usually these are the baby photos everyone sees:
But Baby N has spent a good portion of time looking like this:
Recently some Mommy friends and I were together, many of whom have just recently had their second baby. As we talked, our conversation turned to how different our first and second were and how it seemed that the second ones were wilder. I mentioned that perhaps this was because many of us now also have 2 year olds running around and making life more chaotic than ever before.
Then I admitted that my husband and I had mentioned to each other in only a (slightly) joking manner that Baby N is the exact reason the hospital makes parents watch the “Don’t Shake Your Baby” video. There was no gasp, no looks of horror, only a collective “I’m SO glad I’m not the only one that feels that way!”
I realized how lucky I am to have a group of women in the same position, going thru many of the same things I’m going through. It reassured me that I’m not a horrible mother for thinking that, but that I am just a normal sleep-deprived and overwhelmed Mommy trying to juggle it all.
But I also realized not everyone has the same support I do. So if there isn’t someone who has said it to you and you think you’re the only one who feels that way, let me say it: If your child has ever stressed you out, the lack of sleep has made you feel like you’re going to lose your cool, or you’ve ever begged your little bundle of joy to “Just stop crying!” You are not alone. You are human. Being a parent is THE most important job and also the most stressful thing you will ever do regardless of how much you love your babies, so give yourself a break.
I’m not saying this as someone who is looking back at it all, I’m saying it as someone who was so exhausted that last week I backed into my sister-in-law’s car as I left the house. And it’s not as if I didn’t KNOW she was there, she had come over to watch the boys while I went to work. Later that day I tripped and fell over our baby gate with N in my arms. That was kind of a wake up call for me and I realized that sometimes I need to slow down because I make mistakes more easily and have a shorter fuse when I’m tired and stressed.
So take a breather when you need it. Don’t feel like a you are a bad parent if you let your toddler watch TV, stick your baby in a swing, and let the housework wait while your pull yourself together, because you’ll be a better parent if you can step away from the situation for even a few minutes.
A happier Mommy means happy babies.
And then we can get back to this: