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Friday, February 25, 2011

Slow Transition

I'm struggling. Man, am I struggling. This is so much harder than I thought it would be.

I only have two friends who are stay at home moms. I find them both pretty amazing. They seem to have it together. Their kids are happy and well-adjusted. They volunteer at school functions. Their houses are clean. Every time I talk to them or see them, they've showered that day. Are these wins or what?

Where was I going? Oh, right. When I had Nathan, I grieved that I'd be sending him to daycare as an infant. I know for some people this isn't a difficult choice. And for others, it's not a choice at all, but a necessity - as it was for us. I had secretly hoped, for a long time, that I'd be a stay at home mom to my kids. Joe and I, well, we're just not that solvent, and my student loans are way too big. And man, Chicago is expensive! So, I worked and Nathan was in daycare full-time. It was the way things were and we all got used to it.

When I got pregnant the second time, we knew that I would be staying at home. It was both where my heart was and the best financial decision for my family. My part-time instructor position at a local university has helped us make this possible. Every day I looked forward to it. The last few weeks I took Nathan to daycare, I excitedly talked to him about how he'd be home with mama and the baby.

Then the day arrived.

I had forgotten how difficult the period of hibernation was in January and February. We were firm about four weeks inside since we're in the heart of cold and flu season. Of course, the first outing we took with both boys, besides the doctor, resulted in Nathan bringing home a cold.

I hadn't truly calculated how much Nathan would have cabin fever. He's been in daycare since he was just a few months old. And while he didn't always want to go, he was used to going, He misses his friends.

I hadn't realized how much worse the sleep deprivation would be when you have a newborn added to a poorly sleeping toddler. People, I'm barely functioning and I really understand how sleep deprivation is a torture technique.

I have made comments on the Facebook and to both my mom and Joe's mom about my inability to sleep. The consensus is that I wanted children and now I just need to suck it up. I don't disagree, the lack of empathy is a bit shocking. I'm just trying to figure out how to cope. I just want to get through a day without screaming at my toddler. I think the only real solution is to sleep. So, when I go for my check-up next week, I'm going to ask about sleep aids. I'm that person who hates taking medication of any sort. At this point, I don't have a choice. Poor Nathan.

I wonder if I'm revealing too much. I feel like it's safe to admit this stuff because better days are around the corner. Daniel is five weeks old, so we can get out a little more. The weather will be breaking soon, so we can start walking and going more places. I will get to sleep someday. Nathan will forgive me for this transition time.


ashley @ twentysixcats said...

You have all my sympathies, Marianne! I am a SAHM who also struggles with the downsides. I get lonely. I am incredibly lazy. I don't make dinner more often than I do. My house is a wreck. And I only have one!! Part of me is scared to have a second one, because I am worried about it pushing me over the edge. But at the same time, I *want* more than one child. I can't imagine Savannah growing up without a sibling.

Sometimes I feel like I can't be honest about being lonely/sad/etc., because I'm afraid of giving stay-at-home moms a bad rep. I wouldn't have it any other way, but it's not a walk in a field of daisies either.

And I relate to turning to Facebook, only to have people get you down. I felt that way about my cats - to the extent that I stopped posting about them. That was so sad for me, because I was going through something that was really traumatic for me, and I didn't feel like there was anyone safe that I could talk to about it. Sometimes, in those raw moments, my heart is too fragile for the insensitive.

You can always email me if you need encouragement! I got your back, sister!

Anonymous said...

Try Rescue Remedy for Sleep. It's an all-natural, non-addictive sleep aid. Run it by your doctor first if you are nursing.

Sleep deprivation is a form of torture. I feel for you, kiddo. ((HUGS))

Sarah said...

Oh, Marianne! Winter sucks. Cold and flu season sucks. Sleep deprivation sucks. And post-baby hormones suck. And you have all of those at once!

I always have insomnia after birth (which also really sucks), and for me, talking to my doc an getting a prescription-- even though I never actually took a pill-- really, really helped.

It's okay to get annoyed with your kids and realize SAH is not as romantic as it seems. My a home days are sometimes awful, but it helps to know that others feel the same way.

You are right that this is a transition time. This is not your "real life." You're a great mom, and you will soon find your groove. When the weather breaks and you can spend days at the park, you'll meet more moms and kids and start having playdates and picnics-- darn winter!

Mrs Lemon said...

That is so true about this not being your "real life" said by Sarah. You gotta lower your expectations of what your "real life" will look like for at least a year.

Maybe you should consider finding a preschool two days a week for Nathan. Yes it's an expense, but if he is accustomed to the social part of it, it will be worth it. His needs will be met, you'll have some downtime (haha!) with the new baby, and then everyone is together for the evening. Even if it's only for a couple of mornings or afternoons a week, it will really help your stress level.

And yes, the sleep. It makes so much of a difference. Praying for you! and for Nathan!

AJU5's Mom said...

Being able to get out will give you and Nathan the sanity you need. I know going someplace each day was necessary for me (except Saturdays, but then DH was around to help). Some days it was just to the store or for a little walk around the neighborhood. But, the diversion really helped. Now we are to the stage where staying home is sometimes easier with their nap schedules, but we still end up going outside many a day.

And facebook - oh the advice you get there. I just know that it helps to get things off my chest and don't worry too much about the comments. People can be all over the place, and I think part of it is they don't always know how serious you posts are, etc (since many people exaggerate, etc). Hang in there. Being a SAHM does get better.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Just wanted to send you some good vibes. I'm a stay at home mom with 3 kiddos & I just wanted to let you know that I had a hard time getting adjusted at the beginning, big time. It will get better over time, and you will get into more of a routine, especially with having a new little one. It's so easy to get frustrated when you are already tired, so be easy on yourself. Try to keep your oldest busy with fun projects...we do lots of painting. Also, invite people over. (Only if you trust that they won't come if they are or their kids are sick) Also, I don't know if you have a mops group in your area, but that may be of interest to you, too. Being a stay at home mom, in my opinion, is a lot harder than dropping your kids off with someone else at daycare and then spending the evening and weekends with them. It can be extremely challenging and difficult, but in the end, SO rewarding and you will be happy that you did it. You'll never have the opportunity again to spend so much time with your kids while they are little. Keep your head up and try to keep positive. Also-- most SAHM don't keep a perfect house. TRUST ME. Take care.

Shannon said...

Sending many hugs and prayers. Things will get better. I promise!

summer and adam said...

I'm praying for you guys! It is a transition time, and spring is around the corner. Soon you can spend your days taking them to the park and getting out a bit! Set up a few playdates for Nathatn!

And NO one keeps a perfect house. Those who claim that they do never show you their closets! LOL I'm a stay at home Mom to doggies 6 months out of the year, and my house is actually WORSE when I'm home-- I'm too busy doing projects. LOL

You'll get through this, sweetie. Or you could always move down here! LOL It's cheaper than Chicago, and winter is pretty much 60-80 degrees!!! LOL (And for SAHM field trips there is Disney.... :-D )

Love you and I'm praying!!!!!