The Roller Coaster of Motherhood
It’s 9:30 in the morning, and I’ve just now gotten a moment to myself to drink my coffee and vent through the keyboard. Last night was rough, and this morning hasn’t been any easier. For whatever reason (everything’s a mystery these days), my seven month old was particularly fussy all night long. I woke up extra tired to a beautiful smiling baby. She’s always happy when she wakes, I figure it’s her apology for being such a pain in the ass at night. Well, this morning the happiness didn’t last.
The smiles faded before I could even get out of bed. We started our day with a serious case of fussiness. I attempted to distract her with her favorite movie (Finding Dory) while I quickly threw on some clothes and brushed my teeth. Not even baby Dory could make this kid happy today. We went downstairs where I set her down in her play yard with a few of her favorite toys. While I poured a much needed cup of coffee, she cried and demanded my attention. I set my coffee aside and pulled some pureed green beans out of the fridge. I attempted to feed her a food she usually quite likes, but she flailed her arms and batted the spoon away, making a nice little mess for mom to clean up.
Clean diaper? Check! Milk in her belly? Check! We tried Dory, we tried favorite toys, and we tried solid foods; all to no avail. Nothing left to do but make this kid take a nap. She cried and fussed as I tried to put her down and let her fall asleep on her own. You know, trying to create good habits. Well, good habits can suck it today. I picked up my hysterical baby, gave her one of her favorite pacifiers, and rocked her in my arms. She was out in less than a minute. Hallelujah! I carefully transferred her into her pack and play to sleep, turned the floor fan on high for white noise, and slowly backed away.
Now I sit at my desk, drinking my cold coffee and thinking about the roller coaster that is motherhood. As I opened my bloodshot eyes this morning, I told my husband “she’s sucking the life right out of me.” As I finished that sentence, I turned over to see my beautiful baby girl looking at me with the biggest smile spread across her face. In that moment, I couldn’t have felt more love for her. Ten minutes later, and I was back to thinking “you’re killing me, kid.” And now that she’s sleeping peacefully and I’ve had thirty minutes of quiet, I look over at her and think “what an angel”.
This whole parenting thing really is like a roller coaster.
First you’re down, then you’re up, and before you know it, you’re down again. How quickly we go from silently pleading for some quality sleep, to happily thinking that it’s all worth it. No wonder so many moms suffer from the baby blues. The best thing to do is ask for help when you need it, and to remember that this crappy moment is temporary. Yes, more crappy moments will come, but so will the wonderful happy moments. Whether its an inconsolable teething baby, a poop blowout with only a few wipes left in the pack, or a mess of pureed green beans in your hair; try to remember that a happy moment is right around the corner. When my nerves are shot and I think I’m at my wits end, I try to remember that soon I will see that beautiful toothless smile and hear that adorable little giggle once again.
Oh! She just woke up. Duty calls.