Rough one.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Last night was a rough one. I'm not entirely sure why. If you recall my identity post, I've definitely morphed into a full fledge mother and I'm not quite operational as the person I was. Aside from missing my baby boy something fierce, I did not expect to be at odds with myself so much.

It seems that the easier it is to be without my son, I long for him and crave control over "me" time even more. Last night was a prime example. After rushing to gather him up in my arms, I grew irritated as the night wore on that I couldn't even wash my face, let alone go for a run. Two weeks ago, I wouldn't have cared . . . now that I've become used to the full release of being at work I seem to desire even more freedom. So at any given time I'm relishing my time with my son, mourning the hours of the day that I'm at work without him, and yet struggling to remember what it was like to care for him 24/7 because I want to easily slip back into the life I had before him. Does that even make sense?

It was very upsetting to sort through all of my emotions last night. Add to that the fact that we had small group over and had the stress of cleaning and entertaining and I was definitely one hot mess by the time I was struggling with a baby fighting sleep at midnight.

The final straw was Tony telling me, "There should be joy in your eyes." I want to be mad, that he should allow me to have at least a night of wallowing, but I think more than anything I felt rebuked and embarrassed.


Kathy said...

leah ~

not sure if i have ever commented before ~ you and are are probably polar opposites in age, relgious and political views, work life...

but we are both mothers and I wanted to reassure you that even if you did stay home with Issac 24/7 the time would come when you need that "me" time.

There is a honeymoon period when a baby is born. They can do no wrong. Their crying is cute " la la la" even at 3 in the morning.Their poop doesn't even smell (well, if you breastfeed anyhow, not sure about formula???)

But it does wear off. And you learn to adjust and if you are lucky at some point you don't even feel guilty about needing that "me" time. You know it will make you a better mother in the end. The challenge will always be when to find and fit in that "me" time (and no, work doesn't qualify as me time) ~ especially night now when he needs you (or your husband) for everything.

Good luck with your little one. He is a cutie. :o)

kathy (sahm of 3 out of 5 kids)

Ginger said...

Leah I think you're doing a fabulous job with your baby boy and he is so precious. But I can only imagine that you would feel the need to take care of yourself too. We all need a little time to ourselves and I don't think you should feel guilty about that. Look at it this way if you're spending that me time and taking care of yourself you're a better mother. I hope you find that balance you're seeking. :)

I've not experienced the joys and trials of a baby yet. But I felt similar to how you're feeling when Jeremy and I were first married. I felt like I had to spend every last second with him and that I needed my me time but didn't want to ignore my husband. I realized I was a better wife when I took my me time.

Holy long comment :P

Meredith said...

I agree with Mrs. A--I had a similar battle with myself right after we were married. On one hand, I'd get upset if J wanted to go out with the boys, but on the other hand, I'd find myself telling him, "Do we have to do EVERYTHING together?" when HE wanted to tag along. Holy conflicting message!

I don't really have any helpful advice because I haven't been in this position yet..but I hope you feel like you're not alone, and that most of us probably struggle to some degree with feeling conflicted about wanting time to ourselves and wanting to be the do-everything-be-everywhere superstar of the household and husband. And it's just hard sometimes.

Sarah Louise said...

It's hard for me to know what to say because I have no experience with what you are going through...but I'm here. I'm reading. I'm praying for you and your family, even if I do not always comment.

What I do know is that it is normal to have such conflicting emotions. That is not just an experience that mom's go through. It's something we all go through during major life transitions. I think that women tend to be especially hard on themselves when they begin to take on more, and different roles in their lives...and I think tackling the role of a mother is the hardest one out there.

You're doing a great job! I can tell how much you care by the way you write...I'm sure you will be able to find a balance between what you feel like you need to be doing for your family, and what you need to do for yourself. It will just take a little time.

Jen said...

I think the balancing act of being a mother does get easier. It's so much easier when they go down for the night and you have some time for yourself.

sunshineyou said...

Hmmm, I've never commented before, but feel I should. I've been/am where you are...I have a 7 month old. And I work. But I wish I could stay home with him. And I never get enough "me" time. But my husband sure does. And I get jealous/resentful. Then I try to cherish my time with my son, because it is "our" time, but sometimes am preoccupied with the notion that it's never "me" time anymore. So that makes me feel sad. Sad too because there should be joy instead since it is time spent with my little boy. So it is a never ending circle with me I guess. But I am learning (slowly!) that I need to get out because it is healthier for me and my marriage and my baby and I cherish that time with him all the more.

I think that you are allowed a night of wallowing, but I understand your embarrassment with it. I've felt the same way! I want to be with him, yet I don't, but I am, yet I'm not. Think about it - you haven't been by yourself since his conception. So wanting some "me" time is definately warranted. And needed. For all of you. You will learn to adjust, just as I am. What you are feeling is totally natural (and I have to remind myself of that all the time too!). Hope that makes you feel a little better!

Randine said...

You are not alone. As much as I love my baby and have ALWAYS loved her, I crave the time to have by myself. Just me. Thats it. And you know what? Its not selfish. Because not only do our babies demand our time, but our husbands do too. Sometimes, they are worse than our kids! LOL! Example: I come kid is watching tv happily while my husband is laying (relaxing?) on the couch. My kid is happy to see me and hugs and kisses me. My husband is happy to see me and says "Im hungry, what is for dinner?" Its tiring. And lets face it, the first thing in my mind is not to stuff my husbands face (well maybe with my fist! ;) )...

Dont let it get to you. Your husband meant well but youre human. You deserve to wallow.

Jen | Our Life Accounts said...

Funny you should write about this today, I wrote a similar post myself today. The first thing I wanted to say, is that what you are feeling is completely normal. While that may not be the most helpful response, I wanted to offer it up for reassurance, just in case.  We need our “me time” to function at our best but it’s natural to feel torn, pressured and guilty to soak up all the time with the kid(s) at the same time. Keep in mind that it does a disservice to you, as well as to Isaac and Tony, if you can’t take the time to take care of yourself too. The expression “use it or lose it” applies to health too. Sorry, I’ll get off my soap box now.

Allow yourself to wallow for a bit and after you wallow a bit, work with Tony to figure out how to squeeze a little time for you. There’s no need to feel embarrassed, what you are feeling is something that most men don’t experience or can’t relate to as well. If my husband were to say something like that to me I’d probably say something along the lines of “the day you give birth to a child and then have to leave it and go back to work is the day you can admonish me for not feeling happy, in the meantime, try humoring me and working to find a better solution rather than making me feel worse” 

Ashley said...

I am SO where you are! Even though I stay at home with Evy, there are times when it's stifling, like I just need time to myself to just breathe. I know what you're feeling: juggling a million different emotions at one time. Know that you're not loving Isaac or Tony any less by taking just a little bit of "me" time. It's okay. I've really had to learn this lately....and it's still hard. Some people think that when you're a SAHM, you don't have these struggles. We do. I'm praying for you!!

ThoughtsON said...

I don't have any experience with this (no babies) but like others have said, it sounds completely normal and understandable. I agree with what Mrs. A said- I felt similiar early in my marriage. I think that any major life changing event- marriage, childbirth- comes with many complications and questions and conflicts. I just want you to know that I appreciate your honesty in this blog and know that people are reading and thinking of you and praying for you :)
This quote came to mind:
"Any transition serious enough to alter your definition of self will require not just small adjustments in your way of living and thinking but a full-on metamorphosis."
-Martha Beck

Meagan said...

This is such a hard are doing just fine. Remember that no mother is perfect and the best we can hope for is the best we can give. And I know you are doing that!

Courtney said...

You're allowed to have rough nights, leah. You're allowed to cry and struggle and maybe even complain. You're allowed to do all that, and you'll still be an amazing mother and wife. Don't feel like you can't take time to work through your emotions- take that time, because in the end, all parties will benefit. Transitional periods are never easy, but for what it's worth, I think you're handling it wonderfully. :)

Rachel said...

Totally ditto the first comment. I like to run errands by myself just for me time! And it's nothing fun!

Yesterday I practically forced Joey to let me go to the auto part store for him so I could get out!

And I LOVE my children! But we all need me time. And you becoming a mother and then leaving all in such a short period is bound to have some serious adjustments!

And the rebuking from your dh. Its hard to hear. I've been there. But often I find no matter how hard it is, he's usually right.

Katie said...

I am with you girl. I have the same types of feelings. I love being with the baby, but would love a break sometimes. Juan doesn't quite get it. Hang in there!

Kasey said...

first time to your's darling and you have a beautiful family!
I can totolly relate here...
and let me tell you how important time is for both you AND your hubby.I think as first time moms, we feel the need to hover and you have to realize that you need breaks as much as hubby does.
And it's o.k. to be exhausted...i still am!


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