When my second son was born, everything was so much harder. I had a 15 month old toddler and a newborn who wouldn't sleep for more than 20 minutes at a time and we were struggling with that whole breastfeeding thing. Rather than pump for night time feedings like I had with Hollis, I was determined to establish an exclusive breastfeeding relationship. Well, I did, but I can't help but think that in doing so I cut my husband out of the picture. For the first 9 months, T wasn't nearly as engaged with Holden as he had been with Hollis. Don't get me wrong, he adored him and still does. But Holden clearly had a favorite and it was the parent with the milk jugs.
The whole thing came to a head when Holden was 3 or 4 months old. I had gone back to work full time and Holden still wasn't sleeping. In fact, he was spending much of his time at night nursing to make up for his loss of Mommy time during the day. The only way I could get any sleep, was to have Holden in our bed. One evening, exhausted beyond all reason, T attempted to decamp to the guest bed room. As you can imagine, WWIII ensued. I accused him of being selfish and disengaged. He just wanted some sleep. But at the end of all the screaming, T did move into the guest bedroom. And he stayed there for 3 months. When he left, I sat there with my adorable, demanding, overwhelming, little bundle of joy and frustration and sobbed into his sweet little head. I cried like I hadn't cried in years. I cried because no one had warned me that being a mom would so hard. I cried because I loved my husband, but I realized that at that moment in time, Holden was more important. I cried for the change in my relationships and the loss of my freedom. I cried because I wanted to be all things to all people and I couldn't. I cried because I wanted to do it all and I was failing miserably.
I wish I could say that my flood 'o tears gave me some sort of epiphany, that I realized that many women feel this way, that an identity crisis of sorts is normal after having children. It didn't happen instantly. There were a lot of tears over the next few months, no doubt brought on by hormones, sleep deprivation, stress, and a touch of PPD. Eventually, Holden became more enamored with big people food than my ta-tas. At 8 months, he began sleeping through the night and I slowly started to regain my sanity. Now my littlest man is 15 months old and is starting to become a "real person." (T's term for the emerging toddler personality.) And we feel more like a real family than the Sane Parent, the Crazy Parent, and 2 kids. I still cry when I have those days. You know, when Big H does nothing but whine, Little H is a little teething crank, T wants more of my attention, I have work I need to do, and I truly cannot watch Cars one. more. time. But I try to give myself a break and not pretend to everyone that I'm some sort of perfect supermom. I think I do a disservice to all mothers when I pretend that it's easy for me. I'm not advocating scaring the crap out of every pregnant woman, but I don't want to pretend that everything must be perfect for me to be happy. Real moms cry and I want everyone to know it.
Yes, I think I must be the last woman in the blogger world to get around to doing Kristin's wonderful meme, but what can I say? Real moms procrastinate! Check out the rest of the Real Moms posts if you have some time.
On an unrelated note, does anyone else have problems leaving comments on Word Press blogs? I've discovered I can't leave comments on any Word Press blog. It acts like it's been saved and then it just doesn't show up. It's quite frustrating. Anyone else have this problem?
Labels: Mama Drama