This mama's ass be draggin'

Damn, is this parenting thing hard.

Now, I realize I have many things to be grateful for. My child is healthy. My child is strong. Breastfeeding has been, by and large, a piece of cake. Stuart is an excellent father. He also supports us financially so that I have the option of staying home more or less full-time.

I fully appreciate these things.

And that makes me feel rather guilty and ungrateful for even bringing this up - but I'm feeling a little worn-down. Daniel's teething for real this time. I know, I know, just after I said please for the love of god don't tell me he's teething one of those chompers poked through on Sunday, and judging by his behavior the other one's not far behind. He wakes up every 60-90 minutes through the night after 11pm (though I just checked out the No-Cry Sleep Solution from the library, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we can change that). He's clingy during the day, always wanting to pull himself up on my legs and Stay There. He's discovered a new sound he can make: a high-pitched shriek that literally makes my ears ring. He goes on random solid food strikes, accompanied by the shrieking.

I could deal with all this - I'm sure a lot of it can be blamed on teething - except that he can't stand it if I'm not with him every minute. Yesterday morning the babysitter came over for a couple of hours so that I could practice and he fussed and whined nearly the whole time because I wasn't physically attached to him. The separation anxiety is an even bigger problem while I'm teaching piano lessons on Thursday afternoons, probably because it's later in the day.

And yet absolutely everything I do is met with protest. If I pick him up, put him down, change his diaper, wipe his hands clean, try to give him teething gel, try to give him tylenol, try to feed him - it doesn't matter what it is, he screams like he's being tortured, arches his back, and wriggles away.

It's not that I never get a break from my kid, but all the times other people are taking care of him are while I'm doing something else that couldn't very well be described as fun. Stuart plays with him for about a half hour in the evening while I clean up the kitchen. My students' parents watch him while I teach piano lessons. A babysitter comes over so I can either practice here at home or go to campus for a lesson or rehearsal.

It's all just getting to be a little bit much.


Tooz said…
The pulling-away business--I've been keeping kids in a nursery at Immanuel while their mamas are attending different activities. From what I've observed with those kids, who are pretty much all upset because Mama is gone, that pulling away business is very normal--in fact, they do it when Mama comes back, too.

At this age, they don't like being confined. They are beginning to discover their mobility, and anything that disables that is torture. I guess you've noticed it doesn't occur when he's really hungry, or really wanting to snuggle with you.

The only suggestion I have is to find a Mother's Day Out program somewhere and take advantage of it for FUN things, not work, not housekeeping, just FUN. Same for the time when Stu is keeping Daniel--do something you WANT to do then, even if it's just to go down to the yarn store and stitch and --you know the rest of the phrase.

It WILL get better.
Jenn Hacker said…
Oh, sweetie, I'm sorry you're feeling that mamma angst! We all know it well! I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Anbesol, anbesol, anbesol! And lots of rubbing a cold washcloth on his gums. As for the clinginess, do you have an actual playpen he can't get out of? If I remember correctly, at that age is when we introduced Jamie to, well, himself. We put a large nearly indestructable mirror in the playpen with him (it's one of those antique wooden playpen jobbies that is really HUGE - still have it for when it's time to have more kids). Anyway, Jamie couldn't get enough of slapping his reflection, putting his hands on the mirror, grinning at himself, etc. So whenever I was at my wits end with his crankiness and neediness, I would plop him down in the playpen and secure the mirror and "voila! Mommy time!" Sure, I was still in the same room with him, but I could actually read a book for a bit, watch tv, talk on the phone, etc. without feeling like I had a sack of taters permanently planted on my leg or hip. Hope this helps!

Big hugs!

And listen to Tooz. Get a Mommy's Day out program and go do something for you, even if it's just a walk around the block in the crisp fall air.

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