Thursday, July 31, 2008

The real deal on being a mother

I would like to preface that I LOVE my son but I feel the need to write this post so please bear with me

I knew being a mother was hard but what I didn't know was that it is a lot harder than I thought. At 10 weeks, I feel like I have a handle on Benjamin but in the back of my mind, I know he will change. Before I had him, I talked about all the walking we'd do along the river (we did this once), all the lunches we'd go on (we did this once), all the napping I'd do when he naps (hardly ever), how clean my house would be (I cleaned it 8 weeks ago and it's a total mess right now), how we'd go to the Farmer's Market each week (went twice). I had no idea how hard it would be to get a baby to sleep (thank you sleep books!). The things that have been easy have been those I thought would be hard ... diaper changing and breastfeeding.

Point being, I thought I'd be able to do a lot of stuff in which I haven't. I was going to start the South Beach Diet but since I'm breastfeeding, I have this hardy appitite and there is no point in dieting just eating healthy (fruits, veggies, lean protein, whole wheat). I can't make it to the gym because I can't go during the day and by the time Ben is in bed, it's 9 p.m.

The reason why I'm writing this is that I had a total meltdown on my husband last night. Yesterday was exhausting. I had some friends over and Ben didn't want to sleep but at the same time he did want to sleep. I finally got him down for a nap around 3 p.m. only for the dog to wake him up 15 mins later (is it a cruel to want to buy a bark collar?). On Wednesdays, my husband has a standing thing. He only missed his standing thing once in the past 10 weeks but yesterday after Ben wouldn't go to sleep last night, I asked him to stay home because I was exhausted! My husband was a little upset about this and sorta pouted about it and then I had my meltdown. My hobby right now is Ben. He eats 8 hours a day! That is what I signed up for and I haven't been able to fix my hair (good thing I have a haircut that looks good without fixing) or put make up on in 10 weeks. I am one size away from fitting into clothes and well, I don't have anytime for myself or alone time with my husband. Of course, my husband felt really bad about the pouting and let me go to bed early.

Today I canceled coffee with a friend so Ben wouldn't miss his nap (he naps at 9 a.m., noonish and 3 p.m.ish). As much as I need human interaction right now, that kid needs his naps so he isn't overtired. I learned my lesson yesterday. Small sacrifice for my child.

Yes, I love Ben. He is truly a wonderful gift. I am grateful that I have a very involved husband too who steps in and helps because I know alot of men that don't help their wives with the baby. I am grateful for my friends who always want to help out too.

The one thing I know about motherhood -- it's ever changing and that when this little guy smiles at you at 3 a.m. when he's hungry -- it melts your heart.


Kat said...

It is hard. Unfortunately, I can't say it gets any easier. I think I was a much better mom when my daughter was a baby - more patient, more organized, more together. Some time in the last few years Life happened and that all went out the window. You just do your best every day.

Babies don't care what you look like, kids don't care if the house is clean. They love you anyway.

chuggnutt said...

Congratulations-- you're entirely normal. I think the fact that you've been able to get out of the house at all is pretty amazing; and you've got a good handle on what's going on and everything.

Yeah, the real deal is always surprising and not what any of us thought we'd be getting into. But... it's better. And it gets better. Promise.

1girl1boy4me said...

Yea, totally agree with Kat & Jon...

Welcome to mommyhood :)

Jen F said...

Raise your hand if you would be more than happy to bring the new mom a treat, and sit on her porch for a visit so that she isn't stressed out about her messy house (not that you probably care if it's messy or not)!

Note: Yes, that's my hand in the air. Call anytime my friend! Hugs!!!

Tiffany said...

golly i now know that the baby stage is the easy stage. it's the 4 year old stage that really sucks. You will be fine. Tell your hubby to clean the house. that's what I do :)

Alissa Maxwell said...

Great post Shannon - this is the real deal. I remember Staci and I talking about all the lunch dates we would have while we were both on Maternity leave (never happened). It's good to have these meltdowns becuase they act as a reality check for both you and Brian. You guys are doing a great job!!!

Live on the Fly said...

No need to sugar coat it, it is one helluva HARD job being a mom. Oddly, once you get back to work, and Ben will be a bit older, you will all figure out a rhythm. He will sleep more consistently, you will be able to do your 'do, and it will just start to become normal. There will be a wrench thrown in the works here and there, but for the most part you will all work it out. Huh. Look how many times I used the word WORK. 'Cause it is, being a mom and all. You're doing a great job, Shannon, don't beat yourself up. Jen and I will bring over drinks, 'k?

Texas T-bone said...

Not only will your experiences change as he does, in many ways they will get better. Imagine the times when you can have an actual conversation with him, and both of you understand each other? It is unreal.

My oldest is 5, my youngest is 20 months. Both boys, they put us through different things, but parenting is an awesome thing. And when you can kiss diapers goodbye, the air smells sweeter.

Enjoy it! Some things will get harder, too.

Wendy said...

I miss having babies around, but I don't miss the exhaustion, and I love having both legs shaved in the same month instead of just one or the other.

I'll raise my hand with Jen. Let me know if you need a treat or someone to do the dishes or watch Ben while you go to the gym.

Nicole said...

The first 3 months are so hard. Weird sleep, new 24 job... add in breastfeeding, and naps, and argh! It does get easier though. At some point this year you'll look back and realize that some things have become routine and aren't so stressful. Hang in there, there's nothing wrong with saying this is hard.

Check out some mommy lit books, like Mother Shock by Andrea Buchanan. It helped me to know I wasn't alone.

Fawn said...


It gets easier and it gets harder.

You are doing awesome!