Thursday, October 02, 2014
Well, it's happening.
I'm feeling a lot of the same emotions and stress that hit me hard after Aspen was born. It feels like my day is a never-ending battle of just holding back tears until everyone's finally in bed for the night.
Right after Linc was born, things felt great. I had more energy than I anticipated, I was optimistic about handling two kids, I got out of the house often and snuck in little naps whenever I could. Granted, there were still days I felt like I was moving through mud due to fatigue, and there were those nights of colic that nearly drove me over the edge. but I got through it.
Now, though, many days are a struggle. Aspen and I are butting heads again and it is exhausting trying to manage her tantrums and motivate her to get moving in the mornings for preschool. I had to carry out the threat of keeping her home one morning last week and it was not pretty. We were both crying and I was so upset that I had awoken Lincoln in preparation to take Aspen to school. I go back and forth when it comes to pulling her out of school, although that would be a temporary solution. If she doesn't learn how to get ready on time now, it's not going to magically be easier next year for Kindergarten. But I also can't keep standing by her side, giving her step-by-step instructions so she doesn't get distracted and spend the morning sitting on her bedroom floor with her clothes strewn about her while she stares up at the ceiling daydreaming (IT REALLY HAPPENED, PEOPLE) and Linc screams bloody murder while he's ignored.
I know part of my problem is a change in hormones. Around three months postpartum, I started losing my hair hardcore. So something shifted and it's affected my ability to cope. Additionally, Lincoln's sleeping is very erratic. During the day he'll sleep for about an hour at a time if I'm lucky. Nighttime isn't much better. If I could go to bed at 830 or 9 every night, I might be okay. But Aspen has been stalling like there's no tomorrow lately, and sometimes work keeps me up as late as 10 or 11, so I'm only averaging about 4-5 cumulative hours of sleep each night. With no napping at all during the day. I'm way too old to function on that kind of sleep.
And as much as I want to get out of the house and be around people, it feels too hard lately. It's too hard to get the kids and myself ready and get places on time. It's too hard to take a shower and feel like I'm "wasting" precious time when Lincoln is actually sleeping and I could be doing something more productive. It's too hard to think about grocery shopping and meal planning and getting Aspen to try eating regular food (I CURSE THE POP TART). It's too hard to keep up with laundry and cleaning and paying bills. It's too hard to drive somewhere and listen to Linc scream himself hoarse the whole time. If I do manage to leave the house lately, it's usually for essential errands and not fun things. I no longer have the energy to do both in one day.
Thankfully, though, Kev is slowly transitioning into a new job and that means he's home a lot earlier than usual. When I hear his key in the lock around 7pm, I feel a weight fall off my shoulders. It is amazing the difference it makes having him home so early, and to have him help with bedtime more often.
During the day it's easier to put things in perspective and talk myself out of crazy; the nights when I'm up with Linc for hours, though, are really difficult. I'm hopeful that with Kev no longer working through the night, I can ask him to help more. When he's able to take some of that burden off of me, I can take a step back and re-calibrate my thoughts.
I've been sitting on this post for about a week, and things are already changing. Linc only woke up once last night, and so far today he's taken two, two-hour naps. It's a nice reminder that nothing lasts forever, especially the trials of a new baby. I know my life will constantly be changing for the next few months as Linc develops his schedule and Kev's job evolves. But it's always helpful for me to pound out my fears and frustrations on the keyboard until I get around that bend in the road.
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