This nap was going to be different. I could feel it. White noise on, sleep sack on, paci in and about 4 more placed around the crib, and sweet, tired eyes in full effect. He went down quick, unlike the other two failed naps earlier that day. This was going to finally be it, the nap I (we) so desperately needed.
I prepared myself for a couple hours of some ‘me time,’ I snuggled in with a cup of coffee, my laptop and some Netflix in the background. In the corner of my eye, I see movement on the baby monitor. He was awake. Not even 30 minutes in, and he was awake.
My immediate thought; I can’t do this.
Sleep isn’t a word you come by very often in our house. Sleepless days and nights officially caught up to this mama.
Babies need sleep. It is essential to their growth and development. And mamas need babies to sleep. It is essential to their sanity.
At this point he is in a full blown freak out because he was awake and mama didn’t come get him yet. So I cave and tiptoe in the room to give him one of his paci’s. It worked. For a whole 5 seconds and then we were back to screaming and crying.
Exhausted beyond words. Frustrated at myself for not knowing how to get my baby to sleep. Emotional for my sleepless boy…
I was determined and quite frankly, helpless. Two polarizing feelings, I know.
In a final attempt, I went into the nursery, picked my boy up, who was now soaked in tears…and my heart broke. I sobbed as I held my baby, as if he could understand me. For the first time, in a long time, my guard was down completely. As we both cried in unison, I knew I needed a minute, by myself, to just breathe. I placed him safely back into the crib and left the room.
At this point, my heart was shattered.
I locked myself in the bathroom downstairs. I turned the dryer, ceiling fan and sink on to drown out his screaming and I just sat on the floor and cried. I prayed. I begged and pleaded. Cried some more. Texted my husband and called my sister.
In that moment, I felt broken.
Here I am hiding from my baby in the bathroom, emotional, exhausted and consumed with guilt.
My sister said to me “he is safe Kels. Stay in there as long as you need to. Breathe, cry, do whatever you need to do. You’re doing the best you can. He needs to learn to sleep” She told me it was ok, what I was doing was ok, in fact that it was normal. I assure you that I felt anything but normal, but her words gave me comfort.
A few more moments and I put myself together and scooped up my puffy-eyed boy, put him in my carrier and swayed to the song that played as I brought him into this world – ‘Oceans.’
Sometimes we have to breakdown, so we can be built back up.
If you are tired or frustrated. If you ever get the ‘I can’t do this’ feeling. If your heart aches because you feel like you are doing everything you can and failing. If you question your strength. If you feel helpless…You Are Not Alone Mama.
I don’t have the answers. No one does. There are no rules. No cheat codes. No manual.
All babies are different, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. What works for some, may not work for all.
While I may not have the answer, I do have sympathy and advice.
Keep showing up. For yourself and for your baby.
Don’t compare yourself to everyone else. God chose you to be your baby’s Mama, because you are perfect for him or her and you are exactly what they need.
Don’t forget about you. It is easy to get so wrapped up in being a mom, that you forget that you need things too. Eat, shower, exercise, watch your favorite show, treat yourself to a dessert, look in the mirror and tell yourself you are beautiful. Do whatever it is you need to do to be the best you, you can be. We aren’t any good to anyone, if we are on empty.
Most importantly, give yourself GRACE. You will have good days and you will have really hard days. And if we are lucky, after a really bad day, we get another beautiful 24 hours to try again. Nothing is perfect. Being a mom is hard and messy and yet it is the most beautiful thing you will ever experience. It is the first job that I have ever been truly excited about getting up everyday and doing. It is constant learning and growing. Just as you think you’ve figured it out, things change and then you have to learn to figure it out all over again. That’s the beauty of being a parent.
Be PATIENT with yourself, take a minute and breathe.
You got this Mama.
Until Next Time on Kelsey’s Chronicles