Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The First Three Months

It's hard to believe our baby boy is already 3 months old! I truly am living the cliche of days being long but years being short. My days are made longer by the fact that lovely little Lucas sleeps fairly inconsistently through the night, sometimes waking hourly, and then requires being held for all naps during the day. I often spend up to 6-7 hours a day just holding him, which means I don't get to eat, drink, or use the restroom when I want to. But when I look down at his peaceful, (seemingly) angelic sleeping face, I'm overwhelmed with a sense of love and gratitude. Then I get sad thinking about how the first three months have flown by - how much faster will the rest of my maternity leave go! I read a sad statistic about how there are only 936 weekends from the time he's born to the time he turns 18 and he leaves for college - I've already used up 13 of them. His childhood is going to fly by in the blink of an eye...I miss him already. :(

Being a mom is truly an emotional roller coaster. There are so many highs and low:

  • tears of frustration because my screaming baby is overtired and nothing I do calms him down
  • the sheer relief that I'm overcome with when he finally falls asleep, along with the trepidation of never knowing if he'll wake up in 3 hours or 3 minutes
  • moments of pure joy when he giggles and coos at you
  • the quiet peace and bonding of nursing him and providing comfort
  • anguish of seeing him experience any kind of sadness or pain and wishing you could suffer in his place (I am soooo dreading sleep training and hoping that his sleep magically gets better on its own so that sleep training isn't necessary!)
The highs truly do outweigh the lows, even in those moments of fatigue and frustration. For my own sanity, I've had to stop comparing notes with moms who have kids that do (insert baby activity) better than mine - my big one is sleep and my baby's lack of it. I've read the books and I'm following the rules as best as I can but they don't seem to work for Lucas. In the end, I just have to do what works for my baby. A few of the Facebook mommy groups I've joined are focused specifically on baby sleep, and when I post about Lucas' poor sleep habits, one of the moms always comments "it's time to sleep train him!" She means well but it makes me ashamed to participate further in any of the conversations. At the same time, she chooses to let her 5 week old baby cry for hours. I don't know why in these Facebook groups, there's so much focus on being respectful of those who choose to let their babies cry it out very young but then it's absolutely okay to shame the mom that practices poor sleeping habits (out of desperation mind you, not because I enjoy waking up hourly). It's sad that we can't just be respectful of one another. I guess this is what they mean by the mommy wars. 

Luckily, my real life mom friends are a pretty great group. Those that have babies who sleep poorly like Lucas commiserate with me while those with babies who are great sleepers are still very supportive and non-judgmental. I'm so grateful they are a part of our village!