Saturday, March 23, 2013

Confessions of a Mom-Aged Drama Queen

It's been a while since I've given an update on my sweet Maila. Truth is, I haven't done it because nothing really has changed. Last time I updated was when my sweetie was 6 months old.

Let's start with the positive!!

SHE SITS!!!! You may not think that this is a big deal, but TRUST ME it's a BIG DEAL. This has been a long time coming and I'm glad that she finally has the strength to sit. She's been doing it like a pro now for 3 weeks or so. Such a strong girl!!

She's pretty healthy! There's nothing majorly wrong with her, and our impromptu super fun visits to the urgent care and emergency room have dwindled. Finally.

Those are the major improvements that she's made... so now let's talk about all the other stuff.

This is where my Drama Queen enters. And some sarcasm - so try not to be offended.

Maila is a preemie. I don't care how old she gets, she's a preemie. She small, and slow, and really hard. Now, with that said, I really don't want it to come across like I resent all this work with Maila, she's my baby - I'm her momma, this work is my divine right and I'm a blessed woman.

With that said, I. AM. STRUGGLING. And it makes me feel guilty. I know lots of people who either can't have their own kids, or have kids with problems far more serious than anything Maila has, but still. She is really hard for me, and I am REALLY struggling. Really.

In her 6 month post I wrote that sleep was a thing of the past, but at 8 months, I can't even remember what it's like to sleep.  And I'm not exaggerating. On the rare occasion that she sleeps for longer than 4 hours at a time at night, I'm woken by Max who has TOTALLY regressed in almost every aspect besides his vocabulary. He can't seem to sleep all night either, and especially not in his bed. Which I guess is partially Kyle and I's fault because we let him sleep on the floor in our room when Maila has to "cry it out". But now, it's borderline ridiculous. If we thought he was attached to his binky and blanky before, it's worse now. *sigh*

She does nap, thankfully. Unfortunately it's never at the same time as Max. Which means momma doesn't get a nap. Boo. I try doing the schedule thing, but they just can't seem to agree on when to sleep. But at least nap time is nice, that's when I  sit with Max or craft. Because as crazy as it may sound to you, crafting is my only outlet of energy it seems like in these LONG winter months. Plus, a decorated, clean, organized home helps me feel better.

I think the sleep deprivation is really the worst part. I can feel it's effects seeping into every aspect of my life. My ability to be a good wife to Kyle, and my ability to be a good mother to my two children.
I feel sick, exhausted, lethargic, and I can feel my patience fading. I spend a part of every day questioning my abilities as a mother and daughter of God and feeling lost and alone. But I know I'm not. There have to be millions of other mothers out there who are going through what I'm going through, and worse. I like to joke with Kyle that every time I say "I don't think I can do this anymore" or "I don't think it can get harder" - it gets harder, so I won't say that, but it feels that way. Heavenly Father isn't giving me more than I can handle, but I have to wonder exactly what He's seeing in me that I seem to be missing.

When Maila is awake, it's a cry fest. I'm not exaggerating people. And it drives me crazy when people contradict that!! I am the ONLY person who is around her 24/7 and when she is not sleeping, she is crying. Even after being fed, and having her diaper changed, she just cries ALL. THE. TIME. I don't even know how to handle that!! I usually just end up laying her in her bed while she's crying and then I sit down and cry myself. Do you know what it's like to feel like everything you do as a parent is wrong? That's how I feel. I can't do anything right. The only comfort in letting her cry and crying myself is that Max will sit on my lap, hug me and say "love you mommy". He seriously is an angel.

I hate having an all doom-and-gloom post but this is how it's going. I don't know if there are more happy moments or sad moments, and that's sad. And there's really no way for me to express myself because if I just talk about how hard it is, people think I'm being a diva and whining. But you don't know. You don't know what it's like. You're not here. You don't hold her little screaming body in the middle of the day, unable to play or teach Max because she is taking up all your attention. You don't feel how I feel when you get up for the 8th time in the middle of the night, hoping that this time, she'll sleep for longer than a half hour. You don't know what it feels like to look at Maila, and feel TOTALLY USELESS. We're way past helpless for her, it's evolved to USELESS. You don't know how I feel when I lay in bed at night and cry to my husband because I am feeling so totally lost. Maila is so hard. She is. For me. Maybe she wouldn't be hard for you, but she is for me. And something that doesn't make my life easier is people telling me that she'll grow out of it, or that she's really not that hard - she's a normal baby, I just think she's hard because Max was such an angel. That just makes me feel worse. I know eventually she'll "grow out of it" but I've passed the stage where they "grow out of it" 3 times with Maila. We're coming up on the 1 year mark where she's supposed to be caught up with other one years olds and that's not going to happen. She's over 8 months and still can't roll. So, I think being like other one years olds - maybe not so much. Maybe when she's 2. ish. Don't get me wrong, I'll never say that to your face. I'm really excellent at putting on a smile and telling people that things are peachy, but really I'm screaming on the inside. Because this is a lot of emotion, even for cyber space. But it's easier for me to put this out into cyber-space then tell someone to their face that I'm falling apart. Is that weird? Maybe.

I'm not even sure what the point of this post was now that I've written it. Maybe the hope is that someone will read it and let me know that I'm not the only mom who feels inadequate. Or maybe someone will read it and know that they're not alone in how they feel. Or maybe it's just because I'm entitled to one doom and gloom post every once and a while to just let out how I feel. How I really feel. And this is my blog so I can do what I want.

Whatever the reason, this is how it's going. It's hard.

I will ask one question to whoever dares to actually read this whole thing to the end -

How do I re-energize? I'm not even sure that's the right word. I'm low in the money supply so a spa weekend is not an option (however nice that would be), but I feel like I need to find something that helps me...I don't know... be me again. Kyle is so extremely helpful when he's home, but it only goes so far, I feel like I'm broken and only I can fix it. So how do I do that? How do you deal with things like this? How do I help myself? Because if I fall apart (which I'm so very close to doing) my family will fall apart. And I don't want that.

I'm so lost.



  1. You are most definitely not alone. I will have to explain later. My baby is crying and trying to grab the keyboard.

  2. Can I be open and frank with you?
    I struggled to have my babies. Each one took work to get here (well except my last surprise). After I had my oldest, I struggled. I hated nursing, it sucked and I was a mess. And, she cried - ALL THE TIME! I never went anywhere, because who wants to hear a screaming kid. I struggled. I quit nursing and that helped a little, at least my hubs could help and do more. But, I still struggled and had a hard time with her. I babysat, I was around kids alot, why was I having such a hard time? I even said I understood why I couldn't get pregnant, it was because I wasn't supposed to have kids because I was not a good mom. I didn't really like her much the first bit. Loved her yes, but like - It was hard. Finally she outgrew it. Everyone said - she will outgrow it at 3 months. 3 came and went. 4, was her magic number. I still struggled, but it was better. Baby #2 was my angel. Seriously - he was a blessing and a joy. Slept like a champ. (he is now 4 and tests me on EVERY level you can imagine. Wow, boys are intense and he is ALL boy) Then I miscarried a baby. WHAT? wasn't infertility my trial, now this? Not fair. I decided 2 kids were enough. I was good. Then surprise, #3 came. She is so precious and completes our family. BUT - she too was a crier. Again, I struggled. I nursed, but realized I was resenting her and not loving her as much as a mom should. So I quit. It helped, but not 100%. My hubs has every other Fri off. After one of his 3 day weekends, I realized I really hadn't interacted/played with the baby AT ALL! In 3 days I was not there for her. Here is the sad part: I was ok with that! I knew that was wrong. So, I called the dr. I am currently on anti-depresants for post-partum. I struggled to admit that I was pp. But I was. I was with #1. After getting on the meds, I am SO much better! I can smile again, she still cried, but I could handle it. My dr. said just do it until spring and the sun comes out, 6 months. I still loose patience, and have tough days, but I can handle them. I don't cry myself to sleep and hate life. I LOVE my little baby. I am so glad she joined our family and is here. I am lucky, she has outgrown her crankies.
    But I do know, to a small degree what you are going through. Meds might not be your answer, but it might be worth looking into.
    Maybe slow down a bit. I know you are enjoying making over your home, but maybe save your energies for you and taking care of you. Relax. Go ahead and give yourself a time out. (google TOFW and see if one is near you - if so - GO [I'll pay if it gets you there])
    Ok, this is like a novel. I will shut up now. But NO you are not alone. Feel free to email me or call if you want to talk.

  3. ^^ I, too, had pp and didn't realize it or ask for help until about 9 months in. It doesn't help the issues, but did make me feel emotionally stronger to deal with them.

    This may be a dumb question, but do you think she has acid reflux? Genevieve did for the first few months really bad and it was no sleeping and nothing but crying. Those were the hardest most darkest days I've had in all my life. I felt so angry, ashamed, depressed, lost, selfish for the thoughts I was having and so on. I was lucky enough to go through this with only one child. I can not imagine how hard it must be with two. I tried to tell myself over and over that Genevieve chose me, and The Lord trusted her decision and knew that this was the child I needed to have. That there is some way I'm going to grow from this. You're the best person for her. You may not realize just how much patience you actually have and have shown. Other mothers may have given up long ago. But Maila knew and is trusting, that you would be the one to help her get through the challenges and trials. I'm not going to sit here and pretend I have anything to say to make this better for you. I don't. I just wish I could help in any way. I believe all Mothers should extra supportive of one another. There is no job more important or more difficult in the one we do. I admire you completely. Not because you were always kind to me even though we were strangers, or your ridiculously creative talents, but because you have the strength and humility to reach out when you need it. I truly hope you get the answers that you need. So easy to ramble on this thing.

    Ps. "Colic calm" helped us tremendously. It's not a medicine and doesn't have the same harsh ingredients or side effects. It's a homeopathic drop. One of the main ingredients in it is charcoal. For whatever reason, the moment it touched Genevieve's tongue, she stopped crying. It felt like a pause button for me. I couldn't praise this product enough. Maybe worth a try? Anyway, if you ever need to vent judgement free, let me know!

  4. Hailey, I'm so sorry you're having such a rough time...and I'm sorry its not one that has a definite end or solution. I don't know if you are one to find solace in someone going through something similar, but a girl I used to know blogs and she is going through difficulties adapting to a high demand child (he's like 4 or different age range) but she posts about her struggles on her blog and is asking/addressing a lot of similar emotions that you've expressed here. (Not that she would know what you are going through exactly, sometimes it just helps to not feel alone). I know stuff like that helps me with my infertility challanges, so just thought i'd share. Her blog is

    (and, p.s. Don't ever feel bad for feeling like your kids are a challenge or that you shouldn't feel that way because others can't have children. Anyone who is going to make bitter comments to you about being patient and grateful for what you have because you aren't them without kids is just a bitter person and needs to figure their own stuff out before giving other people advice :) )

    You're a strong, dedicated woman. You'll figure it out.

  5. Hey Hailey,

    Welcome to the Mommy guilt club! Yay! Feel better yet? No? Well I can help you with that (maybe). Mommy guilt. You feel guilty she's crying and you can't do anything, you feel guilty because you can't play with Max as much as you want to, or should. You feel guilty because you feel so alone and are falling apart. You feel guilty, you feel guilty, you feel guilty. And it makes you sad, and lonely, and frustrated, and impatient, and a billion other things....

    The guilt is a tool we as mamas need to use to our advantage not disadvantage. We need to look at what we do every day and find things we do not feel guilty about. It's hard, it's so so so hard. But dangit we are moms and we can do it. (P.S. I say this just as much for myself as I do for you cause I'm right here with you).

    I was having such a hard time and Emmy was having such a hard time (she wouldn't go to anyone else including her dad she has severe attachment issues) that I finally told kyle he was going to have to give Emmy a blessing to heal her of her attachment issues and me a blessing to heal me of the mommy guilt.

    I don't know if she's had a blessing but if not, have kyle give her one asap. And then you one, and then Max one. You're whole family needs to have a giant spirit bubble encircle you and lighten your load. I don't know how long Heavenly Father will allow you to suffer with this but he is there waiting for you to ask the right questions and do the right things so you're family can be healed.

    I know how you feel in so many ways even though our experiences differ. You are going to make it. Take it easy, fight the guilt, feel loved and blessed, and get the help that you need.

    I hope this makes sense but if not then know I'm praying for you and that you will be able to have you heart me lifted and your burden be lightened.

  6. So since I am reading late, my comments aren't timely, and you are probably dealing with a completely different struggle now, but you are NOT ALONE! It is all too much for us sometimes. Sometimes they do cry ALL the time. Sometimes, they do rip up 4 library books in 3 minutes. Sometimes, they do flush the entire box of q-tips down the toilet. Sometimes, we scream at the top of our lungs so loud that our throat hurts afterwards. Sometimes, (at age 10) they want to yank out all their hair b/c they are soooo stinkin' mad. Sometimes, we all feel like 'failures' sometimes. (and if not... I don't want to know otherwise!)

    Joe and I struggled for 10 years, 9 pg losses and tons and tons of surgeries, meds, treatments, and invasive adoption processes to have a family. When the family finally came, (adopted Eli and gave birth to Cana 6 months later!) I should have been ecstatic (and part of me was!) and part of me thought, "Oh my heck. I can't do this! No wonder Heavenly Father kept saying no all those years!" It was great, really great AND It was hard, really really really hard.

    Then... came the issues. Eli is on the Autism spectrum and Cana has(had??) Selective Mutism... and life is difficult most days. I remember asking a fellow mom some advice, b/c Cana was sooooo whiny/crying all the time and she wouldn't leave my leg (literally attached to my leg) and my angst and exhaustion and frustration being dismissed. I hung up deflated.

    What keeps me going is that it's always a phase and the phase is in flux constantly. Whatever I am going through, won't last forever and once I figure out how to handle the current struggle, it will resolve and another one will pop up. That sounds like a bad thing as I write it, but it really isn't. It means that my kids are growing and developing and so I am I. We are evolving/changing into new and improved creatures (albeit, sometimes, it is one or two steps back!)

    Personally, I struggle with depression, so there are hard days (and then there are harder days, when my depression makes the hard days harder!) I have two mantras: The days are long... but the years are short! and Men are that they might have joy. I can find the joy in the chaos. (I can find the joy in the chaos!I can find the joy in the chaos!I can find the joy in the chaos!I can find the joy in the chaos!I can find the joy in the chaos!I can find the joy in the chaos!)