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
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.