~1 month out, part 2: MIND

March 21, 2014

So by “mind”, I don’t really mean deep thoughts and feelings — I’m having plenty of those, but we’ll save those for part 3 (HEART).  This is more about logistics.  Details.  What it’s really like.  

I’m writing this not just for those of you who are curious, but for me to remember.  Because I’m sure I’ll look back at this time, in some ways wistfully.  That’s fair, because it is unique and special and a huge time of change.
It’s also really really hard.  At least for me.  I love our family.  I wouldn’t do a thing differently in terms of having children.  But right now is a challenge, no matter how much help I am lucky to have at times.
Logistically …
– I have one very verbal energetic girl who has perhaps entered the Terrible 2s a few weeks early . . .
– I have a 4 week old baby boy who eats every 1.5- 2 hours, does not really nap unless held, and has yet to sleep longer than 3.5 hrs at night (and those stretches are still pretty rare).  Usually, he’ll do 3, then 2, and then up every 1-1.5 until I finally give up and admit it’s morning.  I had no idea Annabel was actually spoiling me as a newborn until now.
– The above combination — particularly in the evenings, when A needs to go to bed and I am the only one home — is really rough.   At any given moment, 1, 2, or all 3 of us are going to be unhappy.
– I’ve never been one who finds sleep deprivation easy.  I’ve survived it many times and will continue to, but I’m never going to like it.
– I can’t NOT multitask right now, and I hate that.  Everything is done in a fragmented way that I find frustrating.  I realize that I need to adjust to this, so hopefully I will!
I feel ridiculous writing this, because I know that there are so many out there with more children, fewer resources, and a rosier tale to tell about what it is like.  But I’m just being honest, and in my brief experience thus far — it’s just not easy.
Things I have been doing to help:
1. Asking for help!  From Josh (whenever he can), from relatives, from babysitters.  Especially during those evening hours, it’s so much better if I am not alone.
2. Appreciating the calm moments.  I had 2 hours with just Cameron today while A napped.  I spent the time without distractions (by a happy accident, I left my phone downstairs), just lounging on the bed with him, and —
3. Napping (done whenever possible).  Today I think I slept an hour with C on my chest.  Aaaaaaahhhh.
4.  Planning a day ahead, and even writing it all out in advance.  The structure helps break up the day, which for me can feel overwhelming when home alone with 2 under 2.

Things I could do better:
1.  I would looooove to not battle A at every bedtime.  Tips welcome, please (please!).  Just delaying is not the answer because she is clearly tired (and acting it!).
2.  I am really negative lately and it pains me to admit it.  More on this in the next post, but as the above indicates I do feel somewhat overwhelmed.  It’s not fair to resent your not-yet-2 year old for being irrational or your 4-weeker for not sleeping in long stretches, but I find myself doing it just out of fatigue (or hormones).
3. I don’t feel like I have much time for me (or anything!) but I need to step back and reframe this.  I’m writing this now.  I have also taken stroller walks, read lots of blogs (while breastfeeding 🙂 ), and stayed in touch with family and friends. All of that counts!  Second, I have so much help most days (when our nanny is here), and could easily take some time to just relax.  
So, in a nutshell:  my MIND at 1 month is floundering a little but I’m holding it together.  In time, it will either get easier or I’ll get better at the logistics.  
Tips very (very) welcome.