This morning, after a particularly rough night of anxiety (Boof was gone, again, for the 3rd night in a row…5th night this week), I nestled into my bed and read Charlotte’s post Exhaustion over on her lovely Momaste blog.
The things she said are so striking and so true. While I don’t think I’m sliding into depression, I certainly can relate to the image of spending days or weeks in bed, and then resting in the sunlight of recovery. This week when I got a massage, Courtney asked me what I wanted, and my answer? A hotel room, with big white down comfortors, by the ocean, where I can stay in bed all day listening to the ocean, and sleeping, and reading, and sleeping. Because, I, like Charlotte, and so many mamas I know, am exhausted.
In my exhaustion the anxiety has become overwhelming. After a wonderful day yesterday I found myself with a toddler who refused bedtime. At 9:30 he finally fell asleep, but not after I cried for 30 minutes and threw his lego car across the room. While I’m not actually afraid I would hurt him, or myself, the thoughts that run through my head are a level of crazy that even a non therapist would recognize as destructive.
I’ve given up the idea of weaning. We were down to two times a day and it was working out so nicely. But, with Boof gone so much, I have no other options in my arsenal. I just need five more minutes of sleep and nursing is the only way to get it. And I blame myself for being this exhausted. Like King Midas, who wished for everything he touched to turn to gold, realized the destructiveness of his wish when he turned everyone and everything into gold. I wanted desperately to have an attached baby. In the beginning I loved that only I could soothe him this way. I loved breathing in his soft baby smell, and laying next to this angelic creature at night was beautiful.
And then, everything turned to gold. And being bodily responsible 5-6 times a day, again, is becoming an albatross around my neck. I’m feeling drowned, a choking closed throat feeling that I can’t get rid of. I’m beginning to be resentful, of Potamus, and Boof who doesn’t have to worry about this issue. I worry that maybe I made the wrong choice, that I was trying to be something I’m not, and that I will grow to resent ever becoming a mother. I worry that our talk of adding another will make me end up in the loony bin.
My husband travels a TON for work, it sucks, I wish he had a regular 9-5 so he could be with us all the time, but c’est la vie. I have taken your wish for a fluffy bed one step further, I often find myself praying that medically induced comas will soon be an elective procedure for those of us who are physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted, it would be such a nice little get away. I know you’re frustrated, but it’s just a stage, at some point potamus will wean, he can’t nurse forever, but it must be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel from where you’re sitting. We formula fed our daughter, so while I’ve not been where you are, I can at least sympathize. We’ve been through other things that I thought would never end, reflux, I can’t tell you how ready I was to not be constantly cleaning up spit up off EVERYTHING, so strong was my daughter’s protection, I even had to clean it off the ceiling, more than once. It’s a good thing our she got over it when she did (seven months, not nearly as long as your breastfeeding experience, I know, but believe me when I tell you, I was at the end of my rope) one more day, one more hour, one more SECOND surely would have pushed me over the edge. Diapers too, I wasn’t as desperate to stop changing diapers as I was to have a reflux free child though. You made the right choice in breastfeeding, as we all know, breast is best, we’ve had it drilled into our brains for ages. You are sacrificing everything to do it, your time, your ability to do what you want when you want, not having to whip your boob out regardless of where you are or who might be watching and/or taking offense to such a pornographic display (although, I would imagine that once you’ve been doing it for a while, you couldn’t care less where you are or who’s watching. I HATE people who are offended by breastfeeding mothers, really, THAT’S what offends you? a woman feeding her child? Give me a break), and above all else, you’re sacrificing yourself, you’re sacrificing YOU. It’s a very selfless thing to do, and it’s a thankless task, it’s not like kids spend their lives trying to think of some way they can repay you. I guess your reward will be knowing you did what’s best for your child. It may not feel like much now (if anything since you’re in the thick of it) but at some point in the future, when breastfeeding is just a distant memory, you will find satisfaction just knowing that you did it, I couldn’t. I don’t beat myself up over it the way some people do, but breastfeeding is an admirable thing to do, you’re awesome.
you are SO sweet! I read this last night on my phone and it was so nice to feel validated! I have a good friend who wishes for a coma, too, so maybe we should look into getting that technology rolling! 😉
Hey Beautiful! Thank you so much for the ping on my post, and also for resonating with my dark and twisty words. It is infinitely comforting to know that we are not alone in this complicated world of motherhood. You and Midas, er, Potamus, will find your way through all the sleep issues. You are doing everything right. Sometimes it can just feel so hard that we second guess ourselves. That part of motherhood sucks! For me, I’ve really had to hone into the anxious thoughts and rip them to shreds to find out if they are really true, or if I am just freaking myself out. Becoming aware of these thoughts and then being able to “reprogram” them (even if I don’t believe it at first) has been very helpful to me. So, when I find myself thinking, “OH my god, my life is spiraling out of control!!” I gently change the thought to, “If things get overwhelming today, then I will handle it with a deep breath and a smile.” It sounds silly, but I’d literally be crazy otherwise. Of course if you are not getting enough sleep, it is pretty impossible to reframe anything. I don’t know girl. We will get there. One step at a time. . . Thanks for being a good blog bud. You’re rad. Have a good night. And thanks again.
You’re welcome!! And thank you for the support 🙂 I slept really well last night. And I think that, in my anxiety, I really need to stop googling for advice on everything. I need to slow down and examine what my gut is telling me to do.