Thursday, April 15, 2010

Reality Check

Today I had a hard, strong reality check.  It's still sinking in I think.  I have a new found respect for single moms - and dads - about as much respect as I have for military wives and husbands (more on that subject later).

Today, our little girl decided that she didn't want to go back to sleep after her 3 am feeding.  We tried and tried, but to no avail.  Around 4:30, I brought her downstairs so that Michael could sleep for the last hour before he had to be up to go to work.  Once I got downstairs, I tried yet again to get her settled into a decent sleep.  She fought it again.  So there I was, at 4:30 in the morning, trying to keep my eyes open to watch over my 5 week old daughter.  I couldn't do it.  She ate (again) at 5 am, and I fell asleep at about 5:45 I think.  She fell asleep in my arms eventually also.  I vaguely remember Michael coming downstairs doing his usual routine...I know he came down and said "You didn't have to bring her downstairs, honey."

Anywho...that was how my day started.  Julia did eventually wake me up when she was ready to eat again at about 7.  Then I decided to just be up for the day.  No sense in fighting it any more, right?  By 9 am, my body had enough, and I crashed...HARD...on the couch.  Julia woke me again at 10:30 to eat.  I felt much better by that time.  We carried on our usual routine of feeding-eating-feeding-eating with the occasional bouts of time on the computer.

Here's where the single mom part comes in.  Michael has been working...a LOT (thank God!).  He was helping his aunt for a while, would leave his full time job, go straight to work with her, and wouldn't be home until around 8:30-9 some nights.  That ended last week (or the week before...I can't remember).  I felt pretty much like a single mom at that point too, with the occasional opportunity for taking a shower that lasts longer than 3 minutes!!!  I would take Julia with me everywhere I went (duh) whether I went to Target, my mom's house, her work, wherever.  Today, however, I got to venture to the grocery store with her...alone.  And it wasn't just to grab one or two things.  Oh no...I had to go grocery shopping.  I didn't get everything I wanted, but I got everything on the list.  She started to get fussy after about 30 minutes in the store, but I knew we wouldn't be there much longer.  I just shushed her, and rubbed her arms until she calmed down enough for me to finish up and head out.  On the way home, she cried.  All the way.  Granted it's only a five minute drive from the grocery store, but this was the pissed off, blood curdling, screaming cry that I absolutely HATE hearing.  I started thinking "well, I guess this is what it would feel like to be a single mom".  It was a very profound moment for me...but I guess you had to be there.  When we got home, I got everything unloaded and noticed that she had spit up on the way...I felt terrible.  I felt like I failed her.  I hate that I can't comfort her while I'm driving.  I hate that she got so upset on the way home that she had to cry like that.  I hate that she had to get sick for whatever reason.

I cuddled her for about 10 minutes, nursed her, apologized about 10 times for her having to be so mad, changed her diaper then put away the groceries.  I had wanted to give her a bath tonight, and normally Michael is here to help.  Well, he was still working, and it was almost 7:30.  I got everything we needed - towels, wash clothes, jammies - and filled the tub up.  She wasn't happy about having a bath at all.  By this time, she was over tired, and hungry again.  I bathed her as fast as I could, wrapped her up in the hooded towel, and took her to get a fresh diaper her jammies on.  She peed on me.  I can't say I blame her!!!

Anyways.  I figure this must be what it feels like to be a single mom.  Yes, I saw my husband this morning...for maybe 10 seconds consciously.  I am so incredibly grateful to have him here with me when he's home to help out.  Even if it's just so I can go take a shower, or go to bed at 8:30 so I can survive another day with the little one.

I don't envy single moms or dads.  I applaud them.  They have, quite possibly, one of the hardest jobs that anyone can possess.

And with that, I'm off to bed...right after I finish the cloth diaper laundry.  It's 9:30, my daughter is sleeping, and I should be too.

Good night blog world.  Love your mom, sister, wife, daughter with everything you have.  You never know when it may be gone.


Heather Siekierski (from St. A's) said...

What a sweet post. You have a good outlook on motherhood. It took me a little while to adjust and find my peaceful and positive attitude on being a mommy.

I'm glad you see Michael working as a blessing, so often I saw Matt's working late as a cross. Now that he is unemployed my perspective has completely is good, even working late is good because it puts food on the table and it gives my husband self worth. He WANTS to provide for his wife and children.

Jess said...

Wow! I have all of that ahead of me! It's such a different world to what I'm used to but, in reality, what you are describing is only about 6 - 7 weeks in my future!

Hang in there! (I've heard) it gets better after the first 6 weeks!


Peanut Publications said...

Heather - Thank you =) It's hard to see all the work as a blessing...especially since he really hasn't been around for the last 6 weeks. It seems like the only time I really see him is when we go to church, and occasionally at night.

Jess - It's all worth it, trust me!!! It will be hard, but it all pays off. Congratulations, and good luck with your little one!!!