This Morning

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

This morning I had good intentions. Laila woke up at a reasonable 7:15 a.m. (Don't be fooled into thinking she slept through the night; she didn't.) I thought, "Great. She'll be awake for about an hour to an hour and a half and then she'll have a nap and we will go out and it's a great plan." (Yes, I think in run-on sentences.) 

Good intentions and all, I took her to her room with a bottle and fed her in the glider with her favourite playlist on (Layla by Eric Clapton to start) and thought it would be just like nighttime. She finished her bottle all sleepy, gave a great big burp and I thought, "It's going to be a great morning. It's only 9a.m. And I can shower while she sleeps peacefully in her crib."

HA. HA!!

No, that is not how it went. She cried a lot when I put her in her crib. I thought, "I got this. I'll take a shower. It'll be okay; she just needs to settle." So I showered with the monitor right there and she cried. Husband went in to soothe her a bit so I could finish my shower. Great, except she didn't stop crying. I went in and she finally fell asleep on me around 9:40 a.m.

So now, having put her down in her crib, I'm sipping tea, typing and watching YouTube. I haven't brushed my teeth. My hair is still wet. And, I feel like a failure. I gave in and cuddled her until she slept. She was overtired. I couldn't do this with James. My PPD wouldn't allow it. I was too anxious and any crying felt like I was a terrible mother. 

PPD has become so much more talked about. It's all about how to get better; how to cope. That's so necessary but it misses the mark on how to deal with being a mom. Sleep is a skill and some kids learn easier than others. James didn't. He would have benefitted from me being able to actually train him. I couldn't. I was sleep deprived, anxious and I had no idea what I was doing. The PPD made everything feel like life or death and coping wasn't even an option. I needed to fix me, but I also needed to be able to be a mother. I couldn't do it. I can barely do it now and I'm not suffering. Sleep is such a vicious cycle too; sleep deprivation makes the PPD worse and all you want is to catch up, but you can't unless the baby sleeps, so you'll do anything to get the baby to sleep, which means you can't properly teach baby how to sleep, which leads to more sleep deprivation. And on and on it goes. 

I wish this was more than just a recognition of how hard being a mom is, especially with PPD. I didn't ask for help; I wanted to do it all myself. I felt I should have been able to do it myself, but I couldn't. Coping with feeling inadequate as well as feeling like a failure was difficult. I don't think I ever quite got over it. I'm trying my best though; with both of them. Everyone seems to think I'm doing a great job; people whose opinions I value, but it doesn't make me feel like I'm doing well. I have to pretend to be positive. Fake it till you make it.

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