One thing my 10-week-old baby girl does that my other kids didn't do at her age is sleep. As in, she slumbers peacefully through out the dark hours of the night and I haven't had to open my eyes for a three a.m. feeding in weeks.
The amount of sanity that comes from six hours (or more) of consecutive rest is remarkable.
While my wee one is content to remain asleep in her bed at night, during the day it's another story. She hates her bouncer. The same crib she was fine in just two hours before is not acceptable now. Anywhere that doesn't happen to be in my arms is like torture -- and I am the only one that can put her out of her misery.
Needless to say, my actions are quite restricted during the daylight hours.
The amount of baby holding has frustrated me to the point of tears this past little while. To ease myself away from all my anxiety, I have tried to make a conscious effort to lower my daily expectations.
Because I have to hold my baby all day long, it's okay if I don't have time to:
- clean the house
By erasing my internal checklist of tasks I want to complete, I think will be much more happier with myself and my children.
Today, my baby and I go through the same sleep battle. It is nap time and I tried to lay her down on somewhere else besides me. As expected, she screams out her protest.
I am defeated.
I sit on my bed, bewildered and upset that I am once again trapped by this almost 10 lb. of baby terror.
"Why are you so mean to me!" I hiss quietly at my two-month old, as if my sleeping toddler in the next room can hear. "Don't you know I have things I need to do?"
I look down at my baby, not really expecting a response, but my burst of anger is caught off guard by the sight her already asleep. Her face, where moments ago was red and yelling, is now calm and serene.
I am so surprised at how quickly she can change expressions, that I continue to stare at this confusing, now peaceful creature. My heart softens.
"You are so beautiful," I whisper, this time in an entirely different tone.
I look at her mouth, and think of how small it is when not wide open and screaming. Those pretty cheeks of hers, so soft and full.
I hold my girl and think back to a time not too long ago when I sat on that very same spot, clutching my newborn so tight, worried that she wasn't gaining weight. A short month and a half later, she is thriving.
I continue to watch my sleeping baby and am mesmerized by her fluttering eyelashes. I listen to the soft sounds of her breathing. With each tiny of breath of hers, the tightness slowly leaves my chest and I feel clarity. I am aware of a new thought.
Instead of just removing expectations of tasks I want to get done during my day, I am going to approach my situation this way:
Because I have to hold my baby all day long, it's okay that I get to:
- read e-books on my phone while my arms are full
- be happy with my postpartum body
- have my husband pick up dinner
- be loved by my children
These are things I can be happy about completing.