Saturday, November 20, 2010

Finding the right balance

This summer Jose started sleeping on the couch so that he wouldn't be tired for his internships, since Mirabel was waking up quite a bit. She still isn't sleeping through the night, but on the weekends in the past he would sleep in our room and was actually able to sleep through Mirabel's wakeful periods. Now he's sleeping on the couch because it's so hot in our apartment from the radiators, and his body heat makes me even hotter. Sounds funny, but I've gotten used to having the bed to myself. I feel really bad about this, so last night I didn't tell him anything until almost 1 in the morning, when I'd been laying there for 3 hours unable to sleep because I was so hot. He ended up sleeping in the living room again.

This wouldn't be an issue if I was averaging more than 4 hours a night, but lately (I think it's due to a growth spurt) there's no such thing as a good night's sleep. That's actually been the case for 6 months, but it's just now taking a toll, with migraines and exhaustion. There are days I feel too tired come 6 PM, when Mirabel is also starting to get sleepy and wants to be carried around for the remainder of the evening. The other issue is work. Yes, working from home is definitely nice, but I mostly work during nap times, so I'm pretty much going, going, going all day and all night. I'm a food blogger for a company; I have my own personal food blog, but I also blog every day on another site. I cook quite a bit, that's my work. I love cooking, so I can't complain. But lately I've had to resort to cooking with a baby on my back...which is definitely not safe. So I'm looking into getting a part-time sitter to watch Mirabel while I cook so that I can sit down and take a break while she's napping.

But this isn't easy, for many reasons. Before Mirabel was born, I had my own idea of what it meant to be a successful mother. I thought I could easily balance it all without a problem. I have to be honest, when I am well-rested it all seems very doable. But the days are a lot longer and seem a lot harder when sleep-deprivation takes its toll. I've done some reading, and the doctor even suggested that I try the cry-it-out approach. But I can't do that. For Mirabel and myself, it just isn't the right thing to do. I think when she can talk I can certainly leave her alone and let her put herself back to sleep, because at that point I'll be able to reason with her a bit. But she is a very emotional/passionate baby right now, and I can see how her personality clearly changes after a bout of crying. She only cries inconsolably in the car seat; she is a very happy baby who spends more time smiling and laughing than whining and crying. That's why I don't think the cry it out method is for us.

This is why I'm willing to ask for help now. I realize now that I can't work, keep up the house, and be a mom without some help at least. I'm mad at myself for feeling guilty about this, because I know I shouldn't. A part of me feels that I should be stronger, suck it up, and just roll with the punches. But I'm struggling, and that's ok. One reason why I'm having such a hard time hiring someone is because I'm concerned about letting someone who doesn't love my child take care of my child. That sounds over-protective, but I've been hearing quite a few terrible stories about sitters who seemed legit, until the child they were caring for suddenly had to be rushed to the hospital because of something careless or heartless done to them. I know that the chances of that happening to us are slim, considering many kids (including myself) have/had sitters and are happy/healthy...but now that I have this baby that I wanted so badly, I'm finding it hard to let go. And I'm wondering if I'm just using my concerns as an excuse to not let go? I'll stop psychoanalyzing myself for now, but I'm just trying to understand where I'm coming from (funny as that sounds) because I don't make very much sense to myself these days.

But this is the reality: I'm trying to be the main breadwinner (at least until Jose graduates), the mom, and the housekeeper while waking 3-5 times a night. Eventually, something's gonna give, whether it's my health, job, or sanity...I haven't failed, I'm just a human being. Ok, I think I feel a little better after this self-talk. If you're still reading, bless your heart and thank you for hearing me out! :)


Anonymous said...

Your a lot stronger then you think you are. You are going to be fine and you will look back 14 years from now and cherish how easy it was to make your daughter smile.

Sophie said...

Thank you for the encouragement :).

Amanda said...

I'm sorry it's so tough for you right now. I definitely understand. M's sleep schedule has me at the break right now too and work is so bad that I can't even blog about it. I too need better balance, but I don't think it's going to come easy for me. I hope that Mirabel gets to giving you some more rest soon.

You might try letting Jose attend to her during one of her night wakings. Up until recently I was always the one that got up because it was always hunger waking him... now it's fussiness and he just needs to be comforted and I've found that DH can fill in once a night for me and it's very helpful.

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