Validation

It’s funny how sometimes all we want or need is to be heard.

I’ve felt pretty alone with my day to day struggles, with my “difficult baby,” when all my friends seem to have easy babies. Babies who nap, who just hang out, who will play on play mats and eat nicely.

I understand that they think I’m exaggerating when I say that “I can’t put Henry down,” or that “he doesn’t nap.” They think I mean he doesn’t nap A LOT or ENOUGH for my liking, or he prefers to be held. No. I meant what I said.

A good day he will take one or two half hour naps.

A bad day he will sleep ten minutes from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m.

They must think I’m some kind of incompetent mom, that he must be overtired and I just can’t get him DOWN for a nap. Nope. He doesn’t as much as yawn or rub his eyes. As long as I’m holding him, he’s happy as a clambaby.

But if I set him down to get dressed? Well. That’s the hardest part of my life right now. I’m always on edge, always a minute away from his fussing.

I can’t blame anyone who doesn’t believe me or understand. How could they? I can barely believe it myself and I’m living it, day in and day out, long day after longer night. I can’t plop him in the car or stroller or go anywhere either. He cries in both.

I carry him around for twelve hours straight. I fight with him to get him to eat. I douse him with medicine. I walk the house. I pace the floors. If I sit, he complains. If I try to do something that involves putting him down, he and I suffer his screaming.

I didn’t want pity, or sympathy. I think I wanted something like an acknowledgement of my existence. Yes, my children are my life and of course, it’s not about me. I agree that’s how it should be, has to be right now. But I just wanted someone, somewhere to say, it must be hard to do what you’re doing now. You’re doing a great job.

I wanted a voice to express just one concern about me. As a person. Not just as a mom.

I wanted to be, as a human. If that makes sense.

I got that, twice, this week, from two people I’m close to. And for some reason, it feels like a weight has been lifted from me, as I carry around my other weight, my love, my 15 pound daily weight.

I feel like I can go forward again.

I can do this. In fact, I’ve been doing it all along.

 

 

 

9 Comments

Filed under Life & Style, Parenting

9 Responses to Validation

  1. You are not alone! My baby cousin, whom I watched several days a week in college, was just the same way. He was “collicky” like no baby I had ever been around, fussing until I started crying even!

    The good news is that is always gets better (although it doesn’t feel like it right now).

    God bless you and your patience! One day at a time! And hey, if you need Daddy to take a half day off and give you a break….ask for it!

  2. Silly baby, doesn’t he know that the second babies are supposed to be easier than the first, especially if the first wasn’t easy??

    Geez, who leaves these babies in charge?

  3. I wanted to comment after I read you “reflux” post but haven’t had the time until now. I really should go to bed and sleep, but this is the only time when I can decompress from the day and be ALONE. So…I’m staying up way too late. It can be so discouraging when you feel like *people* don’t recognize the difficulty of what you’re going through. What you’re doing every day is HARD. Screw those *people* whose condecention makes us feel inadequate. You are being an amazing mama to Henry and Anna, they need you and you are there every day giving them what they need. Even if you feel like you don’t know completely what it is they need, your there trying to figure it out. That’s love. And that is all that matters.

  4. Lauren

    I really wanted to cry reading this post because this is my life right now too with my 3 month old. Nobody gets it. People say, oh just put him down and let him fuss it out. They don’t understand that if I put him down he’ll fuss and then scream his head off until his face looks so red he might explode. He’s fine if I’m holding him all day long and he actually does nap, but only in my arms. If he falls asleep and I try to set him down, his eyes pop open and he screams. I know this wont last forever, but when you’re in the thick of it, that’s hard to remember. On Saturday my husband finally said, I don’t know how you do it all day long and I was thinking FINALLY at least someone recognizes what it’s really like!!!!

    • admin

      HUGS!!! You are not alone! This is being typed while I hold my fussy guy, like everything else I do from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m.

      I don’t know if you’ve found your way to the Facebook high needs baby group but email me and I’ll send you an invite. I couldn’t live without it.

  5. Jade

    I just found your site, but I will give you some solace. It sucks to have so many of your friends with “great” babies. I have a high needs kid too, everything since birth has just been different. Naps at the beginning sucked, night time, sucked… and it still does suck a bit. The longest stretch I have gotten is 3 hours and he is almost 8 months old now. I could do CIO but he is now teething and I just don’t have the heart. Even though the naps/sleep are still poor, his day time crankiness has changed for the better, and although everyone says “this too shall pass” I always question “when” but they will someday.

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