For all of my gushing about motherhood so far, there are still hard days.
Today was one of them.
Last night, Zoe decided that sleep was a stupid, outdated tradition that she would no longer participate in. David is out of town again so I was the only one available to soothe her, getting about 4.5 hours of sleep in the process.
Now: let me just say that when she was 2 weeks old, 4.5 hours of sleep was a GREAT night of sleep…but she’s been sleeping better for a few weeks and I guess I got spoiled. Moral of the story: NEVER LEAVE THE FOXHOLE UNTIL THE WAR IS OVER.
Anyway, around 5:50 am I gave up my deluded quest for sleep and decided to just wake up with her. I was nearing the end of my large cup of coffee when she decided to go to sleep. She slept for the next 2 hours; meanwhile, I sat at the table in a daze, too tired to think but too caffeinated to sleep. Womp womp.
We took a nice walk with a friend, which boosted my spirits. But by noon, I was dehydrated, unshowered (oops,) and EXHAUSTED. I was even contemplating a nap (and that’s serious for me…I’ve taken 5 in the last year.)
Zoe, on the other hand, was ready to party.
Motherhood: it’s not about you. AT ALL.
So we partied! I lay on the floor with her, sang songs to her, praised her when she batted at her buddies on her playmat (she gets SUCH joy from this–it’s precious…) and made all of her stuffed animals talk to her and kiss her.
Then I did a dramatic reinterpretation of the Creation story (basically, I just walk around the house with Zoe opening all the blinds and saying “Let there be light!!!” in a booming voice, followed by my best “magical” sound effect) and took her outside to look at the flowers and trees. We discussed this week’s episode of “The Bachelor” (Sean’s tears—real? thoughts? Zoe wasn’t convinced) and her monkey puppet told her about his quest for the missing banana. We did tummy time. We listened to our daily dose of Latin music (it’s good for brain development, plus I want a Zumba partner. David came once and has refused to ever step foot into a Zumba class again, saying something about how I “tricked him.” I told him that my hips don’t lie, but he just sighed.)
This was a lot of partying for this exhausted mama. Then I looked at the clock (FATAL FLAW) and realized that there were still hours until dinner time and another night alone with her.
I took deep breaths and reassured myself that PLAYING with my infant daughter was totally doable. I mean, it’s PLAYING. I gave myself a “this is your job” pep talk. Then Zoe started crying, Java started whining, and I realized that a glass of wine sounded really nice. It was 3 pm.
After another hour of this, my head hurt, my body hurt, and I was about to start crying when my phone rang.
It was my Nana, just calling to see how I was doing. I mustered up the strength to say “good” because my Nana is the strongest woman I know and I wanted to set her mind at ease. She asked a lot of questions about Zoe, and as I talked with her I realized a few things:
- Zoe is only 7 weeks old. That’s little! She’s going through some changes right now and she has been fussy this week, but the bottom line is that she’s a thriving and healthy infant. That’s an awesome blessing!
- I need to give myself a break and let myself have an extra cup of coffee when I need it. Caffeine detox can happen when she’s NOT 7 weeks old. Same thing with a non-dusty house. Take it easy, girl. One chore at a time.
- I used to always be able to understand and predict Zoe’s needs. She is growing and changing and I can’t always guess her need correctly right away anymore, but I can still soothe her once I figure it out. That means we’re a good team!
- The days that I end up wanting to cry are the days when I try to rely on myself all day. I have resources and the Lord…I shouldn’t EVER be solely relying on myself!
So after some thought and prayer, the main insight I’m taking away from today is this: this is my little girl’s face when she sees me.
If she could talk, I don’t think she would say “I know you TRIED today, but let’s be honest…you’re a hot mess and you were just phoning it in.”
I think she would say: “mom! you’re doing great! Keep going!”
And that’s what I’m going to choose to listen to 🙂 Tomorrow is another day!