Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mothering? Maybe I am just not cut out for this.

Being a parent is hard; being a work from home mother is even harder.  I struggle juggling a very part time job (that we need) and a very busy, fussy, strong-willed baby.  I usually feel like I am not doing enough with her, while I am trying to get work done, then feed her, take a walk, clean up our messes from play, cooking dinner, etc.  And then there is naptime.  The time when my blood pressure rises and I seriously wonder why we had children.  Naptime.  I love it.  I hate it.  My child doesn't sleep well.  Refuses to nap, and pretty much will scream in her crib for hours on end if we'd let her.  Yes, we have tried every method, I have read every book; we leave her to cry, we ferberize her, we don't let her cry and continually go into comfort her, I nurse her, change her, snuggle her, nothing works.  Right now we are in a rut, where she refuses her morning nap, even though she is tired; and she only takes 1 nap during the day, which lasts exactly 60 minutes.  Sixty minutes, that is all I have in my 11 hour day to take a break from hollering and screaming and demanding my time.  60 minutes to clean up, to try to finish work, to rest.  Its not enough for me, and its certainly not enough for her.  She gets up from this 1 hour nap cranky, and proceeds to get crankier as the afternoon goes on, and this continues right until bedtime.  It-is-hard.  

While I know that I someday will look back on these days and 'wish' for them again (I don't know why people think that I'll be wishing for this part again, I know that I won't) but that doesn't help me in the now.  It doesn't help me cope when she is screaming at me, or hold it together when I am trying so hard to get her to nap, to rest, which she obviously needs.  Right now, I am sitting on my porch, not listening to the screams, typing this blog post with tears in my eyes.  I really feel like I am not strong enough to do this, I struggle with how we'd pay for a nanny or daycare.  I struggle knowing if staying in Colorado, away from family and help, is the right thing to do or not.  I just don't know anymore.  
But writing this gives me strength to go back inside and to try my best to be a great mom, even though I know she isn't asleep, I watch her on our camera standing in her crib, hollering, fighting sleep.  I know I will go back in and get her up, we'll read, eat, play, and I'll do this nap thing again in 5 hours, I know that she will again fight the nap and I'll have to hold it together to do it again tomorrow, and every day until she goes to school.  Sometimes it seems endless.  
Please, moms, leave a comment; tell me how you cope with this?  Please, don't tell me that I will wish for this time again someday, or 'thats how babies are', because all I want is support.  I just want this non-napping phase to end.  Maybe this is just how it is?  


  1. Hey Jen -- I completely feel your pain. And as for coping mechanisms...well I haven't found one. Being a work at home mom - away from family is just tough. The constant struggle between doing what is right for your kids, you job, your home, and You. Nothing else to say about that. You should totally give Kim a call and see if you can work something out with her. For me - it has got harder the older they get. I am biding my time waiting for Owen to get potty trained so that he can go to preschool 3 hours a day, two days a week. Can you imagine that. 6 whole hours a week to just get work done? It's going to be crazy. Also, if there is anything I can do to help, please let me know.

  2. Jen, I really do feel your pain and have no desire to try and sell you redundant advice. I CAN commiserate with you, I DO know how you feel. I haven't just worried that i am not the best mom ever, but have thought..."WHAT THE HECK MADE ME EVER THINK I COULD BE A PARENT"!!!!! a trillion times. I wasn't parented much myself, raised my little bro while my mom worked and commuted and have hated myself for being so selfish when i am feeling sorry for myself for spending what seems my whole life taking care of others.
    I can't tell you this non napping phase is going to end may just get worse. My daughter never ever slept, even right now we have regular evening fights because she wants me to lay down with her and i know i will pass out if i do...and can't afford she still ends up going to bed later than is ideal...and then she's up EARLY..only on the days i am running ahead and think i may have a minute before she rises.
    You may have to work something out with her that is just quiet time for a certain period every day where she just knows that you aren't available, that you aren't coming and that she can play quietly for that time slot. It hasn't worked for me, but then i don't have a REAL job, at home or otherwise and my whole family sort of forgets that i may be having a minute...all my minutes are theirs.
    TO seem like you are doing an AMAZING job as a many things that you have consciously put so much effort into to make sure that Magnolia has a wonderful life. Your hikes with her and your signing with many wonderful things...maybe you could lower your expectations the tiniest little bit and quit being so hard on yourself.
    I seriously don't miss the times when my 8 month old would get pissed at a toy and SLAM her head into the floor....but the fights we have over her hair....i am amazed she still has any.
    hang in there MAMA!!!! huge hugs.....

  3. Char and Val, thanks so much for the support. My meltdown has ceased, for will return, probably today. I keep looking at the clock and countdown the hours until Josh gets home...6.5 hours left. I've been up since 5am trying to work; been dealing w/ screaming baby since 6:45.
    Char, if you ever want to quit your day job and nanny....I need to find out how much Kim charges per hour?

  4. I FB messaged you with her contact info and the rates she charged us.

  5. I don't have kids, so I have zero advice to offer. I will never have kids of my own, so I must admit that I live through you. I imagine I would be the kind of mom you are and that makes me really happy inside. I just wanted to send many hugs your way!!! I wish I could babysit or do something. I have to say that I love every bit of your honesty and have found myself in tears looking at your pics, reading about the hikes/camping, all the wonderful things you're teaching Magnolia. I think the fact that you question if you're cut out for mothering proves that you are. I truly wish you the very best and hope that little girl gets back on track with her sleep. Always in my thoughts, mama :) xoxo

  6. Hi Jennifer! I haven't ever met you in person but I do folllow your blogs on occasion and wanted to send out some encouragement if I can. My daughter is 15 months, I stay home during the week and work on the weekends. I am sorry it's been so tough I can't imagine no naps consistently. I live for naptime! I have a friend who recently found a child care center she really likes, she takes her son for a few hours a couple days/wk so she can do some school work and she feels such a relief. They are flexible and seem very personable. They will do cloth diapering too. Anyway I can get you info if your interested. I live in Golden as well and Avery and I can always do a playdate or coffee if you need time away for sanity. My email is Hope tomorrow is better for you!