I love you. I feel like we aren’t as close anymore since I’ve been working. It’s only been about two weeks granted, but I still have this feeling. You’ve been staying home with your Daddy during the day while I am at school. You don’t cry when I leave, if you are even awake when I leave. I like to let you sleep in though; you like your sleep like your Mama. And, when I get home sometimes you are happy to see me, other times it seems like you could care less. Just about my entire day is spent thinking about you and what you are up to. It’s hard.
So, I want to tell you what I do when things are hard.
1. Talk to someone. It helps me so much to talk to another person about what is bothering me. Your Daddy and Grandad give great advice. Your Daddy usually makes me laugh, and that helps too.
2. Keep busy. Cleaning is a good way to keep busy, and there is ALWAYS something to be cleaned. I also like to organize when I get upset and it never fails to take my mind off what is bothering me.
3. Cry. A good cry always does me wonders.
4. Go out to eat with a good friend. Have a good chat.
5. Remember to put things in prospective. Most of the time, what seems like an enormous problem isn’t all that big of a deal in a few hours or days. Just take it easy.
6. Laugh. Just like I said above, laughing will make anything better. Here’s a story that will always make you laugh: When you were born you were the first newborn I had EVER held. EVER. I wasn’t a baby person. But, you came around so I had make a few adjustments. Well, after about 5 days home (maybe less, I was sleep-deprived and don’t remember everything) I thought I was doing a pretty good job. We were charting when you ate, slept, pooped, tee-teed and so on. On the particular occasion I am referencing, you woke up in the middle of the night. Like 2:00 a.m. And it’s not like you had been asleep several hours, maybe 1, 2 at the most. So there we are, you’re awake and screaming like mad, I’m awake, and your Daddy is trying not to be awake. According to our chart of your eating times it wasn’t time for you to eat. I didn’t even consider you could be hungry. A newborn baby only eats every 3 hours according to the nurses in the hospital. Yeah, right. So I rock you, I dip your pacifier in sugar water (because that’s what they did at the hospital and you were out for a solid 4 hours. Not even joking.), I try to hold the pacifier in your mouth, try and burp you, I change your diaper thinking maybe you are uncomfortable. I run out of ideas. Then, I become certain you have colic. I then promptly hand your over to your Daddy to see if he can do something with you, because obviously you don’t like me anymore. Your Daddy asks if you are hungry. Naturally, I give him a look that could kill and inform him that it’s only been about an hour and a half since you last ate, so “OF COURSE SHE IS NOT HUNGRY!” How dare he even ask. I am the Mother and I KNOW when my baby is hungry. He takes the hint and goes in the living room with you, screaming all the way.
Henry rocks you, tries to make you take the pacifier with even more sugar water, changes your diaper, burps you, and then finds he can do no more with you. He returns you to my arms and immediately falls asleep. My mammary glands were definitely responding to my screaming baby too. The only thing I know left to do is sing to you. So I start singing “Jesus Loves Me” thinking you wanted to hear a lullaby. Let me just insert right here, YOU HATED WHEN I WOULD SING TO YOU. HATE. Like it was tortuous to sit through my singing.
Finally, it had been 3 hours since you last ate and I knew you were automatically hungry. When I bring your bottle in the room the screaming intensifies. I swear you could smell the milk when you were little. Slowly, I bring the bottle in close to your mouth and you begin searching with your mouth and licking your lips. You get the bottle in your mouth and really go to work!
YOU WERE SO HUNGRY! All along. Ahhh! I solved the great mystery! From then on I fed you based on hunger cues (like screaming) and not based on how many hours it had been since you last ate. Your life was a lot smoother, and so was mine. Still not as much sleep as I would have liked, but enough to get us through.
Read this story and laugh when things are hard, Riley.
Right now, I need to take a dose of my own medicine.
I love you always,