Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Not Quite in the Holiday Spirit

Yesterday I was exhausted.  As I tried to fall asleep at 10 pm the following thoughts ran through my mind:
  • Wiessbluth applies to adults too - I'm too tired to sleep but desperately need it.  Trying to swaddle myself in blankets was not working. 
  • I used to be up many nights for work - or go to bed waiting with my blackberry under my pillow for signature pages to arrive from Luxembourg (or wherever).  After about 3 weeks I could usually be found crying (in home office or work office) about how unfair it is to work this hard; how it doesn't really need to get done on this ridiculous schedule; how they don't pay me enough; how I need a life.  But after a few more days it would be over and I'd take a day at home to rest.  There is no rest in motherhood. 
  • I wish Husband had breasts that produced milk. I think switching to all formula soon might not be that bad to share the pain. 
  • Sometimes I don't mind letting Ned cry because it is only fair he shares in my frustration. 
  • Why can't Husband act happier when he gets home from work - he spends less than an hour with the kids.  He can at least fake happy and energetic when I feel like digging a ditch and throwing myself into it after 10 straight hours with them. 
  • How many Christmas things do I have to get done in the next few days? How will I when Ned is only sleeping a total nap amount of 1.5 hrs per day (spread over 3 naps). 
  • How am I going to do this when I go back to work? Will we be living in Third World conditions because Husband can't manage to do a chore without being asked first?
  • Will any of this make a good blog post? Am I a terrible blogger for lying about not blogging about sleep until after Christmas? 
Around 11:30 Ned woke up.  We had decided a few days ago to drop the 11 pm "dream feed" (even though he was now demanding it) because that meant he was eating during the night 3 times (equal to his daytime intake).  Husband was in charge of getting Ned to stay asleep.  Ned screams for a while - Husband, WHERE ARE YOU?  "I thought we were going to let him cry it out".  "Okay, fine.  Are you listening so I can put the pillows over my head?"  "Listen for what?" "For him in case he CHOKES TO DEATH FROM BEING UPSET".  Husband looks at me like I have two heads - actually, I was extremely disheveled and I think a boob might have been hanging out of my very loose/stretchy tanktop since I bounded out of bed into our bathroom to confront him.  Am I wrong, doesn't someone HAVE TO LISTEN? They sleep on their backs.  What if he is crying so hard that he spits up and swallows it wrong and can't breathe?

Husband comes to bed and miraculously Ned stops crying - guess the little stinker doesn't need to eat then.  But I can't sleep.  At all.  I'm pissed at Husband and I have visions of smacking him over the head with his clock radio - because if I'm sleep deprived and can't sleep why does he get to be snoring beside me?  And I wait for Ned to wake up because then I have to feed him.  I try not to look at the clock.  Around 1 am I give up tired of listening to Husband sleeping while I am not and go downstairs to the couch.  Every little light and noise in the family room annoys me.  I think I drop Husband's disc of Mad Men (trying to cover some little blue light on the TV) but yeah, it's been out of its box since before the kids were born so if it is scratched that is his damn fault.  See how mad I am? 

I'm mad at Ned as I wait for him to wake up and need to be fed.  I toss and turn and am pissed at the world.  I hear every little noise the kids make over the monitor (man, they are noisy - sure to wake up any second).  I wait until 4 am and go back upstairs.  Penny wakes up at 4:30 am and Ned at 6 am.  I can't believe it - Ned slept through the night!  And I didn't have one of those magical experiences I hear about when you wake up with alarm in the AM to wonder how you slept so long.  No, I got no sleep anyway because I'm exhausted and pissed. 

I'm tired of being mad and frustrated - about sleep, about chores, about not being able to "catch up" on anything.  And I know last night was a fluke and Ned will never sleep through the night again.  At least it feels that way. 

Edited: Obviously I'm venting here and wanted to be honest with everyone since I admire how honest Snickollet and other bloggers are about their feelings - not all perfect even if we want it to be have have great willpower to try to make it be.  My inlaws are in town right now and are a HUGE help - I can't imagine how I would have felt the last few days if they hadn't been here.  

Edited Again: For those who have called or are worried - it's so nice you care but don't worry.  I'm no longer angry (and certainly not at the kids).  Part of writing about this was to make me feel better.  I'm totally a morning person so all my anger was gone by the time I went in to get the kids (and Ned's adorable grin helps of course).  I wanted to share so other moms don't feel alone about this stuff!


LauraC said...

Oh hon, I am really sorry to read this post. I have been there. Having babies together is VERY trying on a marriage.

One time Jon handed me Nate (the one who needed to eat every 3 hours or more until 3 months and was VERY fussy) and he had put the Dr Brown's bottle together without the tube in it. I drenched myself and Nate with formula, Nate screamed, I cried bc I had to make a new bottle and all I could think was - I married the stupidest effing person on the face of the planet and WHY did I have children with this man??

(I did the same thing to him the next night, btw.)

What helped us was to be completely honest about everything with each other. I don't ever want to hold a grudge against Jon.

But seriously, those first six months were NOT the rosy "oh look we are a complete family, everything is wonderful" time.

Neve said...

Amen, Mommy Esq. You are saying what ever other mom out there has experienced at some (okay, many) point in time.

Abby G. said...

I think your honesty is refreshing! It's nice to read about the real feelings (even though I am sorry for you that things are so stressful right now!). Hang in there, and know that if you didn't want to kill your husband every now and then or get angry with the kids, you wouldn't be human! -Abby

The Mommy said...

Thank you for being so honest! I totally feel your pain and thus I don't feel too badly for cracking up while I read this. The part about hitting your husband over the head with the clock radio is classic. I too have contemplated such maneuvers. We're at nine+ weeks postpartum and it is pretty abysmal. No sleep. Lots of howling. And we got our 2 month shots today. ARGH. Hang in there! There's a little family in Arlington - and a mom especially - who know how you feel!

Anonymous said...

Hon, you have a lot on your plate right now. Don't set yourself up for failure by having unrealistic expectation about chores, cleaning, or the state of the house.
I hear a cleaning service once or twice a week is a marriage saver!
Same with a sitter that will give you time to sleep or catch up on stuff you need to do to feel human.

Monica Marino said...

Of course you want to beat him to death with an alarm clock- that's normal marriage with kids, right? I think Al and Peg Bundy were far more normal than I realized in seventh grade.

Seriously, you're normal, and it will go away- someday you might even like husband for about ten minutes. That will also go away. (:

I hope Ned sleeps tonight and that you get some good sleep too. How about a sleep tea (can you drink it while nursing?) good old hot milk (with honey to make it palatable) or a really dull Lifetime movie? All of those help me sleep!

Nancy said...

*hug* You're doing just fine! I was trying so hard not to laugh - not at you, but WITH you...because I remember that so clearly. (That and the mental image of you trying to swaddle yourself...killed me.)

Oh man, yup - not falling to sleep because you know ANY SECOND that kid is going to wake up and want to sleep...and the frustration of the kid then not waking up...mixed with the WOO HOO factor...and knowing that it won't happen again. The thing is - it WILL happen again. Maybe not tonight, but it will :)

BTW, Logan is 15 months and still wakes at least once a night. That's a post in itself ... I think I've created a monster there.

See you tonight!! We'll drink lots :D

Liz Jimenez said...

Ooh, lordy, that brought back some unpleasant memories (and not necessarily from all that long ago). I remember that way-over-tired, frustrated, angry, unfair, awful feeling. Like you just want three days of quiet so you can just sleep. Except then you feel guilty for wanting time away from your beloved kids. Oh, and the daydreams I had about wanting to kill my husband... hoo boy. Yup.

Anyways, good call on venting. I totally hear what you mean. I can only imagine having one new baby is super hard on a marriage, but having two is really rough. I sometimes found it helped to write out a list of my "demands" if there were things I wanted M to do more, do better, stop doing, etc. When you're that tired, and when you've been stewing on the issue all day (week?) long, it's hard to remember that he's not inside your head, and it's hard not to want to kill him for it.

Good luck, good luck. We all feel you, sister. Have fun at COPE tonight! This is the first one I've missed in ages!!

Anonymous said...

I remember your pain. I would be so angry when they woke up wanting to be fed that I would growl. Here is my one piece of advice: turn off the monitor. If they really need you, you will hear it. They will not choke on themselves. They will sleep. And you can sleep if you don't listen to all of the INSANE noises that infants make when they sleep.
Your honesty and frustration are refreshing...it isn't all cake and roses. But it does get better. Trust me.

Rebecca said...

Ugh. Boy, do I remember those days. So tired, so wanting to sleep, so wanting a bit of a break from being a mom. I really think that 4 months is a magical turning point and it starts to get easier---you have hard days, sure---but it gets easier. And I totally agree with the previous poster---turn off that monitor! If you can hear them when they get cranked up, you don't need the monitor. We eventually started closing both doors too, to dampen the noise.

Come to COPE tonight, enjoy your night out! I'm sure you can get some more feedback from others about how to transition back to work and how to divy up the chores (I'm a big fan of "owning" certain chores, so less nagging need to be done. And of writing notes---in fact, one is waiting for Seth on the counter at home.)

Donna said...

It ain't all fun, is it? Well, I just wish just once, that one of those hyper fertile 16 year olds that so want to be pregnant could spend just one night as you have. Either getting up repeatedly or just not being able to sleep because you know you are going to get up. I've been there, done that with only one kid at a time! My greatest fear? That DS2's crying in the middle of the night will wake up DS1 and I will go completely insane!