Monday, July 28, 2008

Ms. Super Planner

My parents left today. And I am a mess.

Ms. Super Planner has been here for most of July. It’s been a Godsend. I don’t think I’ve done Missy’s laundry all month. Ms. Super Planner did it. She did my laundry, too. And my husband’s. She also unloaded the dishwasher as soon as it stopped. Reminded me to run the dishwasher. She dressed Missy every morning. And took over the soothing process at 10 PM every night so I could get some rest until the 2:30 feeding.

She even cleaned the guest bathroom before she left.

I tried to have it all together. To run the household and care for the baby while Cowboy brought home the bacon. So 1950’s, I know. With Cowboy’s new job and a new baby, we knew we’d be in boot camp for awhile. Then I took on a part time gig, which was stupid, but I really, really wanted to work for this client.

Cowboy’s dream job is still his dream job, but he quickly figured out that "we’d love to have a fresh set of eyes on things," during the interview process is code for: please come in and clean up this mess that someone else got us into.

He leaves the house at 5:45 AM and often doesn’t come home until 7 or 8 at night. He’s exhausted and stressed. I feel so bad handing a baby with the evening fussies off to him so I can get a break. That’s not fair to him. Or Missy.

Missy isn’t colicky. But she is moderately fussy. She’s also past the snuggle-on-the-chest-while-you-zone-out-in-front-of-the-TV-phase. She wants to move. This is not a baby that likes to hang
out by her lonesome. Take her to a coffee house and she’ll sit quietly and gaze in wonderment at everything for an hour. But she’ll fuss mightily after 5 minutes in the baby swing while you try to get some semblance of dinner together.

We’re also still doing the dream feed at 9:30 or so, which means she’s not soothed until 10, 10:30 or 11 and later. And it’s that last hour that is soooo exhausting. I’ve almost lost it a few times. I’ve had to put her in her crib crying and walk away.

In the process, I learned that you can do it all.

But only for about six weeks.

And then you start to fall apart.

Which is just about when Ms. Super Planner showed up and saved my ass. But now she’s gone.

I started crying in bed last night. I don’t want to go back to where I was the beginning of this month: exhausted, barely functioning and not enjoying my new daughter. I begged Cowboy to please come home earlier and manage his day at work so he’s not so exhausted at night (like eating lunch or working out). If I can leave the house for an hour to work out or run I am sure I would have enough endorphins to get through the late night soothing routine. Just for a few weeks until Missy is old enough to go to the gym day care.

He promised and I hope we turn over a new leaf.

Why is it then that I can’t stop crying today?


Wordgirl said...

Oh Sweetie, I've never had a baby but I can certainly imagine the overwhelming exhaustion -- and too from what I understand the brain chemistry is a little wonky at first -- regulating itself -- what with the little sleep and all... be gentle with yourself --and then maybe you could call someone -- a friend, if I lived closer I would totally say call me -- even though babies make me nervous when they can't hold their head up...(and yes, this is the same person who wants one...)

Hang in there Ms.Planner, consider this..what, bivouac-ing El take it in stages right? You get to one point and take a breather, you count on your partner...

You can Missy will get to the top of this particular section...and you'll see the view and feel the blood coursing through your veins...and you'll feel the sun again.

I promise.

Love your friend,


Newt said...

I'm so sorry you're having a rough time right now. Is there a way to get some part-time child care so you can take a break (or a nap) once in a while (if Cowboy really can't get home earlier)? If I lived closer, I would say call me, too!

Huge hugs to you.

Lori said...

I, too, was so surprised that it was so hard.

The saving grace is that it's temporary.

Hang in there.

Photogrl said...

I remember those days...

It's so hard, but it is temporary. You are doing a great job, Mama!

Waiting Amy said...

Oh my dearie, I'm so sorry you're missing Mrs. Super Planner. There are certainly periods of motherhood like this, that seem like you are losing your mind. But it will pass, and you will find you have more strength than you thought.

I agree, if Cowboy can't manage to modify his schedule, maybe you could get a sitter? Just once in a while to get that run in? It's never too soon to cultivate a good sitter.

Remember, you are a good mom and Missy is well cared for. It WILL get easier, I promise. Of course later there will be other things that will make you crazy, but hey, that's what we're here for!

Coffeegrl said...

All I can say is I hear you. It's hard, hard work even with a baby that isn't colicky. We have our good days and bad days but the wacky hormones and crazy sleep sometimes make the bad days seem insurmountable. I'll think good thoughts for you...

megan said...

this is a hard, hard job we have taken on, ms. planner.

you're doing amazing. don't fool yourself -- you ARE doing an amazing job.

i hope you get your hour. you need it and so does Missy.

take good care. xo

Emily said...

I completely feel you.

I have an almost three month old baby girl. She is not colicky, barely fusses, but MUST be held and on the move. My husband is a medical resident and works about 70 hours a week. It's HARD.

During evenings that he's home, I go running. I take about 45 minutes to get outside, run and zone out. It helps soooo much. I come home revived and happy.

I really hope you can get that, too.

Hang in there. They tell me it gets easier and I'm choosing to believe them.

Caro said...

I hear you on the needing to be held thing. There is no way I could work as well at the moment.

niobe said...

Taking care of a baby is really, really hard. Even under the best of circumstances-- say, when your husband is working reasonable hours and you have helpful family members living nearby.

Things are going to get easier. I promise. But until they do, you might want to see if there's any way you can get some help with childcare. Even having someone (maybe a student who's looking for some extra summer money?) watch Missy for few hours a few times a week would probably make an enormous difference.

Hang in there.

Watson said...

I am so sorry that Ms. Super Planner had to leave and that things are hard. And it's not your imagination, having a new baby IS hard. Very hard.

So be kind to yourself. If you can't do it all, try not to worry about it.

You're still in boot camp and it's all about survival, until you and Cowboy and Missy all get into a good routine and get some semblance of good sleep going. Don't underestimate how the sleep issues can impact you all!

Can you get anymore help, even a couple of hours during the day a few times a week to work out or get your work done? Just to alleviate some of the pressure?

Please e-mail me if I can do anything or you want to vent, okay?

HUGS to you!!!

Carrie said...

I've no real advice for you having never walked in your shoes BUT I do know that you will be doing a great job.
It must be the most over-whelming job in the whole world but I know, if anyone can do it, you can do it. I really am not saying this for no reason.

As others have said, this phase won't last for ever. Try not to be too hard on yourself. Missy is a very lucky girl to have you for a mother. This is the case whether you realise that right now or not.