Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Zen of Ms. Planner

Many, many thanks to everyone for the kind support offered after my last post.

Y’all must have known how desperate I was to put up a post whining about early motherhood on an IF blog fer chrissakes.

I know, I know. Had I read that post on someone else’s blog last summer, I would have rolled my eyes. The outpouring of support from this community was a clear demonstration that every single one of you are way better folks than I.

I have a new motherhood strategy (since clearly the old one was not sustainable):

No more parenting books. Save one. Read below.


Take it one hour at a time.

Seriously. This works. I only anticipate and approximate two activities for her: she seems to feed every 3 hours and gets tired about an hour after waking. Some days she naps like a champ. Other days like a high-strung cat. Other than this, I’ve let go of my desire to have any semblance of a schedule.

I go into each night expecting her to fuss and cry. Not hoping that she won’t. She’s beginning to surprise me. She’ll go a few glorious nights without fussing one bit and then – bam! – we’ll have another full of the fussies to put me back in my place. Consistent, she is not.

The good news is that once she is down for the night, she’ll go a full four hours without waking. My major problem now is that she is starting to fight sleep during the day. Since I have always soothed her to a deep sleep (mommy is a sucker) because her reflux meant I couldn’t just lay her down after nursing, now I have to commence with the soothing routine before every freakin’ nap: swaddle, rock, bounce, pace, hum, sing, shush. It is a major endeavor in itself.

Missy does not go quietly into the night. Or nap.

I’m about ready for a little cry-it-out (I know, I know. I’m horrible) but my pediatrician said she is too young for CIO.

I also read Momma Zen, which was recommended by Megan. Thanks, Megan! I echo Megan’s endorsement of the text. Even if you eschew all books on parenting, please read just this one. It's a fantastic book for any first time mom - or exhausted mom - in early motherhood.

It reinforced even more that I need to just be in the now. To not battle between the life I once had and the life I have now or the life I desire to have since the baby arrived. To let go of it all. And just be in each moment. Good, bad or just plain exhausted.

The other thing I stopped doing was attempting to have dinner ready for Cowboy. Letting go of my need to provide this for him has really helped the evening. Now I watch her closely for signs of sleepiness and swoop into the night routine at a moment’s notice. Plus, having it be all about her – and not about her, dinner and a tidy house – makes the evenings not as exhausting just in case they end up stretching into the wee hours of the night.

Lastly, I do have a sitter. While she is here, I am mostly working but steal a few minutes to write in my journal or go to the grocery store sans baby in tow. On Friday, however, I have our sitter scheduled in the evening so I can enjoy a girls night out. Just without my main girl for a spell.

Life gets better with each day.


Newt said...

Whew! I'm so glad things are a little better. And thanks for the book rec. I have been thinking it's time to check out some parenting books, but haven't known where to start (and don't want to scare myself!).

Enjoy girls' night!

megan said...

i'm so glad you picked up Momma Zen. it is so awesome, no? i'm glad it brought you a bit of peace.

Wordgirl said...

Ah Ms Planner -- I'm so happy to hear that each day is getting better -- I don't think anyone prepares us for the challenges -- but there's unspeakable beauty too -- even though W is my stepson I remember coming to parenthood and how life-changing it is and how I needed to get my footing.

I have, no doubt, you are doing beautifully -- no one, of course, can do it all -- and if you're like me, I'm always hardest on of my life's lessons is to take a friend's advice when she asked me if I could treat myself as I would a beloved friend.

Treat yourself today,



Carrie said...

You'll get there. I have absolutely no doubt. Glad you are feeling a little better.

One hour at a time is probably a good plan in all sorts of situations where control is not an option.

Hope the sleep comes soon too.

Anonymous said...

Wow. It took me until now to get back to then but I'm still happy and so glad I could help you see your way through.