Monday, June 25, 2012

Tell Me the Truth Already

I've definitely been hitting some low points lately with the sleeping. I just do not function well with no sleep (as opposed to my daughter, who can go all day without a nap like a champ!). After talking to a couple moms I am socially close to, I started getting a little bit frustrated. Why does every stage of parenting have to be described as sunshine and puppies 24/7/365?? This is NOT what I have been experiencing whatsoever. Yes, I always knew it would be hard, but I did not have a clue HOW. HARD. And I'm pretty irritated that no one bothered to let me in on the truth before I had a baby.

Don't get me wrong - I love Bugga more than life. But seriously. Why is this so hard? And why does no one talk about it? I just wanted to know I wasn't alone feeling this way, but no one seemed to want to cop to it in casual conversation.

Then I posted a question to my friends on Facebook just to see the response.

"Could no one have been straight with me about how hard parenting is?"

What I got in return was 29 posts and several private direct messages within the next couple hours. And what do we have here - EVERYONE had been there. And felt equally duped. And some even went on to have more kids!

The information I was finally receiving was invaluable. I am going to anonymously post my friends' comments on this blog now to share with others that are in this same wobbly boat with me in hopes that the "safety in numbers" theory helps you get through one more night of the crying and the not sleeping. But more importantly, I need a way to easily access these words of experience so I can have them handy every time I need a lift, because I know I will again. And again.

Read the first response here. And start talking about this with your friends who are parents.

Edited on March 6th, 2013:
My daughter is now 15 months old - she was about 7-8 months when I first published these words of support from all my fantastic friends. I was at my breaking point with my daughter's sleep training efforts at that time. And now I am one of those moms who made it through the first year, and I am prepared to give any insight I can.

Here is what I find myself telling friends with newborns: You are not the only one who feels this way. We all went through these emotions, even if some of us aren't brave enough to tell you. Your first year of parenting can be a lonely, isolating time, especially if you quit your job and stay home (oh, and move to a small town in Alaska where we know nobody) like I did. The good news is, you, and your baby will survive these hard times, and they will be almost forgotten once you move past them.

Human beings are ugly creatures when they are lacking sleep. Keep talking to your husband, your friends - anyone (I might recommend avoiding the generation before yours - memories seem to be falsely clouded more often than not of how "easy" it was for them). Get out of the house every day, even if it is just for a stroller walk around the block. If you are concerned about your thoughts, please talk to your doctor. Do it at your 6-week post-labor checkup or your 6-month checkup, but do not be ashamed. If you need medication, know your doctor would not prescribe it to you if he/she did not feel it was warranted to help you through this. And you will not need it forever.

You can do this. No, it is nothing like you expected. But the point of it all is EVERYTHING you expected.

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