Sleep when the baby sleeps, cry when the baby cries?

Yesterday I hit my mothering low.

As I’ve mentioned on here, we’re pretty sure that Charlie is teething. It’s hard to tell for sure because it can go on forever without actually seeing a tooth, even under the gums, but she’ is super irritable and drooly. Her moods can switch on a dime from deliriously happy to furiously mad or sad.

Except yesterday she just woke up mad. This was coming off of the day before where I was bone tired because she had hardly slept the night before, so I hardly slept the night before. So yesterday she started out the day fussy, and no matter what I did it just went into a downward spiral. By noon she was full on sobbing, and sobbed for about an hour. I bounced, I swung, I sang, I nursed, I did gas drops and gripe water, I tried a breastmilk popsicle-I tried everything in our wheelhouse. I tried to take her on a walk but she wouldn’t stop flailing for me to put clothes on her. At one point I laid her down very carefully on the couch next to me and sat and sobbed with her. That made her stop long enough to look at me in confusion, and then start up again. I was frantically texting Chief because I didn’t know what to do. I was panicked. I finally decided I was just going to swaddle her, put her in our room in her swing in the dark, and lay in bed and see what happened. She cried for another five minutes and then stopped to watch the mobile above her and listen to the music. She slept for an hour which was the longest nap she’s had in about a week.

By the time Chief got home I was past my limit. I know that seems crazy, but she has NEVER cried like this. Ever. Not for this long, or this hard. Even when she woke up she was still fussy. And then last night it took two hours to get her into bed, and it also took a lot of crying. Again on her part, and mine.

I cried more yesterday than I have any day of her life.

And I went to bed feeling ashamed and weak. I’m supposed to be the strong one. I’m the mom-I’m supposed to just handle it.

But I woke up this morning thinking that I’m also human, and i had a very human day yesterday. Exhaustion and frustration finally found their way into my motherhood. And when I got to the point of feeling like I was going to burst, i did the only thing I could think of at the moment and put the baby down and cried to let out some of the pressure. Maybe that’s not so wrong. Maybe I don’t have to be a supermom. Maybe I am allowed to have a bad day, even though I have a kid now.

Today is better so far. I’m trying to force her to take more naps since she isn’t napping very long right now, so she’s had three already today and it’s only noon. I’m trying to just stay calm and happy when she cries and realize that if the laundry doesn’t get folded today literally no one will die. And I guess the good thing about hitting my low point was that there was no place to go but up today.

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24 thoughts on “Sleep when the baby sleeps, cry when the baby cries?

  1. Outdoors can help. And just roll her up in blankets if clothes are too hard. She also may be ready for different kinds of toys, change of environment. Are you able to see swelling of her gums? And, sometimes life is just that way. Putting her down out of your arms can also help as babies pick up our frustrations from out bodies. You being tired can be enough to set her off…. which is really a double whammy as the baby not sleeping is what made you tired and the cycle can be hard to break. Hang in!!!

  2. The crying days are SO hard. But it sounds like you’re doing very well.

    P&C have been really fussy lately as well. I have an iPhone app called “the wonder weeks”. It tells you when your baby is going through I leave which will make them be fussier than usual. Currently, Penelope and Charlotte are going through a leap that is supposed to last like five weeks long. You might want to look into it, it might ring true with some of Charlie’s behavior.

    When my girls are having fits and being really fussy I’ve often found myself crying right along with them, so you’re not alone with that. One thing I have done to save my own sanity is to put my own headphones on with music so I can’t hear the screaming. That, or I laid the crying baby in one of the cribs and walk away. There’s only so much you can do.

    As you said plenty of times before, Charlie is very happy. This is just a phase šŸ™‚

  3. Everyone reaches there limit. Especially when you are exhausted. When I went to Italy this year with my mom and grandma there was one night that I got no sleep. The next day I was a mess. I was already tired and pure exhaustion set in and I just started bawling at lunch. I was so mad at myself because I was in Italy for goodness sakes. What could I possibly be crying about?? Even in the best of times there are some hard times, and you are such a great mom and you are human. Some of the harder moments of Charlie’s life might just be the one’s that make your relationship and love even better. Hang in there sweet friend.

  4. Know you’re not alone. You are only human. Elliott is a very happy baby too but lack of sleep for whatever reason, makes us irrational. Our dog had diarrhea for a week which meant getting up five times a night. No one did well with all commotion in the middle of the night.

  5. I like this part: And I guess the good thing about hitting my low point was that there was no place to go but up today.

    And I find myself being on a similar journey of building up expectations for myself, finding them impossible to live with, feeling resentful and or inadequate and then realizing oh, I’m doing it again…. Time to lower expectations! I can only imagine that’s all magnified with a baby.

    • I think the toughest part about it is that, while I didn’t plan to ascribe to any one parenting technique, I have become an attachment parent in so many ways that I feel like i have to be that way all the time now. So when I let my child cry on her own for a few minutes yesterday so I could cry I felt like this terrible momster. And then in the bright light of day today i remembered that I’m not bound to any one style, and I just have to do what feels right in the moment, and in that moment I felt like for my child’s own good I needed to be away from her for a moment.

  6. Did you try giving her Tylenol? Sometimes when babies have days where they are simply miserable, it can mean something is physically bothering them and Tylenol can work magic. Hugs. Days like that are so freaking hard.

  7. You’re in the mommy club now!!!! I hit my “breaking point” when G turned 3 weeks old. He had been crying for almost 48 hours (literellay almost non-stop) and I simply handed him to my husband, told him I couldn’t do it anymore and went into the guestroom and cried like I hadnt ever cried before. G was a tough baby, always crying but that first time of despair; where you have tried everything and they still just cry? That’s a right of passage right there. At least that’s how I liked to think of it šŸ™‚ I am sorry you both had such a rough day and I hope today continues to be better! xoxo

  8. Oh those early months with Bub can be so tough especially as you start to move into 4 and 5 month territory. Baby teeths and has sleep regressions like nobody’s business and after so long on broken sleep your sleep bank goes seriously into debt. It accumulates and it’s a killer. So some days you will have the shitty days where you cry too and that’s ok. You are such a marvellous mummy. Never forget that. I can tell from your posts how hard you try and how much you love C. This too shall pass and you will move onto other dramas before you know it! Just be grateful the teen ones are still awhile away lol xx

  9. Nothing wrong with sitting down and taking some time to cry yourself. Being a mommy isn’t an easy job, and we all have our limits. Just remember that you’re a fabulous mom! Hope your day has continued to go well!

  10. Sorry things have been difficult. You’re a great mom and you, like everyone else, have your limits. Love your attitude that things can only get better.

  11. Darling Mama. Teething can go jump it’s merry self off the nearest cliff. I hate it. S had a real bad night where she woke up at 10 pm and wouldn’t be consoled until 2 am and I had a 12 hour shift I had to be up for at 5. I did not have an idea what to do. And then she had 2 pearly whites popping through. Things got better and I was reminded that these are all phases, bad days are not forever. Good days will come. And then we’ll prolly cycle again. I hope she feels better, that those adorable heartbreaker eyes are gonna be more smiley for you!!!

  12. Most days mothers are Wonder Woman, but even your Wonder Woman outfit has to be washed at some point. This was just the day they were out for cleaning. You’re an awesome Mum and like you said, you are human šŸ™‚ Humans cry, it’s part of what we do, there is nothing wrong with a good cry now and then, gives the soul a nice rinse of all the crap it has been dealing with šŸ™‚

  13. Crying is nothing to be ashamed of! You had an exhausting day, and you’ll have more of them, but you and Charlie ate both still alive, and that means you won. Fuck laundry.

  14. Poor Charlie and poor you! It must be the worst feeling in the world – You are right though, today is another day and it will be better šŸ™‚ I hope Charlie feels happier soon ! I loved the photos on your other post, and she does have the most adorable smile, totally infectious šŸ™‚

  15. It is absolutely okay to set her down and cry. As long as she is in a space where she can’t get hurt, you can even set her down and walk away to have yourself a good cry. They actually suggest this to daycare providers if we’re having a day where the frustration is high. It’s better to set them down and walk away for a few minutes then to get to a point where you may do something that can harm the baby (not saying you would EVER do that). Just telling you what’s recommended when we take Shaken Baby classes. I hope those teeth pop through very soon and you’re able to get your mellow Charlie back!

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