Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Longest Guilty 90 Minutes of My Life.

Are you a mommy? Are you gonna be a mommy? Aspire to be a mommy some day? Let me tell you something right now. The faster you can learn to separate a small part of yourself from your baby, the faster you will be able to let them fly on their own. Not literally fly. Actually, in some cases, like my Gladys, flying seems to be one of the career paths she may gravitate towards based on her lack of fear of danger and ability to put herself as high as she can even if that means making her Grandpa Neil hold her or crawling on top of her favorite Leap Frog table bought by her Uncle Geoff. Anyways, you need to know right now that you are holding your baby back by giving into their every big (small for them) desire. As you may already know, I have succumbed to the bad habits of never putting my baby down for nap time. Instead, I hold, rock, soothe, nurse, sing, read...until she falls limp in my arms where I continue to hold her through the back pain, numb arms, and piling up household chores. And then 2 hours will pass and I begin to cater to her every 'awake' desire. On this new journey, I have been learning to let go and teach her some independence while I guiltily abide by my desire for my own independence. It has not been easy. I started by finding out what her favorite play things were. I put those things in her play pens along with her favorite blankets. I slowly began the process of putting her in her play pens while I accomplished household chores. I started with 10 minutes at a time and now she will hang out in her play pens for a maximum of an hour before deciding enough is enough. So the next task was to get her to go to sleep without needing to nurse. I let daddy take on the chore and he has done very very well. Except! She still slithers under the covers and under my shirt (yes, it's true!) in the middle of the night to get her num nums. I understand that this is not healthy for either of us so I decided a few days ago to try to get her to enjoy her crib once again. She used to love her crib for day time naps until she was about 4 months old and really I think that may have been because we moved around that time. Around about that time I felt really guilty spending so much time packing, painting, cleaning, unpacking, lifting, moving, painting, painting, and painting and not enough time cuddling my baby. That's probably when she started liking the naps with me instead of in the crib and I probably encouraged it more than necessary. So anyways! Here we are a few days ago trying out the crib again. I decided my 20 minutes with Jillian would be a perfect amount of time for her to hang out in her Bellini.  Towards the end of my work out, I glanced over to see Miss G swinging her leg over the railing. Well, crap. That quickly put a damper on things for me. No way was a baby falling out of her crib on my watch. So I gave up and decided its time for a big girl bed which is on hold until we get some extra money to make that happen. I was feeling a little bit defeated this morning when, like the past few mornings, she got up earlier than I wanted her to and I didn't get my morning work out. Feeling blah, we did breakfast and a snack and playtime and I seen her rubbing her red eyes and decided to leap into action like Supermommy or something. I decided it was off to the crib, now or never! After a few screams, a few hugs, a few tears, a few kisses, she plopped down on her butt in her crib, stuck out her bottom lip, and fell over in a very defeated manner while I quickly hopped on my exercise bike and beat out 41 miles in 75 minutes. The entire time I was on my bike, I kept getting an ache in my upper back and I imagined my daughter in her crib burning a hole thru my back with her evil little stare and putty little lip. When the burning feeling got so intense I couldn't stand it, I turned to look over my shoulder to see a content sleeping little angel creating a small puddle of drool on her most favorite fleece blankie and I knew that I was doing something good, not just for myself, but for her too. She is still quietly sleeping as I am quietly blogging. This small amount of time, where I can be just me, not a mom or wife, just me, is going to be what gets me through the rest of my day and evening and this nap that Gladys is getting is the longest nap she has had for months and I know it is what she needs also, to get her through the rest of her day and evening. I know it's a win win situation but at the time it caused me to truly feel physically hurt to put my baby down. Why is it that we do this to ourselves? It's not like I am a first time mom! I know the importance of learning to nap and sleep on their own. Rhonny tried sleeping with us until she was 4! I have to keep telling myself to be diligent about this. The working out time is showing itself to be worth it and if I want my body to change as much as my life, I need to be more diligent in my efforts. I need to seek out more support. I need to surround myself with positivity and love. It is those 2 things alone that started me on this journey and I feel strongly that they are what will keep me on my path. I also know that when my Little Peanut wakes up, she will greet me with all the love and positivity she can muster up and that happiness any parent feels when their babies hug back will wash away any guilt that I may still be feeling.