Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Some thoughts on motherhood

Being a mom is amazing...but exhausting! Some people have told me, "you'll sleep when they are 18". I laughed and thought, yeah right, we'll get plenty of sleep. Well, I feel as if I've been living in a state of exhaustion, both physical and mental, since Jackson was born 7 1/2 months ago.  The days of eating every 3 hours (meaning approximately 3 cycles of 1.5 hours of sleep) are long behind us and Jackson sleeps pretty well from 6pm to 4am (and then again till roughly 7 after he eats), but who can go to sleep at 6pm?  I ran with a friend the other day whose daughters are about 4 and 2 (sorry B, I am terrible with ages!) and she told me she is still always exhausted. Well, at least it's good to know that it's not just me and that we moms can all support each other or have a pity party some days :)  

Some people say, "sleep when they sleep", which is great advice but it's really difficult to get your kid in bed and then wind down for a nap. By the time J stops fussing, I might be able to drift off for a few minutes but he's up and at 'em in no time wanting to play again.  And then when are you supposed to get things done around the house? I know that the house doesn't have to look perfect (which has been a huge area of growth for me as I have surrendered that) but we must eat and we can't live in a complete pigsty.  However, on Monday night, I went to bed at 7:30pm and it was amazing. Jonathan came home at 1am and then Jackson woke up again at 4:45 or so, but it was roughly 10 hours of sleep. Enough to help me fight this allergy attack (who else gets allergies in June? Just me? What pollen is it?) and feel somewhat human at work.

A big topic recently is Scheduling.  I talked with mom a lot before and after Jackson was born about her thoughts on scheduling. She kept us on a strict schedule and I wondered if she would do it again. She told me that it was a big sacrifice for her, having to give up things she would rather be doing to allow us to sleep and have a pattern to our days and nights.  But, she would do it again in a heartbeat. 
When J was little, we could take him anywhere and he would sleep in the carrier, which was such a treat! Then, he got older and became relatively good at taking naps in his crib (if you count 45 minutes as a nap), but they were never at regular times. It was hard for me to understand how in the world I was ever going to be one of those moms who could do things every day at the same hour with her kids. How could I get him to nap and eat at the same time each day? We picked a pattern for our eating and then the naps magically came out of our eating schedule.  Now he tends to naps at 9, 12 and 3 but is flexible if he gets up too early or later than normal and we can adjust his naps.  He is still a champ at sleeping in the car and the stroller while I'm running so we can get in some catnaps if he's refusing his crib that day.  A few months ago, i was talking with a friend whose girl just turned one and she stated that her bedtime was 6pm. 6pm?!?! That was CRAZY early! However, we realized that Jackson hit the 'witching hour' every afternoon/evening around 5-5:30pm and we decided to try a 6pm bedtime. BEST DECISION EVER.  Thank you Christina, for your amazing idea.  Now Jonathan and I get to spend time together (If he is not working), I get to clean the house, watch TV or just go to bed.  

We've "mastered" the schedule for Jackson, but it doesn't come easy. As mom told me, it does come at the expense of other things. As I continue to see, motherhood is about sacrifice, but in a loving way because I love J more than anything (third behind my other J's, Jesus and Jonathan). I want him to be a well rested, happy child and for us that means getting good sleep.  We loved reading this book, which helped us learn about the importance of sleep. I don't follow this detail by detail, but I like the philosophy behind well rested kids.  However it means missing birthday dinners, time at the beach with friends, seeing other friends with babies who have regular nap schedules, evening runs, etc. It means that we give up some things we would rather be doing for the health of Jackson.  At this stage of his life, it's a sacrifice we are willing to make and we are glad for our family and friends who understand our decisions.  

Some things that have been blessings in the crazy first few months of motherhood:
Amazing family members who have come to visit, cook, clean, watch Jackson and love on us.
Friends who swap babysitting so we can go on a date without spending a fortune
Creating a month of meals, and only going to the grocery store 1-2x/month (also good for the budget)
Friends, both those with kids and those without. The ones without kids help to give me perspective on how there is more to life than just jackson. Those with kids are an amazing support system
My BOB jogger and friends who run with me
Jonathan, who is an amazing dad. More to come in a Father's day post :)
People who cooked meals for us
Coffee and cookie dough
Women's Bible Study at church and our new Nurture group

Wow, that was a lot. Here is what we've been up to recently

We went to see Brooke Langa, who was just born after Mother's Day. AJ and Jonathan work together and Laura and I have become good friends.  Brooke is super cute and we know that the two of them are going to be best buds.  

Jackson and I went to check out OpSail for an hour and watch the parade of ships. It was amazing to see the size of the ships at Waterside. Some looked like pirate ships. Awesome.  Jackson even seemed to watch one group of people as they were lowering a sail.  

You're so vain, you probably think this song is about you.  

Jackson is mobile. It's the most ridiculous thing ever to watch because he can't crawl, but he can use every combination of rolling, scooting backwards and coming to a seated position to get where he wants to go. He made it from the couch over to the fireplace in about 5 minutes. I think we might be in for a big weight loss (sad, no more squishy thighs) in the near future as he continues to move move move.  

One of the best parts of my month. I brought J into the room the other morning when I left for work and Jonathan was taking care of him. I brought his giraffe toy to keep him entertained and when I came home from work, the toy was waiting for me on my side of the bed. It's such a sweet reminder that we have a precious little boy in our family now and I love to see those little reminders especially when I come home and he is already in bed. 

Standing at the couch. Trouble.  

1 comment:

  1. love this! glad to see the bit about scheduling :) i just put sofi down for bed... at 1000. sigh. it works for us because that way i'm not lonely when daddy's gone in the evenings... but still! i may be picking your brain more about that in the future. see you friday :)