Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Restless in Richmond

  Emerson's 1st Birthday is right around the corner and if there is one thing I did NOT anticipate, it would be her still not sleeping through the night. She is such a smart, beautiful, happy baby no one knows what a struggle we have with her at night.
  Reading web sites about baby sleep is probably the worst idea in the world, since each one contradicts each other in advice and will generally leave you feeling hopeless. Tonight I just needed to rant about this to get it out. As I type, Emerson is crying in the other room, tired beyond belief, but unable to sleep.
  We have a bed time routine. It is one we do every night at the same time. We nurse and snuggle, we read a book, I rock and sing her a couple songs, and then she goes in her crib. Some nights, she sleeps without a fight, other nights she fights all night long. Our baby definitely does not lack determination!
  In the past year, we have tried allowing her to cry it out, we have constituted set nap times, we have read and implemented dozens of books, tried feeding her different foods, put a white noise machine and projector in her room, and a variety of other things. Nothing seems to work. And everyone who offers up advice swears their magic formula for sleep will work, but to date no suggestions have worked. Instead of people's advice being encouraging it now has the opposite effect of discouraging.
  And so the sleep deprivation continues. And it this point I can assure you I have some serious sleep deprivation going on. To the point it scares me sometimes. I can tell I am not as alert as I should be, which causes a fear of driving because I think I may fall asleep behind the wheel. And I know that pregnancy hormones aren't helping in the worrying about sleep or inability to sleep. Most days I am so exhausted I don't know how I will make it through another one.
  I have learned a big lesson this year about parenting from this experience though. It is not to compare to other people or assume you know what they go through. Recently an acquaintance told me she thought being a stay at home mom was so easy. She didn't understand why everyone said it was so hard, that when you are tired you can sit down and rest, and that they all needed to stop whining. I choked down the desire to lay a verbal smack down, but weeks later it still bothers me. And I want to know what kind of kids she has that you can sit down and rest and not constantly be on watch. I know I need a room in the house that is completely baby proof, but having a one year old, I can tell you no room is ever this way. Emerson is so curious and busy that she starts picking at the carpet edging if she can't find anything else.
  Now I'm not saying that being able to stay home with her is not a wonderful and awesome experience, because I love it. I love being able to watch her grow and learn, to snuggle her during the days, and to love on her like crazy. It is the best job in the world, even if I think it's one of the most demanding. But if anyone wants to send the sandman our way, I won't complain one bit about the dust on the floor. I'll even leave him treats like kids do for Santa. Please Mr. Sandman being us a full night sleep. At least one in the coming year. I don't know that I can handle two babies if I don't get some sleep at night. However, Emerson just finally fell asleep, so I am going to sleep while I can for now!

Saturday, May 10, 2014


"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way..."(A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens)

If you are a Mom, you get this quote. Motherhood comes in so many shapes and sizes. For some it is a  future hope for others an every day reality. Some of the best mothers I know don't have children of their own. But they have mother hearts. They give all and ask for nothing in return. My sister Darcie is one of the best examples of this I know.

Today was an incredibly hard day. Being pregnant and chasing after Emerson is sometimes more than I can take. Occasionally instead of finding joy in the journey, I am trying to get the journey over as fast as possible. We all need a break sometime though. Acknowledging you can't do it all is okay. 

But acknowledging all the things your mother has done for you is essential! I am in awe of the line of incredible mothers I come from. I honestly don't know how my Mother made it look so effortless. She worked full time but still made us a priority always. And then there is my Grandma, who is the toughest woman I know! She raised 10 kids, and from what I understand she did it without much help from my Grandpa. Yet she has one of the biggest giving hearts I know. The same one I see in my sister Darcie. The same one I am trying each day to develop.

Some days as a mom, everything is joyous. Other days it can feel like the winter of despair. Being a stay at home mom can feel extremely lonely, but then you get one of those sweet front tooth grins and you get the strength you need for one more diaper change, one more snuggle, or a little more patience when you have picked her water bottle up off the floor for the 18th time.

Although it is hard, I know motherhood is God's work. To finish with the words of Charles Dickens:

"It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done"

Thank you Mom for everything you've done and still do! I love you! Happy Mother's Day!