I’ve been a stay-at-home Mom to Kayleigh since she was born, almost 10 months ago now. At first, taking care of her was really easy because all she did was eat, sleep and poop. I’d put her down to sleep during the day, and she would sleep for hours at a time, giving me time to myself, to relax, work on my blog, clean the apartment, etc. She was a bit of a handful at night, waking up multiple times for feedings, and even though I wasn’t getting much sleep, I still felt like I had a handle on the Mom thing.
Over the months, as she grew, so did her needs. She takes two naps during the day now, that usually only last 1/2 hour each. The rest of the time, she is quite restless, wanting to explore the world around her. While she’s still not crawling or walking yet, she is extremely fidgety, especially during diaper changes. Those have turned into quite a wrestling match. Her little hands and feet are constantly moving. She’s also going through some separation anxiety, so she gets upset and cries when I leave a room, even for just a few seconds. Between caring for her, trying to keep up with housework and work on my blog, it’s easy to get stressed out and overwhelmed.
I miss the days when I could change a diaper without it turning into a wrestling match…
Not having more than a couple of one-hour breaks from taking care of her over the last few months, I had started to feel completely worn out and drained. I longed for a break. A day to myself, to do whatever I wanted, instead of changing poopy diapers, waking up in the middle of the night for feedings, being kicked in the gut during diaper changes, having my neck pinched and my hair pulled by tiny fingers, trying to dress her while she fights me with everything’s she’s got. Oh, how I longed for a day away.
Be careful what you wish for…
Last week I had umbilical hernia surgery, likely an after effect of my pregnancy with Kayleigh. After the surgery I was in A LOT of pain. Yesterday was exactly a week since my surgery, and I am just now starting to feel better. It hurt to do anything. You don’t realize how many things you do on a daily basis involve your belly, until it’s been cut open. It hurt to laugh, sneeze, cough, stand up for more than 5 minutes at a time, stand up from a sitting or laying position, to lay in bed, bend over even just a tiny bit, and even just to sit up straight.
I was unable to care for Kayleigh after my surgery. John took 3 days off from work, and my sister helped out on a couple more. For a week now, I have not been able to hold my daughter, feed her, bathe her, change her diaper or cuddle with her.
I had been longing for a break from all of those things, and I finally got it. John has even been taking care of all the household chores around here, so I’ve pretty much had to do nothing at all for the last week.
This Mom break has really been bittersweet, though. At first, it was kind of great. I sat on the couch, and relaxed while I watched John wrestle with her for feedings and diaper changes. I laid in bed while he attended to her night time feedings. I slept in while he got up with her at 6:00am. It was kind of wonderful, really.
After the first couple of days went by though, I really started to miss my baby girl. She was right there in the same room with me, yet I couldn’t hold her. She would cry, and I could not run to her and pick her up in my arms. I couldn’t brush her hair out of her face with my fingers and tell her everything was going to be ok.
I’d give anything to pick her up and hold her tightly in my arms again…
Today was the first day since my surgery that I have spent alone with her. I still can’t lift her or carry her for another week, so we spent all day lounging on the floor in a mountain of blankets and fluffy pillows. While I am still longing for things to be back to normal between us, I was so happy to be able to spend the day with her sitting next to me. I got to (carefully) feed her, and change her diaper, and watch cartoons with her all day. The next week can’t go by fast enough!
This Mom break has certainly helped me to realize just how lucky I am. The next time I am feeling stressed out, or overwhelmed after taking care of her for days on end, I will think back to this time when I couldn’t be with her, and be grateful for the time I get to spend with her.