A Bittersweet Mom Break

 Posted by on March 6, 2014  Add comments  Tagged with: ,
Mar 062014

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.  

Kayleigh and Me

Has there ever been a time when you couldn’t take care of your children like you wanted to? How did you get through it?

  8 Responses to “A Bittersweet Mom Break”

  1. I know what you mean! Bubbles was 11 months old when I had to suddenly have my gallbladder out. I wasn’t to lift her or do anything but lay or sit for 10 days and by the 3rd day I was cheating. I missed snuggling with her too much.

    • I was definitely sneaking in some cuddle time with her earlier than I should have too Liza. I just couldn’t help it! I am so close to being back to normal. I have a follow appt. with the surgeon on Tues., so I’m hoping he’ll give me the ok!

  2. I know exactly what you mean. My son did not take very long naps when he was little, and it was a shock and very hard on me. I had to have surgery when he was young and could not take care of him for a week. My husband helped me and I missed my son during the time that I could not take care of him. Our children are so precious, and when they are little I made sure to really treasure my son, and we have a strong bond! Sometimes, I miss the years when he was little. I am glad that you are feeling better.

    • Thank you Julie! It is definitely hard not being able to care for her. I think we all just have that Mommy instinct inside of us to take care of our babies. It’s so hard when we don’t have control over that!

  3. I had gall bladder attacks from the time my son was 6 weeks until I had it removed 4 months later. I couldn’t take care of him, and my mom came and stayed during every attack and the after the surgery as well. It is hard to not follow instinct and pick them up, but you need that time to heal.

  4. So glad you’re feeling a bit better, Mindy!

    … and YES. We sit around WISHING we could get just a SECOND of peace, but then we get that time and all we want is our kids again! I always say, “I wish I could get even ONE night off! ONE night… in a hotel room, alone, just LAY!” — Then I have those opportunities … and I complain about how badly I just want to go home already and see my family.

    I’ve been suffering from SEVERE back pain/sciatica since my daughter was born (January 2013). Progressively got to the point where I could barely stand, sit up, walk, carry my kids, BATHE my kids…It was SO tough having to look at my 4.5 year old son and tell him I *literally* couldn’t pick him up (I could barely stand up!). Thankfully, I saw a doctor and now the pain is 85% gone (still there, but I can DEAL.)

    I never knew how much I loved being able to do things we take for granted every day (hold my daughters hand and help her take first steps, lean down to play ‘Iron Man versus Batman’ with my son..) – Now, I won’t take it for granted.. I never know if I will wake up tomorrow with a totally stiff back again and be unable to cuddle my kids.

    P.P.S. She’s adorable! I’m gunna go cuddle my little girl now :O) ((because my son is apparently TOO COOL for cuddles now, so HOLD tight! They don’t let you do it for that long…)


    • Wow Nicole, I’m so glad to hear that you are feeling better now too. I dealt with bad sciatic pain in one side while I was pregnant. It’s not fun! I’ve finally been able to really take care of Kayleigh over the last couple of days (the surgeon gave me the go ahead on Tuesday), and it feels SO GOOD to be able to pick her up and really hold her again. I’m soaking up every minute of it!

  5. […] Sincerely Mindy:  A Bittersweet Mom Break […]

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