As a parent you aren’t prepared for a lot of things. The realization that when they tell you that you are in fact pregnant that it is for the rest of your life. The idea that this small adorable blob is relying on your for literally everything and doesn’t understand nor care that there are other ways to obtain food, clothing, and shelter. The physical and mental stamina one has to attain in order to keep up with said blob. Plus a million other small nuances that you never even thought of until they happened.
Tonight wasn’t the first night I felt this one but it was the first time I was able to put some sort of label on it. Tonight I was broken. This is what an exhausted mother looks like. This is what a totally and complete melt down looks like. This is what feeling like a failure looks like. This is what utter defeat looks like. This is what broken looks like. A raw unedited unfiltered broken parent.
For about two weeks our daughter has become a Tron baby and refuses actual sleep. Today she napped for about 20 minutes. We put her into her crib around 10:15 pm and at 11:00 pm Tim went up to gather the screaming banshee because she cried and screamed in her crib for a full 45 minutes. Without stops, without time outs for exhaustion, without anything. Tim played a video game to distract himself from the screams coming from upstairs. I cleaned up the living room and playroom to distract myself. After 45 minutes neither of us could take it anymore and Tim went to get her and I went into the bathroom and was just…broken.
I am so lucky and have an amazing support system. I have my family, my friends of 10 plus years, a group of moms that I’ve met here in Exeter, and my husband. They are always supportive and all of them are first to yell, “You are an amazing mom! You’re amazing parents” when myself or Tim doesn’t feel that way. Let me tell you something, when you feel like you are doing poorly at being a mom it does not matter what people are telling you. You get sucked into a black spiral with barbecue sauce of shame. I felt like everything I do is wrong. I don’t wear her out enough during the day. I don’t do enough of a bedtime routine. I don’t do enough. I am not enough. Eva deserves more.
I decided to write this post because you could have a 100 mom friends, have an incredibly supportive husband, and a best friend a text away but still feel like you are alone in everything. I was alone in that bathroom. I was alone in my feelings. I was alone in my failure. At the end of the day, am I a failure of a mother because my daughter won’t go to sleep? Of course not. I rationally know that but when you are exhausted and have been watching your child all day there is no rationality, there are no calming words, there is only the spiral and the barbecue sauce. That’s it. I wrote this post because I want other moms to see, you are not alone. You are not broken alone.
Thankfully Eva had exhausted herself crying for 45 minutes straight that she went to sleep shortly after we brought her downstairs. Unfortunately when she exhausted herself she also exhausted us. For about two weeks straight Eva hasn’t gone to bed before 11:45 pm some days with naps some days without a nap. She sleeps pretty late into the morning but personally, I need my break at the end of the day. I prefer a moment after war to assess my current situation rather than mentally prepare for the day’s battles. Tim and I weren’t getting breaks. He was working all day then helping with Eva while I watched Eva all day and through the night. It was taking a toll on our mental well being and each other. We get snippy with each other and begrudgingly tell the other that they can go to bed because they watched her the night before until 1:45 am.
There are a lot of cool moments of being a parent, but sometimes you feel like that’s all you get. Moments. Then the not so great moments feel like they turn into a epoch. The last two weeks our house is and was the ice age and there was no sunshine. Today was a better day. We woke up and started our day. Eva and I went and got bagels and coffee while daddy got some well deserved sleep. We carried on. This all may seem mellow dramatic because who hasn’t had a bad day, night, or week? Somehow it feels different. Being a parent of a child makes those dark moments different. You aren’t concerned about yourself anymore, the entire future of your child is in that moment. Sadly those moments just leave you feeling broken.