Monday, January 25, 2010

And then you realize that you're your own problem

So earlier today I wrote this long, venting post about how we aren't getting any sleep and how there's this proffered solution, and how my husband hasn't read it and how it makes me want to stab him.

Not irrevocably. Just a little.

But the real problem is not my husband or the fact that he hasn't read one particular fucking book. And in fact, I feel like a huge asshole for complaining.

The real problem is more like this: The real me has gone somewhere - probably on some exotic vacation - and left this sleep-deprived, low-humor, crabby, wrinkly, flabby woman in her place.

Neither of us get enough sleep. We're both trying to be good parents. And we're both maintaining full time jobs - and Nick's is fuller than full time, really.

And we have this house that's still so much work. Work that Nick does a lot of. And on top of everything else, he's a fantastic dad. He really is.

While me, I don't feel like such a fantastic mom. I feel like I do a good job of feeding Big J and playing with him and talking to him. Really, everything during the day. But I am so tired and resentful at night.

At night, I wish we could close the door on a soundproof room and just not hear him till morning. I want eight straight hours of sleep. Truth be told, I want ten.

How horrible is that? It makes me feel so guilty.

And I also feel like a sucky wife. I'm no fun. I'm always tired. I get mad and stabby so easily. And even so, Nick supports me.

I miss being enthusiastic and energetic and joking and laughing and putting on cute outfits and wearing tarty boots. I miss the me I used to be.

One evening last week the weather was lovely and a couple people ran past me on my walk home. And I thought, oh, if I didn't have a child, I'd be out for a delicious evening run. And then probably I'd be meeting friends for drinks. We'd chat and laugh and maybe even drink too much. And then I'd crawl in bed and sleep all night.

I feel like being a mom just consumes me. I love J so much and wouldn't trade being his mom for anything.

But I feel like I scrape by with the bare minimum in every other piece of my life.

And there I am, complaining about the men in my life, when really, I'm my own problem.


  1. Keep your chin up friend! Sleep is on it's way soon. :)

  2. errrrrr. its not it's. I hate when I do that.

  3. I can say from recent experience that you are pretty fabulous, just as you are. And if this is your bare minimum, well... dang, lady. You set a pretty goshdarn high bar.

    Also, you are not low-humor, crabby, wrinkly, or flabby.

    Perhaps the sleep deprivation is fucking with your self-perception, just a tad?

  4. It's so hard to work full time and then come home and be too tired to deal with baby. It's like when I was away I missed the kid but when I was with her I missed myself.
    Really- dont' compair yourself to Nick (and don't let him do that either) if he seems fine now, he may have trouble later- trouble you may take in stride.
    What was I saying?

    Yes, you should try Ferber (or whatever) it's a sucky few nights but it really is a sanity saver.
    He's 5 months now, completely different than letting a newborn cry it out.

    Or else find someone who owes you big and you trust to stay at your place with Jordan, and get a hotel for a night.
    I swear the sleep thing gets better.

  5. I don't have kids so I can't comment on the mom-stuff but I do have sleep issues so I will comment on the sleep-deprivation stuff. When I'm sleep deprived, I am a monster. A cranky, irritable, snappy, snarky, MEAN monster. I say the shittiest things to the people I love most. Things that I wouldn't even dare THINK if I was well-rested. And then I get a good night's sleep and all of a sudden I love everyone again. What I'm trying to say is that just because you feel like you're a low-humor, crabby, wrinkly, flabby woman RIGHT NOW you won't be a low-humor, crabby, wrinkly, flabby woman FOREVER.
    Hugs, lady. Big hugs.

  6. I always appreciate your honesty as a mother, and the things you mention are many of the reasons I don't want kids. Maybe someday, but not in the next 5 years.

    Sleep deprivation sucks! You should see if Betty will watch J for an entire weekend, while you have a spa getaway or just go stay at a hotel overnight with a lovely soft bed. Taking time for you (and your husband) only makes you a BETTER parent.

    Also, winter darkness makes me depressed. Maybe some sun would help if you live in a cloudy climate too. I miss "me" as well lately, although my issue is a stressful new job (that I really like) and not a baby. Good luck!

  7. When you're so tired everything seems much worse. But if you really think about it, things are on their way to better. And as each month goes by, you'll get more and more of yourself back - just as you have from the days when you first came home from the hospital. Pretty soon, J will be sleeping 12 hours and you will sleep well my friend. And that well deserved rest will make all the difference.

    And, even though you won't have the same life you spoke about when it was just you, you'll have a life that you probably envied when you were that single person. It's all good. I think you sound like a fabulous mom and wife - just a wee bit worn out right now.

  8. Lisa, you're fantastic and I adore you. I hope you and Nick get some sleep soon!

  9. Did I ever tell you that I think being a mommy is like getting yourself ripped apart... and what's left?? Your baggage... Seriously, the emotional turmoil is really hard to believe.

    Being honest helps... sometimes venting gives me the ability to say "ah! it's really not that bad" and that makes me feel better. Facing up to who I really am - especially under duress - has forced me to grow up in a really cool way.... Does that make sense...

    love ya! keep writing, and would love to see you...

  10. *hugs*... You are a wonderful mother and person and wife and daughter and friend and lots of other things.

    Being sleep deprived makes everyone pissy... but you're tough enough to make it through this.

  11. You know you have every right to want to feel whole. It doesn't matter if it's the tarty boots or drinks with friends, you can totally feel that you're sacrificing a little of yourself, because you totally are.

    And J, well, he's so sweet and beautiful, and you know you love him and are lucky to have him and Nick.

    So I say, vent, bitch a little, get it off your chest -- whatever makes you feel better.

    And if it's funny, or insightful, feel free to share it with the rest of us. :)

    Much love to you from Dallas!

  12. somehow your previou spost made it to my reader and for the record it didn't read as a slight to your husband, more of a humorous recount of how grumpus this no sleep thing can getcha.
    anyway, if it makes you feel any better i feel kinda similar and we don't even have a baby. we alwasy doubt ourselves and feel like we're not being "enough" - good enough mom, happy enough wife, etc.
    but we are, we just have down times. it's necessary so that we rest and reset to can go back to being our "enough" selves sooner!
    (at least that's how i see it)

  13. I hate to tell you this, but you will continue to feel that way on and off probably forever. As women and moms, we beat ourselves up for totally normal feelings. Right now, it's really bad because of the no sleep thing. That will pass. Soon, he'll only be waking up once a night, or not at all and you'll get the sleep.

    But, Jessica is 4 and there are days where I feel like I want to RUN and just go somewhere quiet where no one wants anything of me. It's NORMAL. You're not a bad mommy! I'm sure you're a great mommy, which is why you feel guilty for wanting time to yourself. Time you SHOULD have and time you deserve.

    If it's particularly bad right now, have someone watch him for a while on the weekend. Go get a pedicure and have lunch with friends. With no guilt! President Obama put it best when asked about how he felt about his mother in law moving into to the White House at the request of his wife. His answer "When mama's happy, everybody's happy!" Too true. Do something little, just for yourself. You'll get through this rough patch and feel better!!! {{{{HUGS}}}}

  14. Hey there -

    Ever since you wrote the post about Nick not calling you Lis I have an almost irresistible urge to do it myself.

    In any case - I feel you. Alex is a few weeks younger than Big J but we are bombarded with tales of babies his age who have been sleeping through the night for ages. We're still up 3 times a night. What's the solution you're interested in?

    Really though, not getting enough sleep is the worst. And I get so mad at my husband when he wakes up and says "So how was he last night?" because in his dead to the world sleep he heard nothing. But still, he complains how tired he is.

    I guess what I'm saying is - it's not you. It's sleep. I highly recommend getting a hotel for the night to reconnect with your hubby, maybe see some friends and get some sleep. I also highly recommended not getting drunk when you get that hotel and being hungover enough that you wish for another day of rest. Cause I don't know about you, but I have no idea what my tolerance is anymore :)

    I am sure we'll get some sleep some time.

  15. im not a hot mamma like you (a mamma at all, unless you could to a furry feline), but i can imagine that when im in your shoes, ill be feeling really similar. i can imagine it's hard missing what once was, and at the same time, loving what you have right now. i have a feeling that with some more time, J will be sleeping more and YOU'LL be sleeping more. and more sleep means less stabby-ness, and less stabby-ness means more time to enjoy the you that you miss with your husband, shop for tarty boots, and go for a many a delicious evening run. until then, write it out, vent here, and just take a deep breath. we're all rooting for you!

  16. I've been thinking about your post, and I thought I'd suggest maybe a slight switch in your approach. My BF had a baby almost 2 years ago, and I have admired she and her husband for being commited to living a very similar life post-baby. You mentioned feeling sad about not being able to go on a run. Why not? Put baby J in a jogging stroller and I bet he'd love the fresh air as much as you. Drinks with friends - find a baby-friendly happy hour. We take my BF's baby to happy hour all the time. She loves all of the people to look at, and we have a great time. It just requires some creativity :)

  17. It's hard! Don't sell yourself short. Everything changes in your life-then you go back to work and do everything pretty much as you had before-but now there's a baby along for the ride. A lot to adjust to and miss. It doesn't mean you don't love Big J-just that you're human. We all go through this-at least all the mom's I know. Ditto on the stabby at your husband feelings. And when you're sleep deprived, forget it! What always worked for us was to ask my parents if they would come over and spend the night and we would slip out to a nearby hotel. Room service and sleep was the name of the game. It always helped. Hang in there-it's a roller coaster sometimes, but so worth it-which I know you get. :)

  18. Rindy - Thank you! :) And I do that with who's and whose. I always have to double check. Always.

    Dagny - As always, you make me sound so much more fabulous than I feel like I am. And the sleep deprivation, not so great for my self-perception, that's for sure.

    MaryH - Ugh. I want to let him cry it out...but then what if he's hungry? And Nick has a lower tolerance than I do for the extended crying.

    As for getting away - I am totally going to, as soon as I stop breastfeeding!

    Hillary - YES! This is exactly what happens to me. It makes me evil. Last night I got better sleep, and the world is a happier place all around. It's wild. Big hugs to you.

    Tia - Thank you for your suggestions, and thank you so much for thinking about this and returning. I do want a WHOLE weekend away - and maybe even away from both the men in my life. And I will do this post-breastfeeding.

    As for the run - I think he's getting close to being able to sit in the jogging stroller, and wow, will that be liberating!

    As for baby-friendly HH - THAT is a fantastic idea. I would love that.

    Kate - Yes. Tired, everything seems hopeless. It's true that we're in such a better place than 5 months ago. And once he is really sleeping, oh, things will be good.

    HKW - Thank you, sweet Heather! Hugs!

    Party of Five - You are so right. On all of it.

    VVK - Thank you, really, thank you! Yah, I'm tough. But boy do I get pissy.:)

    Miss Dallas - I appreciate that, I really do. It's very freeing to hear.

    notsojenny - I'm glad to hear that. I felt like such a jerk.

    cla517 - I love that. When mama's happy, everybody's happy. :) I do need something ME, just me. And thank you for pointing out how normal and common this is.

    KLZ - You are more than welcome to call me Lis. Honey Chinese Cheese, however, is reserved for Nick.:)

    I get so jealous with the tales of all night sleepers. We are really trying to get his day nap schedule down - ala Weisbluth and others - and have an early, regular bedtime, in the hope that once he's got regular and enough sleep, long sleep will fall into place. Other than that, I am OK with crying it out, but Nick, not as much.

    And you are right on the drinking. I got drunk on our anniversary and thought I was going to die the next day.

    Good luck to you on the sleep as well!

    brookem - You're a hot catmama! Once we all sleep more, the world will be such a better place on a regular basis. Thank you for rooting for me! I appreciate it.

  19. This is when I wish we lived in the same city so I could be all, "I'll babysit! You sleep!" but silly San Francisco is so damn far away.

  20. I get what you are saying, but I also think perhaps a little perspective could help. You have a wonderful husband, you are both gainfully employed, you have what sounds like a wonderful house (that you own) and you have the beautiful baby you really wanted. Some of us dream of having those things. Not to diminish your feelings--just saying that your life sounds pretty good to me!

  21. OMG, I feel the same way. Our baby Morgan is almost 3 months old and what I would give for some more sleep. I go back to work on Monday so I know it is about to get harder. And, you know, my husband (who is generally awesome) has not read a damn book either and I resent it. I also think it is ok to feel that way. I know it will get better eventually even though, right now, that does not seem possible. Please let me know when it gets better for you so I can look for the light at the end of the tunnel! In the mean time good luck and best wishes... I have been told it is kinda a right of passage for new parents... whatever LOL

  22. What a great resource!


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