|she's cute but she's exhausting|
Helena's "schedule" for the past few days has been tiring. She's up in the afternoon, from about 2:30pm to 9:30pm. She'll take small cat naps for about 20 minutes (if I'm lucky, they are usually about 5-10 minutes) during that stretch of time. Our pattern is for her to get a clean diaper, eat, be a happy content baby for about 10-15 minutes, then she is just fussy. Sometimes it's small grunts, other times it is full on screaming bloody murder, or a combination of all things fussy. I don't know why she's upset, if her stomach aches, or if something else is going on? Eventually she'll relax enough and close her eyes, but no more than for 20 minutes, and we just repeat our pattern. From start to finish it's about a 3 hour cycle. A few rounds of this, and I know she is exhausted, and by the end of the day I'm exhausted. But little girl just won't take an afternoon nap. I question if this is normal? Helena is definitely more aware of her surroundings, does she cry just for me to come pick her up? Does she cry just to cry? Does she cry because something is wrong?, if so, what's wrong? I'm starting to question everything and wonder what in the world I'm doing?!
The upside to this schedule is she's sleeping for much longer stretches at night. And once she does get her nighttime feeding, she seriously goes straight to sleep. As of right now her longest stretch has been almost 6 hours! And with all things considered I would much rather have a fussy daytime baby that won't sleep than a up all nighttime baby. ...although last night was a rough one, as Helena and I were out in the living room at 2:30am, and never went back to bed. But the nights up are far more infrequent than her nights where she'll eat and go right back to sleep. For that I am thankful.
I definitely have a case of "Mommy Guilt". And that hasn't helped with the mental exhaustion. In addition to entertaining Helena during the day I want to keep the house cleaned, the dishes put away, and the laundry done. What's difficult about this, is it's all me. Chris could seriously care less if the house was clean. And I know people say that all of those things can wait, but don't they need to get done eventually?! I'm doing my best to enjoy my baby, as she's already changing so much, I like to think I'm staying present, making mental notes of this time, but in the back of my head I also see it as my responsibility to keep the house kept. In the days when things don't get done I definitely find myself feeling guilty. I feel like I'm a bad wife, or a bad mom, or both. I know it's in my own head, but it is still there. The days go by super quick but I'm almost confused when Chris asks me at night what me and the baby have been doing, and I don't really have an answer for him.
I pray things will get easier (they do get easier, right?!) and in time I'll figure it out. Right now I just feel like I have no clue what it is that I'm doing, and for the most part that's because I really don't know what I'm doing. There is usually a moment or two each day when Helena will snuggle up against me and let me know that I'm doing an OK job, and those moments are the ones worth remembering.