Thursday, 3 February 2011

I Shoulded All Over Myself

Honestly?  I have been trying to write this blog post for a month.  It started out all hearts and stars and rainbows about how lucky I was that I hadn't had any problems with the baby blues and how lucky I was that I had such an easy-going baby.  I thought that after a few weeks, I was out of the woods of what was going to be the most difficult.

See, I assumed the hardest part about having a baby would be the first couple of weeks.  Turns out, they lull you into a false sense of security in those first two weeks, then show their true colours around 4-5 weeks old.  At least, that's how it went in Vivian's case.  It was around that point that I hit a wall.

See, I'm one of those people who have a hard time asking for help and admitting that they need help.  So when it got to the point that I wasn't sleeping enough, wasn't eating enough and was getting down on myself, I still couldn't bear to ask Jagger to watch Vivian for an hour so I could take a bath or lay down for a few minutes, just to get away.

After about a week of meltdowns and weepiness, I started to realize what my real problem was.

Yes, Vivian is a difficult baby.  She's a good baby, don't get me wrong, but she's a difficult baby.  She requires a lot of work and is very particular.  If you're not doing something exactly right, she'll freak right out.  But my real problem was the S-word.

Should.

I got so caught up in what I should be doing and what I should be able to do.

I thought that I should have lost more weight and I should be able to get more done around the house.  Vivian should be sleeping more during the day and should be eating more on a schedule.  I should be able to cook a meal and feed myself during the day instead of eating a granola bar and calling it a day.

I should have it more together.  I should be able to handle this without help.

I shoulded all over myself, and it was awful.

I've been completely uncomfortable with myself because of the weight and was mentally drained from the fact that Vivian was on me all day and all night.  I wasn't getting a break and I was beating myself up because of it.

Things are better now.  I've been trying to let go of the shoulds and have been able to focus more on "can".  Today, I can go for a walk.  I can make dinner tonight, so I'm going to enjoy it.  I can take a bath if I feel like I need a break.  I can take a nap if I need to.  I can put Vivian down and let her cry if that's what I have to do.  I can get frustrated.  I can cry.

It's so easy to get caught up in the negative right now, especially since it's winter and difficult to get out of the house.

Things are never going to be what you expect them to be, and you can't negotiate with babies.  All you can do is forgive yourself and move on.

4 comments:

Amanda Brown, CHom said...

Great blog post! It is so true, and those feelings continue even has your baby ages! We have to remind ourselves that we can do it, and we must take time for ourselves! It just takes a litte more planning when you have little one's. Hang in there, life will get easier, I promise!

Hannah Kincade said...

you are so right! This could be applied to many areas but especially, when it comes to parenting. Everyone tells you the "right" way and what you "should" be doing. Just take care of you and enjoy your little one and most importantly, realize you can't do everything. I'm glad you found a balance! Good luck!

Eleven's Ink said...

Oh Ashlie I love the sincerity of your words. What a great post. You are doing wonderful and your daughter looks healthy, that's the most important!!

And how true that we get caught up in the shoulds instead of the can and appreciate it. Loved your entry!

Dan Brown said...

I admire your honesty. I know it's easy for me to say, but I'm sure -- with you and Jagger for parents -- Vivian is going to turn out to be a great person. I am being honest when I say I am so glad you two are in charge of raising the next generation. It gives me hope for the future. Vivian is in good hands.