Saturday, November 17, 2012


This is a bluntly honest post. If you don't like it, tough- it's where I am at right now, and I am choosing to be honest and not hide.

I have to admit, Monday marks 6 weeks since I gave birth, and I am in a bit of a frenzy. I am not sure if I have a touch of the baby blues, or if I am just insanely on edge from being home all day with three kids under 6, only leaving the house to drive Micah to school or to go to church on Sunday, or once a week to the grocery store and the fruit stand.

It's not post-postpartum depression, it's more like post-postpartum rage. Or postpartum disgusted-with-everything. Or postpartum I-need-a-break.

After my first birth, I was frankly too exhausted after a 30+hour labor and having half the blood supply of a normal, healthy adult to have the baby blues. I went back to work after about 4 weeks, and back to nursing school at about 9 weeks. I went back to school originally at 3 weeks, but decided that it was too much to handle and too another 6 off for my sanity.

I didn't have the baby blues much after having Levi. I had a great 9 weeks off of work after delivery, and only went back 1 day a week for 2 months before deciding to stay home permanently. Breastfeeding was a great victory for me after my horrible experience with Micah, and I got to stay at home with my babies.

Fast forward to now. I have a boy turning 6 next month, a boy who is a 21 month bolt of lightening, and a boy who is almost 6 weeks old that wants to be nursing constantly and requires a lot of attention.

But so does the 21 monther. He needs me to be just as attentive (for his own safety and for our house to not be destroyed!), he needs me to be more loving then ever because he is dealing with jealousy and feeling like he has been put on the back burner, and he still wants to nurse for that comfort.

And the 6 year old needs me, too. Not as much as he used to- he is starting to flap his wings and fly a little further from mommy all the time. But he needs to know that he is not forgotten. And he needs to know that he is not mommy's constant helper; he needs to know that it's okay to just be a kid. And not to have to worry about what mommy needs help with, or have his little brother wanting every single thing that he touches. He needs to know that he is important to our family and that he is loved.

Not only do all of them need me, but my husband needs me, too. He has been working like a dog to provide for us. He was blessed with starting a new job last week at a cardiology office. It's a Monday-Friday, office hours kind of job. No weekends, no holidays, one week of being on call a year. But he is still working at the hospital, too. And he is trying to take some of the load off me when he gets home for work by taking the baby or letting me shower. But I know he is anxious to get his wife back. And not just in a sexual way, but to be able to spend time with me and have me be coherent.

So there is the baby stress, the exhaustion stress, one car, throw in a little bill and bank stress...  top it off with spit up in my hair, not showering in 4 days, driving Jose and Micah everywhere, breastfeeding someone every half hour it seems, and opening the fridge and figuring out what to make for dinner or bathing two kids while nursing the baby on a stool next to the tub... it's just a little taxing.

So when the kids start acting up, I have been tending to fly of the handle. It's bringing out the worst in me. Exhaustion has shortened my temper and taken away my grace, my mercy, and my patience. It has made me into a bear! I don't like yelling, much less bellowing, at my kids. I don't want my children to remember me as a person who disciplined out of anger; that's not a way to teach them respect, and I want children who respect who I am and how I raised them. That's not to say I don't discipline- they get spanked, but when they've earned it. It's become far to easy for me lately to lose my cool because of the circumstances around me and treat them unfairly because I am not handling things how I should be.

Jose's mom and dad came by and picked up Micah and Levi yesterday. By 4:00 pm, Levi had still never had a nap, Jordi was madder than a mosquito in a mannequin factory, I had only slept about 3 hours, and Micah was asking every 5 minutes to go on the computer, the xbox, or tell me a Ninjago fact. I was at my wits end, so I called Jose at work. I started crying on the phone because he wasn't taking me seriously that I was stressed out, and I hung up on him. He proceeded to, instead of call me back, call his mom and arrange them spending the night to give me a break.

I must have looked like a raging hormonal woman when I answered the door. The kids were all ready to go, but the dog was going bonkers and not listening to me call her when I tried to put her away. I had Jordi in my arms and a bag on the table that I was putting their things into. In my arms was also a zip-up wetbag. That's what we put our dirty diapers in- it's a waterproof cloth bag that you zip up until wash time so there is no smell. Everyone else is chatting and laughing. My father-in-law laughs and says, "these kids can't give you a hard time. What are you, tired?"  My mother-in-law took one look at me, and in all seriousness, said to me with a straight face, "You're not going to put the baby in the bag, are you?"

Right. Like I am going to put your grandson in a plastic bag and zip him up. In front of you. HOW STRESSED DO YOU THINK I AM?! DO I REALLY LOOK THAT BAD?!

I laughed it off and explained I was putting diapers in it for Levi. When they left, I started bawling like a baby. Finally alone, I laid Jordi on our bed, laid on my side next to him so I could nurse, and slept for the next hour.

Jose and I ordered take out for dinner (for the first time in almost 4 weeks- we have been really tight on spending), and watched some of our favorite shows. When we hit the sack early for Jose to go to work the next morning, Jordi slept for 4 1/2 hours before waking again. I have napped off and on all day knowing that the kids are safe and taken care of, and all I have to care for is myself and Jordi.

And I know it's all going to get better. These days don't last forever. I also just got off the phone with my sister's father-in-law; they are gifting us a Suburban that we get to pick up in two weeks. It's such an amazing answer to prayer. Jose's job is changing where he won't be away from the house from before dawn til after bedtime. I am constantly reminded that God has us in the palm of his hand. Today has been one of those Psalm 23 days, where He literally, thanks to my husband and mother-in-law, MAKES me lie down in green pastures to rest. I am going to go take another nap now, eat a piece of chocolate, smell my delicious baby's new baby smell, and just enjoy the quiet for a few more hours til the banshees come home.

And when they get home, I am going to kiss them, because I have so missed them.

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