Part 3 - the summary - of an email I sent to a new mom reaching out for support.
I never took the advice to let someone else take the baby so I could have a break. I always figured that if it was that hard for me, as the mother, to tolerate my awful kid, no one else could possibly do it and not want to unfriend me. I'm not sure if that was the right thing, per se, but it was for me. I wouldn't have relaxed. My kid had eating problems and all sorts of complications so trying to teach someone to care for her was a burden, not a blessing. My husband was on travel and gone 3 out of 4 weeks of the month. I had a c-section and 2 other kids to care for. We didn't live by any family. It was horrible, awful, miserable and so trying.
What I did do, was get a nanny of sorts (my regular babysitter, who was 19 and awesome) had time in her college schedule to come in the mornings and play with my other kids. Then, I could focus on the baby, my kids got some love and I got to sleep a bit if the baby did go down. They were at my house and I felt good about that. So, if you can work something out like that, I say go for it.
I've learned that I am a very strong woman. I can dig deep and see beyond my own misery. Not that I'm pretty doing it all of the time, but I can. I know you'll learn that about yourself too. We are much braver, compassionate, strong willed and more determined that we ever give ourselves credit for. I promise you that in a few short weeks, your son will smile at you. And reach for you. And snuggle you. And then he'll talk to you and you'll go places together and it won't suck. And then he'll be 5 and going to school and totally normal and will drive you nuts for all sorts of other reasons. The only reason I can say this is because it's happening to me. The days go by slow but the years so fast. It's not easy to remember and it really doesn't make you feel better now, I know that too.
Emily is walking and talking in short phrases at 11 months old. She has gone from this crying ball of spit up to a dynamic and personality filled toddler. She is still loud. But, she plays by herself for hours (no joke). Is fearless and strong. It took us a long time to like her. Both my husband and myself merely tolerated her in the beginning. Of course we were gentle and loved her, but it was hard when she was so rotten. We knew it wasn't her fault, but come on! Sleep deprivation is a proven form of torture! You're a zombie at this point.
Feel free to email anytime. Even if you just need to vent.
Thanks for reaching out,