Motherhood: The Most Difficult Job I’ve Ever Had

posted by Andrea | 02/14/2012

I’ve had many non-glamours jobs over the course of my life…

  • washing dishes for my neighbor’s catering company when I was in middle school
  • cleaning offices at night for another neighbor’s company
  • busing tables for a local bar/pub when I was 16
  • folding clothes for American Eagle {probably the most ridiculous job ever!}
  • stocking shelves and working the checkout lanes at various grocery stores
  • janitorial work for Calvin College {this is how I met Dave — so it was worth it!}
  • cleaning houses to make money for college

…and the list could go on!

But now that I’m a mom, I feel so blessed to finally have a job that I love, that doesn’t involve washing dishes, clearing tables, folding clothes, cleaning toilets, stocking pantry shelves, grocery shopping…. eerr well, never mind :)

All kidding aside, motherhood is definitely not the most glamours job in the world… and it’s probably the most difficult job I’ve ever had. There are even days when I’d rather be busing tables, cleaning offices, or doing pretty much anything else but working from home with my baby.

Yes, I’m sure some of you now think I’m the most horrible person in the world for wanting to clean offices instead of care for my baby… and that’s OK! I can’t change how I feel, and just because I’m somewhat overwhelmed by motherhood, doesn’t mean I love Nora any less.

In fact, I love her so much that it sometimes makes things worse. I’ve never felt such an overwhelming sense of responsibility before, I’ve never felt such a strong desire to do everything “right”; yet at the same time, I’ve never felt so helpless and unsure of what I’m supposed to do.

I’m sure I’m not only new mom out there who bawled the entire ride home from the hospital thinking… what in the world am I going to do with her when we get home. I have no idea how to do this! Don’t we need a manual, some instructions, a live-in nurse, or at the very least, someone to show us what to do?

Just knowing that Nora depends on me for everything is sometimes more than my independent spirit can handle. Yes, I’m willing to work hard, do unpleasant things, and make sacrifices. Yes I love a good challenge, but I also love my sleep… and eating with both hands!

I’ve never had a job that required constant 24/7 availability, I’ve never had a job that I felt so unqualified for, and I’ve never had a job that didn’t involve some type of training {or at least a small instruction manual}.

Yet, I’ve never had a job that mattered so much! 

I’m the type of person who likes to be good at everything I do. I’m a fast learner, I work really hard, I’m willing to do things I don’t want to do, make sacrifices, deal with difficult situations, push myself to be better… and I LOVE a challenge.

So I should excel at motherhood… right?

But for some reason, I feel like I’m barely staying afloat. I feel like I can’t do this.

I think it all boils down to the fact that for the very first time in my life, I don’t have FULL CONTROL! As much as I try {and believe me friends, I’ve tried} I can not control when she takes a nap, how long she sleeps, when she decides to go to bed at night, when she needs to eat, or when she decides to start screaming for no apparent reason at all.

Dave and I read the books, we followed the books, we took advice from so many people who have their kids on a schedule, we’ve tried this, we’ve tried that, we’ve tried everything again and again… but so far, nothing has worked.

And we REALLY want something to work! 

It’s been almost 3 months of desperately trying to get her to go to bed before 1:00am, trying to get her to take any sort of an afternoon nap, trying to calm her down during her lengthy screaming sessions EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT… but we can’t.

Nora is definitely still the boss over at our house… and I’m pretty sure she likes it that way!

I flop into bed every night and wonder how on earth single moms and military wives do this — and don’t even get me started on teen moms. But then, every morning when I’m changing her diaper and she’s still so sleepy, she opens her eyes and she smiles. In that brief moment, I feel like eveything is going to be OK and I realize I CAN do this for another day.

But it’s still not easy.

Especially for someone like me who thrives on productivity, being “in control”, and having all my ducks in a row. Frankly, I don’t even know where half my ducks are right now… and they definitely aren’t in any type of a row!

Everyone says that Motherhood is the greatest job in the whole world — and while they are probably right, I have to wonder if the women who say that are already well past the baby-stage and have simply pushed the overwhelming, exhausted, and over-tired memories out of their brains!

Or maybe they all had perfect babies who were never colicky at night and actually took naps during the day :)

Motherhood is not for the weary…

And if you are a strong Type-A person like myself, it might just be one of the most difficult jobs you’ll ever have.

Good thing she’s so darn cute!

And honestly, I don’t want you to think I’m not enjoying motherhood… because I am. It’s just A LOT different and A LOT more challenging than I thought it would be!

As you can see by all the pictures, we are definitely having lots of fun with little Nora — it’s also helpful that Dave is one of the most patient, low-key, go-with-the flow people I’ve ever met {they say opposites attract right!}. He reminds me {daily} that I AM a good mom and that I CAN do this.

I can do this!

And to all the other type-A moms out there… you can do it too!

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115 comments

  1. Janie Pollard

    02/15/2012

    I agree with Allison 3 months is way to young to cry it out.I have 3 and my last one NEVER slept! It was so very hard but I got through it and you can too.Don’t feel bad asking for help.Have someone watch her for you for a whole day and get you some rest and sleep.I had to do it and I was happier and so was he.Also watch out for PPD,Got that with my first child.
    You are a great mommy and she is so very cute.. :) Sounds like she already has a strong personality,wonder who she gets that from.. ;)

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  2. Laurel

    02/15/2012

    Andrea~hang in there. I think you have lots of great advice here. As a mom of four, once you become a mom your world is never the same for better and for worse. I think you probably have a difficult baby and maybe just knowing that helps because it can ease the guilt and feelings that you may have. You really can’t compare yourself with anyone else or even your prior expectations. We had 3 super easy babies that just cooed and slept through the night very early and kept themselves happy. Our third baby was the more demanding, fussy, unscheduled type (and still is!) Let me tell you, it was so much harder to enjoy the job and her when she was an infant. So, if it seems like others you know have it all together, they are most likely parenting an easy baby. Just know that. Also, and this is also controversial, have you tried a pacifier? They helped our babies enormously. You just have to make sure they are not still using them at age two ;) Finally, I like you, get my energy, motivation and fulfillment from being on top of things, planning and accomplishing. At this point in your life, it may be that you simply won’t be able to be filfilled in that way (if this makes sense). I know what I’m trying to say, but it’s hard to express in writing. You may have to replace the need for planning, organizing, scheduling with something a little more attainable right now–Like feeling very accomplished at parenting–you can do this! Check out the pacifier and like someone else said, make sure you are not suffering from some post partum depression. I think just posting your feelings here was very brave and I hope helpful. There are all of us out here cheering you on.

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  3. Diana

    02/15/2012

    Hi Andrea!

    You could be me 11 years ago. I am a Type A personality, always in “control” although not to your degree (extra mommy guilt!). I am only figuring out (fats forward a decade) now that these little ones are put here to teach us a few things. First – our “control” is really an illusion. We aren’t and can’t control everything. We mommies don’t share as often as we should about how you’re feeling right now because we were scared and didn’t want to be judged. How come she has it all together, but I’m a mess, etc. etc. etc? Don’t let all the worry let you miss some of the joy. Second – yes she’s the boss right now – and that’s hard – but that’s the way it’s supposed to be! Take things one day, one hour, one minute at a time. Ask for help when you need it. Third – Let some things go for a time. “This too shall pass” – and you don’t want to miss it! I read a quote the other day that speaks to me when I feel like I am hanging on by a thread….Fear is feeling like you are out of control, hope comes when you remember Who IS in control. You will get through this, and then you will have teeth coming in, and the terrible twos, the horrible threes, kindergarten….teenager (scary!). In between you will have rainbows, and butterflies, sparkly dresses, slobbery kisses, first steps. It’s a rollercoaster ride every day – but it’s worth all of it. Sometimes you just have to let go and enjoy the ride!

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  4. saverchic

    02/15/2012

    This post made me cry, because I went through the exact same thing last year. I used to get so irritated when people would tell me that things would get easier…but they did. Three months is a tough time, but I really think you are getting close to the time when Nora will sleep through the night. Everyone will give you all kinds of advice based on their own experiences, but you have to do what works for you. It sounds to me like you are doing all of the right things for Nora, and she knows that you love her. That’s as close to being a perfect mom as anyone can get! Sending hugs your way…

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  5. oneshabbychick

    02/15/2012

    Hi Andrea! I’ve been following your journey and enjoying your blog, and I want you to know… You CAN do this!!! The first six months are tough. You are exhausted and making a HUGE life adjustment. Unfortunately there really is no way to prepare for this – you just have to jump in and start swimming for your life!

    But I promise you – it does get easier and you will find a rhythm. It WILL NOT be the one you would choose! But there is a new person in this mix now and she has some of the say. Not all – you need things, too, so keep asking for them and seeking them out in new and different ways.

    A baby turns life on its head, doesn’t it?! There’s no way to really KNOW that until you are standing in the middle of it, crying ;-) Get as much sleep and rest as you can because I have found over the years that sleep is the answer to so many problems. And I have a book recommendation that was wonderful for me and my two babies (now 9 & 13!) …

    SLEEP the easy way to peaceful nights, by Beatrice Hollyer and Lucy Smith.
    Here’s a link…
    http://www.amazon.com/Sleep-Easy-Way-Peaceful-Nights/dp/1841881856/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1329311443&sr=1-1

    I wasn’t able to follow it to a tee, but the advice is golden and a great goal to work towards.
    I didn’t read it until my first was four months or so, so don’t worry about starting too late. He quickly turned into a great sleeper with this advice.

    GOOD LUCK, MAMA! Trust that you are doing great at the hardest job in the world! If you try the book, let me know how it goes.

    xoxo,
    oneshabbychick

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  6. Karla

    02/15/2012

    You remind me of myself a few years ago. I now have 3 kids. I was very efficient, in control and a quick learner. (I’m a teacher.) Then I had 2 babies 16 months apart and they were both colicy and hardly slept at all! I think I needed that to humble me and take me down a notch. I remember thinking, “Wow. I have never failed at anything in life, but this is it. This baby is going to do me in. I’m failing miserably.” And then they got over it and life got a little easier month by month.
    One more thing to note. My third baby was a dream baby who slept and smiled and that was about it. I finally realized why people actually enjoyed babies! It was a whole different experience. Children are each born with their own temperaments and while you can affect them to a certain degree (with structure, routines, sleep training etc.) you’re not going to turn a fussy insomniac into a dream baby.
    Yup. I think God gives people like us fussy irregular babies on purpose. Maybe to slow us down and cause us to rely on Him more.
    Andrea, it will get easier. I promise. Enjoy your beautiful daughter. :)
    Karla

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  7. MAggie

    02/15/2012

    This is JUST how my daughter was. She was my first and I’m only 22 so I didn’t have a lot of experience with schedules for babies. She cried all the time and bed time was a mess. I read the Baby Wise book but that schedule DID NOT work for us. I tried the whole 3 hour schedule – nope didn’t work. I finally found something that worked and it is great! We started taking her to a chiropractor. Sounds weird I know but it was a miracle. Labor sometimes can make their necks tight and give them headaches so all they know to do is cry cause of pain. It took about 2 weeks to notice the change. She is now such a happy baby all the time and I recommend to everyone! As for her sleep schedule — We started her on a nap in the morning like 10ish then she would sleep about an hour or so. Then she would take another nap between 1 and 2, sleep for about 2-3 hours. Then a final 30 min nap about 6ish. I NEVER let her sleep past 7 now cause if she does she will not go to bed til late. I try and have her up about 630 to start playing before bed. Bath time is at 815 every night – whether you wash them up every night or not it is relaxing for them. I let her play for about 15-30 min. Then at 9 o clock I lay her in bed and that is that. The first couple nights she would cry and stand up. She has her bottle in bed (ill break that habit as she get a little older) but once she finishes I go in and take it and give her, her pacifier. She will cry a little maybe but mostly rolls around and plays with her teddy bear and she falls asleep. A big thing that helped me was putting her in her crib awake. It showed her it was bed time. I always held her and rocked her to bed til she was 8 months old. In a month we have her going to bed at 9 and its wonderful. Even if we are out at a hockey game on the weekend that lasts til like 945, she falls asleep in my arms around 9ish at the games cause she knows her times. Once you do it every night for a while she will know her times and wont let you forget what time it is! My husband works out of town during the week so it is just me. I understand you on how exhausting it is and sometimes yes you just want sleep, but that does not make you any less than a mom. To me it makes you a better mom because that is time, effort and more than anything LOVE. But remember this — one day she will not want you to hold her, rock her, feed her, get up with her, or fight her for bed. So cherish the time that you can do it before she becomes so independent that she doesnt need you to help her with it anymore. You’ll miss it later.

    Hope something works for you and keep your chin up! It will get easier I promise especially when she gets very mobile (crawling & walking)

    Maggie!

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  8. Susan

    02/15/2012

    Already posted a thank you for this post, but wanted to say again, thanks for having the courage to share your honest feelings. Maybe you were looking for advice (and boy, did you get a lot of it here!)– but I have a feeling you may have just been expressing what many of us feel sometimes.

    If someone as together as you can struggle, it makes us less organized folks feel like maybe it isn’t just our ineptitude that prevents things from being perfect at our house–maybe mothering young ones really is a challenge for anyone.

    Keep up the good work. I can tell you’re a good mom. You can do it.

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  9. jerilyn

    02/15/2012

    I’m not going to give you advice on what to do because you didn’t ask and you’ll figure out what works for your baby… but you are not the only one! I love being a mom- and it’s all worth it. But there are many days where I just want to do nothing. I want to sleep, eat a meal in peace, go shopping without dragging all of the kids along. And every once in a while the kids will go to my moms and I’ll sit there thinking about what I want to do and missing my kids! unbelievable! :) While we’re only about 5 years into this parenting thing, it’s continually “what should we do?” Once the baby stage is over you hit the toddler years, then preschool, then school age! But at the same time, life flies by and I can’t believe my “baby” will be starting kindergarten in the fall. And someday they’ll be off on their own so I’m trying to enjoy it as much as I can… though I hope this new baby sleeps through the night sooner than my last (18 months! :o!)

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  10. Katie

    02/15/2012

    Don’t keep looking at books, accept more help. Get your mum over to take the baby out (so you can’t hear her and get anxious) and get some sleep. Don’t clean your house, write a blog post or re-organise your kitchen cupboards instead rest and take a bath!

    These perfect mothers are myths – they don’t exist. Everyone feels overwhelmed with a new baby. It gets sooo much better – I promise you they do eventually sleep through the night or do at least a 6 hour stint. Remember your are the perfect mother for her so whatever you do instinctively is right.

    Love your blog – please take care of yourself. It really does get better.

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  11. Marga

    02/15/2012

    Hello andrea!

    I’m from Spain so sorry for my broken english.
    I read your blog some time ago and I love it because you’re completly opposite to me. I really admire people who can control their lives so much and be so organized.
    Even being no control type person I also had this feeling you’re describing when my Nora was born (yes same name, now she is 18 month) and I felt frustrated when I heard about so predictable babies in my friends houses. And my conclusion is that every baby has own personality and general recipes does not work for everybody. For me the best is not expect too much and observe her a lot and more or less it works :) even when she still is not an easy baby.
    Cheers and enjoy!
    Marga

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  12. Catherine

    02/15/2012

    I have a 17 months old… and I can say that I felt pretty much just like you the first few months… There was no more routine around our house! I had to let go of the control and let go of trying to put her on a routine… And you know what? The routine came on its own.. The first few months we just followed her rythm and everything slowly fell into place (she stills isn’t good on naps during the day’ but apparently I wasn’t either..) She slowly went from going to bed past 10pm to now going to bed at around 7pm everynight without a fuss!

    Hopefully your baby will find her own routine soon enough. In the mean time, if you can get family and friends to babysit a few hours once in a while so you can catch up on some sleep… do it!

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  13. Becki

    02/15/2012

    OK, I never respond to things like this but no one has address some other reasons why Nora may be having issues. You have definitly received some good advice here (although I do not agree with the crying it out) and I was just like you before I had my kids so I get your frustration about being in control. Not that person anymore. My first son didn’t sleep, cried and was said to have colic however, 8 months into that crazy world we finally reached out for help and went to a holistic pediatrician. We found out that my son did not have colic at all but had sensory issues and was very sensitive to milk products. So the formula that I was giving him was upsetting his tummy and causing some other issues for him which were manifesting in behavior issues. His other excessive crying was him feeling so overwhelmed from the sites and sounds of the day that he just needed to release. You know that everyone says babies need stimulation so we stimulated him with toys and distractions, playing, outside walks etc. This was causing him to not sleep at night because he could not “come down” from the sensory overload of the day. We helped him calm down by wrapping him in a tight blanket and rocking him in a dark room. Crying it out wasn’t going to do anything. He was simply why to stimulated to settle daown on his own. When we finally stopped over stimulating him, gave him some quiet and stopped with the milkbased formula, our son began sleeping through the night and the excessive crying subsided.

    Again, you need to research on your own but I wish that I had understood then what I understand now. Children are all unique and some thrive on schedules and some will not. My second son slept through the night since the day he was born and we never had any of the issues we had with the first. In fact we almost didn’t have another baby because I just couldn’t do that again. I said after my second child – Oh this is what people are talking about. We could take him out, he’d sleep any where, a dream. Just remember, they cry for a reason. Figure out what they need. Hang in there.

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  14. Katherine

    02/15/2012

    Just wanted to let you know, I have been there! My daughter screamed through her first 3 months of life, sometimes all day and all night! We found out she had acid reflux and once we got treatment she slowly got better. I was the same way when I had her, overwhelmed! I had no idea it would be so hard! I am very much a planner and a scheduler, so it drove me crazy to not be able to do either with a baby. For night sleep I read The No Cry Sleep Solution and the Happiest Baby on the block. Lots of their strategies worked well-bedtime routine, white noise machine, some bedtime lotion, dim lights, soothing voices, no playing at in between feedings, etc.

    Also if your baby never naps you should try a baby sling, I didn’t have it for my first and the second one never took naps either, he slept like a baby in the sling and I could still get some work done and move around. Feel free to email me for any more ideas or support! Lots of people have been in your shoes, but that usually doesn’t make you feel any better while you are going through it. My mom would keep saying it does get better, and I would never believe her, but it does get much much better!

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  15. Juliet L.

    02/16/2012

    Oh I totally know what you are going through. Those first few months are ROUGH! My son is 9 now and my daughter is 4. I remember when my son turned 1 and I looked back at that first year, it was so hard. But it does get better . . . it does! When my daughter was born, my son was 5 and I knew what to expect, but it hit me all over again. But I got through it. You’ll find your rhythm. Take it one day at a time! The days are long . . . but the years are soooo short!

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  16. clarissa

    02/16/2012

    You are not alone!!!! Sometimes it may feel like it but many others are going through something similar. Hang in there. This is a season and soon a new one will come.

    “Super” moms are overrated. 1 day at a time sister.

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  17. Leslie Honcoop

    02/16/2012

    I’m not going to try to give you any specific advice about crying babies…but I will say to you that it is true: Motherhood is the toughest job you will ever love. Even though my kids are in their 20′s now, I remember the days of despair when I felt I was failing at the job I cared about most in the whole world; the days I just wasn’t sure I could do what needed to be done…

    It was the beginning for me of coming to a truer understanding of what grace is. I began to learn that it was God’s design that I wasn’t in control anymore; that I was not assured of a successful outcome; that I needed to see my worth was not tied to my performance and control of outcomes.

    It’s a tough lesson for those of us who tend to expect a lot of ourselves — and it is VERY humbling. But realize that what you are going through is just what God has designed — maybe not for the same reasons He designed my path, but God is not into what we define as success. He wants faithfulness, and dependence on Him.

    So my first advice to you is STOP THINKING THAT YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG…that if you did it right your Little Miss would sleep more, or cry less…Take that pressure off yourself, and be satisfied with faithfulness in the circumstances you are in.

    You are such a disciplined person, and have a great advantage there for doing all that a mom must do. You are going to be wonderful parents…just keep in mind that God uses the challenges of parenthood to do a lot of “internal” change in our lives too!

    Bless you three!!

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  18. Kathleen

    02/17/2012

    I was 38 when my first son was born. My husband and I had just moved into a new home that was filled with boxes and clutter and desperately in need of fixing up, we were flat broke, and we had NO idea what we were about to experience as we drove home from the hospital with our newborn son. I had never so much as changed a poopy diaper in my life until then! The first 4 months, I felt so overwhelmed, depressed, incompetent, old, and alone. I wondered how I’d make it through the day alone with a screaming baby. I vividly remember the feelings of darkness and despair. Well, I’m here to tell you–little by little, it gets better! Boy, does it get better. From that rocky beginning, my life has been totally transformed, without question for the better. My son and I are extremely close, and I feel truly blessed to be a mom to two wonderful boys. Thank you for sharing your feelings–I think if I had read something like that when I was going through it, it would have helped me feel less guilty and inspired some hope in me. I commend you for taking the time to enjoy your daughter while she is still young. This passes so very quickly–before you know it, you’ll be shedding a tear as Nora goes off to kindergarten!

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  19. Tabitha

    02/19/2012

    Andrea, I totally know the feeling. Before I had my little man I worked as a NICU nurse, I thought the newborn stage would be the easiest, but for me I felt the same way you did. It’s the hardest job, but it gets easier. I think it will for you too. I’m totally a Type A personally, so it was a big adjustment for me too. I learned the first thing I would teach my son was to learn how to sleep. Wow, I thought that came naturally, But it’s a learned behavior. Just keep being consistent with the sleep habits you are teaching her to develop, it might not happen over night, but with consistancy and determination it will come! Best to you, your sweet Nora is adorable.

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  20. Julie

    02/19/2012

    The first baby, where you have to adjust to your time not being your own, is the worst.

    Women don’t talk a lot about the first four or so months mostly because we’ve forgotten about them. I think the sleep deprivation inhibits long-term memory.

    Living with a colicky baby is hell.

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  21. Andi

    02/20/2012

    This is a great post, and even brought comfort to me a mother of four boys ages 6, 4, 2, and 5 months. I have been in a slump lately dealing with my youngest who doesn’t want to sleep and cries a lot. Hang in there. This too shall pass. I will pray for your rest, and peace of mind.

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  22. Michelle

    02/20/2012

    Here’s what I know about parenting … if you’re doing it from your heart, you’re doing it right! If it’s hard, you’re doing it right.
    It’s exhausting, rewarding, frustrating, challenging and amazing … all rolled into one!
    And as soon as you’ve got one thing figured out, something new creeps up to change things up.
    I have four beautiful babes … 10, 9, 6 and 3. The first 3 slept like a dream … but wouldn’t eat well. Nursing them was a challenge! But the 4th nursed like a dream from day one … and at 3 can barely sleep through the night! (Last night wasn’t bad … 1 “I lost my sock” and 1 “I need to go potty”!)
    Just know that just when you have this phase figured out, something new will come along to “challenge” you … but I will say this, if you are able to keep up with your blog, your marriage and shower semi-regularly, you’re doing an amazing job!!

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  23. Jenna

    02/21/2012

    You are doing a great job Mama. Nora is beautiful.

    Thanks for this post. It reminded me that motherhood is hard but so worth it. It is nice to know there are others in the trenches with us.

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  24. Alissia

    02/21/2012

    Hang in there….it will get easier!! It will never be easy, don’t get me wrong ;) but those first 6 months to a year are about the toughest. I too had a very collicky baby who screamed every night for hours & hours on end….and survived (the vacuum cleaner actually would get her to stop as well as a loud box fan….she STILL sleeps with the fan on to this day & shes now 2!)

    Motherhood is the most diffuclt job, but also the most fullfilling & definetly the most important! We all have felt the same way you do, you are SO normal. I don’t think it ends up being the way any of us had pictured it.

    Schedules are wonderful, but she is still young & they don’t work for every baby. Keep trying to get her into a pattern of eating & sleeping….but don’t sweat it too much, it will all fall into place. In the mean time, do whatever works so that YOU are taken care of so that you can keep at it :)

    BTW….Nora is absolutely beautiful & looks so much like you. Keep on posting pictures, we love to see her!!

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  25. Sheila

    02/22/2012

    Thanks so much for this post. I am a first time mom to the best (because all babies are the best and no mothers are biased!) 7 month old son and I can empathize with what you are going through. It is so nice to hear you be honest about your struggles and the reality of being the mom of a newborn. Especially when the world seems to expect you to be ecstatic about your new role every waking minute, and saying you aren’t is somehow admitting failure…I am also finding it challenging to accept a new definition of productivity (I am a lawyer on maternity leave) and to figure out how to chanel my need for independence. Thanks for reminding me that I am not the only one!

    And from what I can see Nora is a pretty lucky little girl to have you. Just keep doing what your’re doing.

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  26. Nichole

    02/23/2012

    I just had my 4th baby in November. She is by far my most difficult baby. Just when I thought I knew what to expect! I carry her around in a sling all day. My favorite is a Moby Wrap. This is the only thing that stops her from crying and keeps my hands free to take care of my 3 older children. Thankfully at 3 months old she is just now allowing me to sit her down for a bit a few times a day. Hang in there!

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  27. Heart and Haven

    02/23/2012

    Such precious pics of your beautiful daughter! God always gives us exactly what we need! In this case, through your precious gift of a daughter, I believe God is teaching you about patience and flexibility :-)

    I have 3 children (ages 17, 4, 3) and another on the way due mid March. Every baby is different and special in their own way. Unfortunately, there is no “book” to help in every situation…but through maternal bonding, we can learn our our childs’ individual needs.

    I know when my 1st was born, he would have a fussy time each evening (about an hour before dinner time). I found that if I washed his hair in the sink, it would be very soothing for him. Not sure if it was the sound of running water, scalp massage, or what….but I think by that time of the day he just got a bit overwhelmed/overstimulated with the activity of the day, and that helped him to relax . (he was a very alert baby, especially for a newborn….and he didn’t nap much during the day)

    My 2nd would get really fussy at nights after feedings, requiring me to hold him upright for up to an hr before I could lay him back down in bed. I found out he had acid reflux, so laying flat right after eating was extremely uncomfortable for him. There were times I would result to letting him sleep upright in his swing so I could get back to sleep sooner (a sleep dreprived mommy is not a good thing!)

    My 3rd child was the most content baby ever! She was literally like a little doll. However, she was so content to just be wherever she was, she wasn’t meeting certain developmental milestones she was expecting to make. My gut instinct was correct, and she was referred by her pediatrician to qualify for physical therapy.

    A “colicky” baby is a “hurting” baby, and it’s up to us to help figure out what they’re trying to tell us. And it seems as soon as you figure out one issue/phase of babies’ life, then they enter another phase that challenges us to learn more. Enjoy every moment.- they grow up so quickly! Believe me, I know! I have a 17 yr old, who’s about to graduate HS in a few months and is signed up to enter the US Air Force, Pararescue Program. Just yesterday, it seems, he was crawling around the house still in diapers.

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  28. meg

    02/24/2012

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. Please keep it up. You are putting words to issues that many new mothers are afraid to admit publicly – once the baby comes, you have limited to no control after being accustomed to having it…or at least thinking you did! Once you think you’ve figured it out, she’s moved on to something else you have to figure out.

    I had my first at age 41 so I know EXACTLY how you’re feeling and you described it so perfectly. I think we all would be better served if “they” spent less time on child birth preparation and more time on motherhood preparation. I got through it and you will too. As hard as it is for us Type A mothers, you will learn to let go and enjoy the chaos. Mine are now 13 and 7 and it gets easier, I promise. Not easier as in less work, but easier as in letting go. Control what you can and try to let go of what you can’t.

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  29. meg

    02/24/2012

    One more thing…accept help when offered and ask for help when needed!

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  30. Julie Clarke

    02/25/2012

    I love your site and appreciate your honesty. I am a professional organizer and mother of three grown sons. Two are out of college and one is a freshman in college. I am in the empty nest phase of life and loving it but remembering where you are now seems like yesterday. The days are sometimes very long but the years are so short. Enjoy:-)

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  31. Holly Heasley

    07/02/2013

    This was a great post, Andrea! My first was very difficult, too, and I felt very similar during the early times, too. It cracked me up about you wondering about a baby manual on your way home from the hospital, b/c I was the exact same way when the nurse left my husband and I alone in the hospital room with our son for the first time. I was thinking, “really? she actually trusts that we can take care of this little guy by ourselves? Don’t we need a little supervision?!” I’m glad for your sake that Nora’s older now and not colicky anymore!

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