From about 9 AM until 2 PM, I am often feeling utterly overwhelmed and strung out and filled with shameful second thoughts and portents of doom over this whole new-baby thing. Those are the hours during which Dylan does not seem to nap at all, but instead spends his time fussing angrily, eating nonstop, and fussing some more. I am embarrassed to admit I have already asked my 2-week-old just what in the blue FUCK his problem is, and as long as I’m being brutally honest I’ll tell you I didn’t exactly ask this in a soft and gentle whisper.

I feel very very whiny about the current state of things, frankly. I feel like doing some of my own fussing, just lying in the corner of the room emoting over the fact that a 8-lb nuclear bomb has been dropped into the middle of my existence. I don’t know how to say this or explain it without sounding horrible, but maybe some of you can understand: I have learned that it’s possible to simultaneously love someone with all of your heart and know without a doubt that he was meant to be a part of your life, and also sometimes regret the decision to invite him to the party, so to speak.

I knew things were going to be hard, but perhaps not surprisingly it doesn’t actually make things LESS hard to have the heads up in advance. I am struggling, struggling with finding patience and dealing with the soul-crushing boredom and the endlessly unrewarding effort it takes to care for a newborn. Maybe I’ve gotten so used to Riley, a walking, talking, interactive creature, that returning to the primal state of eat-poop-fuss-sleep is harder for me to handle this time around. Maybe I’ve come to relish my tiny amounts of free time so very much that having them unceremoniously ripped away is a bigger challenge than I could have predicted. Maybe Dylan’s more of a pain in the ass than his brother was.

I don’t know. I do know things will get better, and I know I love both my boys and I am so lucky to have them. But still. STILL. This is still rough going, no matter how you cut it.

In less whimpery news:

1) That all-morning fuss routine Dylan’s in could certainly be a lot worse. For instance, it could be from 9 PM to 2 AM. And so far he’s been very good about sleeping at night: I feed him at around 11, 2:30, 5:30, and 7:30 before getting up for the day. It’s not exactly suck-free, that schedule, but it does let us get enough sleep to function.

2) That whole turbo barfing situation? Uh, so it turns out we were basically milk-bonging the kid. Smaller nipple hole = less frantic gulping = no more projectile spitups. God, you’d think I was NEW at this shit, or something.

faceside_08.jpg
Mama’s little PITA. Who I love very very much, even if I do complain about him.

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Kathryn
Kathryn
14 years ago

The fact that you are always so open and honest is one of the things your readers love most about you.

I don’t have any kids, but I have a feeling if I did, I’d be feeling a lot like you. It’s only normal to get a little fed up with the situation, no matter how much you love him.

biscuit
biscuit
14 years ago

I pleaded with my 3 week old to “shut the fuck up” late last night + like yours, it was no whisper. I’ve been feeling guilty about it all day until I read this post. I’m not the only one! Bless you!

PS: Happy Belated Birthday!

clarabella
14 years ago

Gosh, Linda, I’m sorry it’s rough going. You probably don’t want to be told (anymore) that it will get better, so I will say this. Maybe it’s time for a father-sons hour or so and you can cash in that spa certificate or retreat to starbucks again for a bit. A break never hurt anyone.
Also, it’s good to know I’m not the only one who has asked my infant what the fuck his problem was. I was feeling a little guilty about that.
Glad you got the horking situation addressed.

samantha Jo Campen
14 years ago

Love-hate, gets ‘ya every time. It’s hard when the status quo changes, no matter how or why. Maybe re-reading your archives from when Riley was born will help? I don’t know. I’m not good with finding answers, just silly suggestions.

Yeah for the new nipple! At least it wasn’t something medical, and you did figure it out quite soon, as opposed to three months from now. And milk-bonging? *snort*

Carrie
14 years ago

I’m a new reader of your blog. A friend recently stumbled upon your site and said it reminded her of me. I am the stay-at-home mom of 2 children born 10 months and 22 days apart. (Crazy, I know! No. 2 was quite a surprise!) They are currently 11 months old and 4 weeks old. I definitely feel your pain and very much appreciate your honesty about your situation! I get myself through the day by constantly repeating “it will get easier”. There will always be new challenges, but these days of tummy aches and constant feedings won’t last forever! Hang in there!!

Diana
Diana
14 years ago

This too shall pass. I remember chanting to myself during the first six weeks with baby numero 3 – “Life will seem normal and easy by the time she is six months old” over and over again to comfort myself.

I promise.

Ami
Ami
14 years ago

Milk-bonging? I love it.

LJ
LJ
14 years ago

I know exactly how you are feeling. I did this with my first who did not sleep at night till she was 3. Did the throwing up with every meal also. Isn’t it amazing the thoughts you have, but this too shall pass. She is now 18. Child #2 way better. I now know why you have children when you are young.

beach
beach
14 years ago

Take heart, your feelings are very normal. I remember when my boys were your kids ages…..the days blended into one and other….and I felt I was losing my mind at times….I remember putting makeup on and getting excited for an errand alone to the grocery store!!! yikes…..just think this too shall pass, but as I say that(with kids ages 15 and 17)…I sometimes long for the simplicity of those days, of caring for babies and being a small little family,….like our own little universe!!!….some time alone(even a drive when jb comes home) helps IMMENSLY!!!… take care!

mandy
14 years ago

Been there. SO sorry, there is really no way to sugarcoat it for you, especially when you are in the middle of it. It gets better, you know that. But what about now? valium? Maybe? Talk to your doctor and maybe they can help you with “nerves”?

Pete
Pete
14 years ago

My favorite was “Go ahead, fuck with me, I know how to make more of you”

Joanne
14 years ago

I’ve said shut the fuck up a million times in the last six weeks. Easily. It’s horrible – you’re just tired and post partum and tired and tired and – wait for it – TIRED. My girl is actually getting to the point this week where she will SIT in the bouncy seat on her OWN and it’s made a huge difference. Hang in there.

Naomi the Strange
14 years ago

and THIS is precicely why I will never have children. It’s a hard job. I mean, I practically raised my five younger sisters so I knew what it was like, which prompted my decision to have no children. EVER. But anyway. At least you love your kids and like being a mom and all that. I’m also glad you figured out how to make baby D stop throwing up all the time. That’s very good. :)

Michelle
Michelle
14 years ago

You are not alone. My son (who is now 7) was 2.5 when his sister came along. I love both of my kids more than I can express. But it doesn’t mean that even to this day, I don’t realize how much easier my life would be if I only had one child. Especially now that I am a single mom.

You know it does get better and I am here to tell you it will .

melissa
melissa
14 years ago

Been there. Done that! I remembering feeling SO THRILLED to go to the dentist right after my 2nd, very needy child was born. I fell asleep while they were working on my mouth. I almost cried when I had to go home. That was 15 years ago and I still remember how horrible the early days were with a newborn and toddler. It seemed to improve at around 2 months (she was a Feb. baby) and by April I felt like I had my shit together.

Kim
Kim
14 years ago

As a non-parent, I feel like an asshole even commenting on this post, but I just wanted you to know you have my sympathy as well. As with my Christmas lights ride suggestion, I think sometimes just driving aimlessly around for a little while while listening to violent music helps a lot if this is possible. You posted something the other day about singing loudly alone in your car and I was so glad to read it!

AndreAnna
14 years ago

I am currently pregnant with my second who is due in July and my daughter is 21 months old. They will be only 26 months or so apart, and I am scared to death.

Part of me, like you, KNOWS it will be hard. I wanted them close in age. I signed up for this. I mean, it was hard with just one and I wasn’t chasing a toddler trying to stop her from setting the cat on fire.

I read this with a knot in my stomach because I DO remember those early days and some days I find myself thinking “how can I do this?” “How can I handle two of them and a career?” “what for THE LOVE OF GOD were we thinking?”

But, somehow, we do get through it. And know you will and I know I will.

Perhaps with some vodka.

ana
ana
14 years ago

milk bonging – priceless.
Aww he’s so cute….

Elinore
Elinore
14 years ago

I hear ya. I yelled at my 3 month old this morning, “RUBY! I cannot do this with you. WHAT THE FUCK?” Can’t say it helped her much, but I felt slightly better afterwards (but only for a few seconds since it hightened her cries from whiney to hysterical).

kalisah
14 years ago

man, I remember those first few weeks. I call them HELL WEEK. It was so overwhelming and emotional (what w/ all the hormonal shit) and YES! Loving and resenting all at the same time!!!

It’s been 15 years for me, but I just remember it as being so hormone-driven. I’m sure as your body begins to even out you will find your coping skills greatly improved.

Leticia
Leticia
14 years ago

This is why I love you. It is so refreshing to read someone being honest about all this. I know EXACTLY how you feel.

My kiddos are 2y9months apart. When the little one was 10 days old or so, we took the older one to a birthday party. We thought it would be good to spend some alone time with her. There were ladies at that party that were pregnant with the same age range as mine. Oh my Lord I complained (whined). “It is soooo hard. Wah wah wah.” Everytime I see those ladies now I still apologize for doing that.

For me, my daughter (the 2 year old) at first was great with everything, then started acting more clingy and whiny. And when you are dealing with little sleep its so hard to deal with. Ah, I have to sigh now thinking about how hard it was.

But now, the baby is 9 months old…and we are more used to the routine and things are soo much better.

Hang in there. I know you know things will get better. And, thanks for being brave enough for writing about this.

TinaNZ
TinaNZ
14 years ago

…and this is why my children were four years apart. It took that long for me to forget enough so I could venture back into that place again. A friend described it as like falling into a deep dark pit, then after six weeks you get to take the first steps out towards the light. Now they are 12 and 16, pretty much sleep through the night and handle all their own poop =) (although I still occasionally get to clean up vomit, ahh the joys of motherhood NEVER END).

Jennifer
14 years ago

Ick, I’m so sorry. My son (also my second) acted much the same – fussing all day, no naps. It turned out he had severe food allergies – we adjusted his diet (and mine) and he was a new person. I hope it gets better for you. Really so sorry –

Kym
Kym
14 years ago

Let’s be honest, it can/does S-U-C-K at times with the second one. I feel guilty at times for acting angerly, but if I didn’t I would be worried.

Good Luck!!!

Marie Green
14 years ago

Yes, I hear you so loud and clear. Adjusting to a new baby is a long and not-always-fun process, and one that we shouldn’t have to feel like we are sugar-coating. Being honest about it, like you are in this post, can only help you (for being able to name and claim your emotions) and for others (who’ve felt that way but not had the opportunity or ability or audience to express it to).

It is just a season, which you know, a season full of whacky hormones, post-pardom bods/emotions/adjustments, and lack of sleep.

So it’s with a pat on the back, or a high five, or a hug, or a kiss on the cheek (whichever you are most comfortable with) that I can say, Sister I hear you!

Lindy
14 years ago

HA! I can sooo relate. I remember telling Squidge to shut the f&%k up when she was about Dylans age. Ya I felt horrible but it made me feel better! It’s a good thing they’re soo darn cute at this age or else…

Lawyerish
14 years ago

You’re awesome. That’s really about all I have to say on this matter.

kaitlyn
14 years ago

There is a 2-3 weeks growth spurt that babies go through, that could explain his cluster-feeding. It should only last a few days, and then maybe he’ll settle a little? Here’s hoping that you don’t lose your mind before then!

Judith in NYC
Judith in NYC
14 years ago

I debated whether to post this anonymously but since you are so brave and honest I feel I owe you some honesty too: you are an awesome mom and human being but even the most awesome get exhausted. When my twins were two weeks old I locked myself in my room and refused to come out to nurse them. I just sat there and cried hysterically. It is hard having two kids, I don’t know what I would have done if one of them could walk around and talk and the other one was a newborn needing to be fed several times a night.

It will get better, I promise. Big hug.

Kelsey
14 years ago

I’m currently on bed rest incubating kiddo number two. So sometime between now and the beginning of May I’ll have a newborn and three year old. I am going to come back and read this entry when I’m ready to turn them both over to grandparents, permanently, and then read your new entries to remind myself that it will get better. Because I’m sure by the time I have two, you’ll be managing and feeling like a pro!

Katie
Katie
14 years ago

Your honesty is what makes you a good mom! Seriously, those mom’s who don’t lose their temper or patience with a toddler and infant, I want to ask what their prescription is for and can I have some please! There are some days now that I will make sure they’re both safe in their room or chairs eating snacks and I’ll retreat to the bathroom for a sanity break. You have to, or else all good mom feelings go bye-bye!

Also, the milk-bong realization, I did that too. Didn’t realize it until the 3-4 time that he was covered in milk and spit up and finally I looked at the nipple size and instead of 1 we were at a 3. Yeah, bad mom!

ShannonJ
ShannonJ
14 years ago

My kids are spaced about the same as yours, age-wise, and it’s SO hard to have them both needing attention, in such different ways, at the same time. My daughter stayed in her normal daycare routine so that made the weekdays easier and allowed me to do some one-on-one bonding with my son, which was nice. Not sure if you are still taking Riley to daycare but if not, maybe at least one day a week would be good for some sanity? Oh, and like many others, I dropped the F bomb on my son several times. Parenthood = craziness. “Embrace the Chaos” was the motto I tried to live by, not so successfully sometimes though. Things will get better; you and your boys are beautiful!

Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
14 years ago

I love, love, love how you are so honest. Being a parent isn’t always wonderful.

Also “milk-bonging”, who else would think up something so hilarious!!

kristylynne
kristylynne
14 years ago

I’ll take him. :-)

Gina
14 years ago

We all go through that sometimes – mine are 11 and 4 and the only reason I don’t ask them (out loud) what in the blue fuck their problem is is that they’ll in turn ask their friend, or teacher, or the neighbor, or grandma. But lord am I thinking it.

wealhtheow
14 years ago

I think we’ve all done that. And I’m pretty sure our babes won’t remember it. You are a good mom. As my mom said, you’d have to be a blithering idiot to enjoy every single last moment. Hang in there.

kelly
kelly
14 years ago

I feel your pain, just wanted to share like the others have that you are not alone. I remember crying hysterically while my 3 year old batheed in our horrifyingly unkempt bathroom, while I nursed and wondered when I might ever take a shower or tend to my burning c-section scar. I remember many moments of wondering how much more could I actually do…as I read to a 3 year old while nursing baby, while attempting to eat myself. At times I would be required to go running through the house to catch 3 year old while the baby nursed. It was nuts!!!

But… as everyone says it gets much better. Although raising children will never be easy, the infant and toddler stage was most difficult by far.

Susie
14 years ago

You have my sympathies. I remember with my son, how resentful I felt of the loss of all my “me” time.

I thought of the first couple of months with a newborn as boot camp – the bugle would go off at any hour of the day or night, and I was on duty, no matter how little sleep I had had. It was like basic training. I don’t miss those days at all. Hang in there – it’ll get better.

Jem
Jem
14 years ago

Lets see if my keyboard behaves itself this time…yay!

Don’t feel you need to explain how much you love him, inbetween explaining how you struggle, we know :) Any trolls are the judgemental ones who don’t understand that you can feel more than one emotion at once, that you can love someone and be incredibly frustrated. Motherhood sounds incredibly challenging and I think you are doing an amazing job. Hang in there, infant-hood doesn’t last for long and I know one day Riley and Dylan will thank you for what a great job you did :)

Marilyn
14 years ago

Hang in there. *hugs* And thanks for posting this. I think it’s so important for the “other side” of parenting to be out there. It helps us feel not so alone.

FYI: This is totally going to be me in another month. GAH.

Swistle
14 years ago

It’s okay! It’s okay! My second baby was my most difficult of all my babies: not because of himself (he was a fine baby), but because he was the secondborn, and because of that toddler-infant combination. The first month was like WOOOOOOOOOOOOO-boy, but then every month was easier, and then after awhile the planet stabilized and things felt “normal.”

I recommend the fussing in the corner. Bring a pan of leftover birthday cake.

Rebecca
Rebecca
14 years ago

Thank you for your honesty. Been there, done that (my 2 are 26 mos apart…they are currently 2 1/2 and 5 mos.). Your feelings are totally normal. At times I felt like I just wasn’t as bonded to my 2nd as I had been to my first, but we are getting there. You will too.

P.S. Milk-bonging had me LOL!

Swistle
14 years ago

When the cake’s gone, I recommend thinking of this whole stage as Survival Mode only. Head down, elbows out, plow through it whatever way leaves everyone alive—and that’s all you have to do to get the Great Job award.

Rebecca
Rebecca
14 years ago

Adding that I think Jem’s comment was great.

Janet Powell
Janet Powell
14 years ago

Hi Linda – I have 4, and went through this too. It helped me to put the baby in a carrier or a stroller and walk outside more to get some perspective. I would also sometimes go for a drive to nowhere, and maybe walk around a mall for a little bit- got my head out of the fog. Not too far from home, so that I could just go back if I got tired.

Please remember you just had major surgery – you’re not going to feel like yourself for a little while and you need time to recover too.

This is all temporary.

Mary
Mary
14 years ago

The first six weeks are the worst. I promise. It seems to last forever and then one day all of a sudden you wake up and realize he’s six weeks old and it’s better. And no matter how many kids you have, you always will have to be reminded of that. Heh.

Those Farent Pish people are weirdly negative themselves. Ignore them.

Sharri
Sharri
14 years ago

Ah…the newborn stage, how i hated you so. I’m delurking to let you know that you’re only saying what so many moms are thinking and afraid to say aloud. Keep writing about it – it will make you and US feel better.

Jennifer
14 years ago

I want to give you a hug and an ice cream!

I don’t have any sage nuggets of wisdom for you, but I want to thank you for being so honest instead of blowing smoke up my ass and telling me that raising two small children is kittens and rainbows all the time.

As someone who will likely be starting a family soon (HMOG) I am so glad that I can read an honest account of child rearin’ and that it’s OK to feel overwhelmed and that it’s perfectly normal to freak out now and again. I also love to hear from your commenters that it’s GOING to be OK in the not-so-distant future.

So, HUG! ICE CREAM! Hang in there!

MG
MG
14 years ago

I appreciate your honesty about this. I have often felt like that since the birth of #2 6 months ago. It does get better. I found at about month 2-3 I started feeling more confident and somewhat more organized. And the concept of leaving the house with 2 kids under 2 seemed much less daunting.
Hang in there. I think everybody goes through this. And those who don’t are total liars.

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