Friday, August 22

The "Take Her Away, Give Her Back" Conundrum


Imagine, if you will. The time is eight am. A time which you are extremely thankful for as eight in the morning means, well, that its morning - signalling the fact that you made it through the night. A night which looked like getting up every two hours because your child would not sleep unless you were holding her. No matter how much time passed of you allowing her to "cry it out," her screams got louder and louder. Fear entered your heart as you worried that all of your neighbours would hear her pathetic howls and call social services. How dare they let her cry? they would wonder as the dialled the number. So after trying to let her "cry it out," you would cave, walk to her room, open her door, and there your baby would be, standing up against the crib wall, crying, and looking so small and so pathetic. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

It is now two am. Your child has made the decision that it is now playtime and will not, absolutely will not, go back to bed, no matter what you try. So, because you are at your wits end, you put her down on her carpet, surrounded by toys that don't make much noise, and you let her play. She plays wholeheartedly while you lay down with a teddy bear under your head and one of her receiving blankets covering the upper part of your body. Sleep, you want sleep. She plays until she is too exhausted to continue, you pretend like her exhaustion is an absolute surprise. She goes to sleep for 15 minutes, but boy that 15 minutes is wonderful.

Now its four am. But you have had enough. You let her cry. Let your neighbours call social services. Who cares. Of course, you cannot fall asleep while she is crying. So you sit there, on your couch, trying to distract yourself with YouTube videos. She cries for thirty minutes before she falls asleep on her own. She sleeps until eight am. And so do you.

Your total sleep count is five hours. Broken up over an eleven hour period. You are exhausted. But no sleeping in for you. Baby is awake and looking for a playmate.

Did you use your imagination to make this kind of night come to life in your head?

This happened to me the other night. Bug is teething. I was so tired. And, to continue on with the story in my own perspective, at this point, the only thing I was looking forward to was my mother coming over to visit. She could take care of Bug. Play with her. Change her bum. I would take a nap. I was so excited for my nap.

Mother came. I was happy. Bug was happy. TAKE HER. TAKE HER. I, with a huge smile on my face, handed her Bug. Freedom at last, I shouted in my head.

Finally. Finally, I would have my nap.

It was going to happen. I was going. Mom had Bug, I had no one. My toes started to turn in the direction of thy bed.

Until …

Bug laughed. Mom made her laugh. I don't remember why she was laughing, but she was, talking to,  so happy to see her Grandma.

A very familiar feeling came over me. A feeling that I have come to know all to well since the moment Bug came into existence. A feeling of longing. GIVE ME MY BABY BACK. A feeling of missing her. All of a sudden, and I am in the same room mind you, I MISSED her. I wanted her back in my arms. To laugh and coo in my arms.

I didn't care that she spent the morning laughing and cooing with me before my mother arrived. That we played for hours together already. It didn't matter that I needed a nap. Or that I was in the same room as her. I wanted my baby back.

This is my mommy conundrum.

I have been dealing with it for months.

The minute somebody else has my child, I miss her and I want her back.

There are times when I begged for somebody to take her. Times at the beginning of her life, with frustration of nursing, I begged for somebody to take her. Times when exhausted from lack of sleep, I begged my Husband or my mother to take her. Times when I just couldn't play with her anymore. Or times I didn't want to bathe her or dress her or read her a story.

Now don't get me wrong. I love my daughter immensely and I love being with her. Even at four in the morning when I am too exhausted to think straight, I love her. Or when I have tears streaming down my face; she coos and I smile, her smile makes me smile, and whatever it was that I was crying about (probably from lack of sleep) suddenly becomes all worth it. But still, SOMEBODY TAKE HER.

Somebody would help me out, take her out of my hair hands, and I would have a childless moment.

Or my husband would bless me and take her out for some errands, a daddy - daughter date, so that I could have a childless evening.

Or a nap is longer than normal and I have been childless for 2 + hours.

At first, I am grateful. They took her/she is napping. I am "free." I can be me. I can have a break and do whatever the heck I want. A bath. Read a book. Sleep. Whatever. I prance around like I won the lottery. What to do. What to do.

What do I do?

Next thing I know, I am walking aimlessly around the house, like a lost puppy. I am lost. I am alone. I miss her. I don't know what to do with my time. What did I do with my time before I had a child? I yearn for her. All I want to do is play. I want to make her laugh. But I am alone. Or, like in this story, I am standing a few feet away, watching my mom make my daughter laugh. I have the perfect opportunity to take a nap, and all I can do is just watch, and want her back.

Will this ever get easier? When she is a teenager will I have an easier time being away from her? Will I always feel like a lost puppy without my baby?

My "take her away, give her back" conundrum.

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