Stopping The Madness!

After my Woe-Is-Me post last night and while sitting listening to my baby cry for almost 40 minutes last night, I had a major epiphany – Mother knows best! And I may be a new mom and not really know what I’m doing most of the time, but I do know my child and I do know my love for my child and I do know the boundaries of what is ok for me and for her and what isn’t. So while I may not be a sleep and routine expert or a Dr or a Chiro or a Mother of multiple children, I am Ava’s mother and I’m stopping the madness right here!

Yesterday was an extremely difficult day. Compounded by the fact that my DH (a quality assurance manager for a telecoms company) had a major deliverable due today so worked till midnight last night and was rather annoyed and irritated by Ava’s crying while he was trying to meet a deadline and landed up going back to the office to work till midnight in peace and quiet. When he left and I was all alone with bottles to sterilize and prepare and only the sound of my crying daughter, I caved. I went into her room, looked at her tiny tear stained face and decided in that intant that the madness was stopping.

I am no longer interested in the assvice or expertize of anyone! I do not care! I don’t want to hear it. Motherhood is a lesson not just in patience for me (and trust me, if you think infertility teaches patience, its got nothing on motherhood) but its also a lesson for me in learning how to kick back, roll with the punches and just take things as they come. I’m very Type A personality, I like things just so, my way, my way or the highway, come hell or high water. But it doesn’t work that way with a baby.

I want to thank all of you who sent me emails of encouragement, who were willing (and let me tell you, few Mom’s are willing) to admit that your children and babies were not perfect and that the first few months was incredibly hard. You’ve given me license to say its ok that things are not panning out in the perfect way I had imagined in my head. I think what makes it so much more difficult is that a lot of Mom’s are SO competitive, you’re almost afraid to admit that you don’t have the perfect life with the perfectly behaved child for fear of the judgement that comes down on you, I’ve been shocked by some of the comments I’ve received (not here thankfully) from other mother’s when I’ve reached out for help or advice.

Katherine, especially to you, your email last night was a turning point for me, this statement you made made me wake up and realize I was exactly the same:

You were right when you said motherhood is not for sissies. It is unbelievably tough and one is forever questioning oneself and asking everyone what they did, etc. as everyone else’s baby seems like a model child compared to your own. Ava was impossibly difficult (according to me when she was tiny). Chris thought she was a breeze but I’m a Type A control freak who craves routine and he’s not.

Thank you for not judging me but offering me kindness and compassion. That statement made reminded me that I’m exactly the same and that I need to learn to roll with it.

In our adoption profile, when we were asked to define our parenting style, W and I jokingly said that famous line from the movie: “Meet The Fockers” – we’re just going to love the little focker. Our BM informed us it was the clincher for her, when she read that statement, she new in an instant that W and I would love her child unconditionally and that we’d do it with a sense of humour.

Well I’m going back to honoring that statement, from this moment on, I’m just going to love my little focker!

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  • Reply Lea White

    Your little girl and your parenting style will never be according to the book. It never is Sharon and it isn’t meant to be (and how often we think if only they came with a manual πŸ™‚ ). You are doing a great job and it will get easier. You just keep doing what works for you. I’ve had to learn when Bianca was really little that the only way I was going to get through was to accept that that was her routine and I needed to just fit in and when I made peace with that that’s when things became easier.

    Sharon, I have always admired you, I will always admire you because you are one amazing woman and you keep telling yourself that when things become tough.

    Hang in there, focus on getting through each day and before you know it your little girl will have a routine that works for both of you, it will become easier to know what she wants, she’ll interact more and become happier “playing” by herself without having to be picked up all the time. I promise πŸ™‚

    February 2, 2010 at 9:40 am
  • Reply sophie

    what a strong and positive post Sharon!
    got me in tears.
    keep going you are doing great…

    February 2, 2010 at 9:42 am
  • Reply Julia

    I like this post better than the one of yesterday.
    It is really hard in the beginning but does get better and easier. You and Ava will get into your own little groove and it will work just fine.
    I am also very type A and struggled a lot in the beginning. I had to learn the hard way that kids don’t always allow you the priviledge of remaining type A. It sucks because you are also essentially out of your comfort zone. But it really does get better. Promise.
    ps…you are doing really well with this Mommy thing.xx

    February 2, 2010 at 9:54 am
  • Reply Tanya

    What I have learnt is you will never please everyone. Someone will always do it better and tell you how to do better. My advise is always do what works for you W and Ava and trust your gut you will always figure it out. Nobody else matters!!! My girls are 8 and 6 and I’m still not sure I get it right all the time but I do know that I love them and we are the only ones who matter. I was so worried about my 8yr old who sucked a dummy and didnt sleep and would only sleep with me. Someone turned around and said stop stressing. have you ever seen a bride walk down they isle with a dummy?? and she would sleep in her own time and she is in her own bed since 3yrs old. And as for the Dummy she threw it away herself no problems. So I think you have it right you love Ava and W and thats all that matters.

    February 2, 2010 at 10:50 am
  • Reply Hela

    I could’ve written this post. I wanted the perfect ‘book’ baby, the ‘eat & sleep’ baby I was to my mother. But my son is not a book and he’s not me or another baby either. He is his own person as young as he is. Just as Ava is her own person.

    When I was struggling with baby blues in the beginning, I also cracked many times. And the one thing that has stuck with me was what the midwife said to me through that time. Babies have their own routines and perhaps they don’t want to sleep when we want them to… some like to be awake longer than others.

    Learning to let go of your type A is difficult. But once (as you said) learn to “kick back & roll” it does become easier and you become less frustrated and all become happier. When A child is born… “My way” becomes “Our way”

    It’s right not to care about what people say, what advice they give…sometimes the advice does help. But what I’ve learnt is that when it comes to sleep advice… only you will figure it out and what works today, may not necessarily work in 2 weeks time- then we all just learn again from the start.

    The one thing we tend to do as new moms is judge ourselves too much as well. Feel like we’re failing, or compare ourselves to others.
    Instead we should just be ourselves.

    February 2, 2010 at 11:36 am
  • Reply Katherine

    Sorry been out all day so only just saw this post. So glad the email helped. My cousin is of the opinion that all the people with perfect babies out there are all liars!!!

    February 2, 2010 at 11:54 am
  • Reply Elize

    Hey hon, You are doing a great job! You are a wonderful mommy to little Ava, everyone has different parenting skills, and you’re finding yours by trying different things and if it doesn’t work, you just move on until you find something that works for you and Ava. I just read you previous post, and I could feel your weariness, sadness and guilt, and you’re right, motherhood is NOT for sissies!

    February 2, 2010 at 12:13 pm
  • Reply Yvonne

    HUGS Shaz, what an honest post πŸ™‚ Thank you for that.

    Motherhood is really just a huge ocean of unknowns, and all of us – whether we admit it or not – are just trying to keep our heads above water, while of course doing the best we can for our children.

    For ME the solution was co-sleeping. I KNOW it doesn’t work for everyone, and I know some people couldn’t think of a worse fate – but for me it was It. My kids are now almost 5 and almost 3, and to this day whenever they do come and sleep with me for a portion of the night I cherish it and enjoy it. These days pass so fast, and soon they’ll no doubt be able to think of no worse punishment than having to share a bed with their mother – so for now I’m taking what I get πŸ™‚

    Through trial and error and in time you’ll find the solution that’s just right for your family.

    February 2, 2010 at 1:24 pm
  • Reply Lynese

    Oh Sharon, for me it was the breastfeeding!!
    I was so determined to do it for my baby and get it right. When i look back now and remember the anxiety, the pain, the bleeding nipples, the 4x per day visits for lazer treatment, the latching experts, the tears and the sense of failure I felt. What a waste! But I too felt the pressure, from myself and from other mothers. I am sure that somewhere on a v subconcious level I felt like I had to earn this right to have a child and do it right.
    But once I let that go, I was equally determined to suck up every moment of motherhood. So when he cried for me, I went to him. When he wanted to be held, I held him. I knew that he might be my only one and I was going to enjoy every second.
    SO pleased that you have found that peace, there are no absolutes with babies. Don’t deny yourself the LOVE!

    February 2, 2010 at 1:30 pm
  • Reply Jen

    So glad you posted this today!

    I was having a very difficult time keeping my big mouth shut yesterday when I read your entry. As the mother of five children (NONE of them sleeping through the night until at least one year old – and at worst four years old) we have read EVERY sleep book out there! Honestly what works for one baby will not necessarily work for another baby – I know that you know this but it helped me immensely to embrace this. It sucks rocks big time but you will get through it and eventually she will sleep regularly and so will you! We co-sleep up to about one year but that’s more about self-preservation than bonding per say. My husband and I NEED sleep and being able to roll over and feed or snuggle with the little one is easier than getting up and tending to them. Last night was a nightmare for us (no pun intended) as our youngest, who is seven months old, had a terrible night. He is teething something fierce and I probably slept for a total of four hours but not at a stretch. Our 2 1/2 year old was up for good at 4:00 a.m., so I will be mainlining, snorting, and inhaling coffee for the rest of the day. The thing that keeps me going is the known fact that this phase will pass and we WILL GET THROUGH IT!

    It’s a good thing that hubby and I have a great sense of humor and love caffeine!

    Good luck to you and your little sausage!


    February 2, 2010 at 4:40 pm
  • Reply Adi

    πŸ™‚ Who can’t just love that little focker if she gives you that shy smile on the piccies you’ve posted…

    February 2, 2010 at 6:42 pm
  • Reply Pandora

    Glad to hear it, Sharon. My LG also worked out her own routine, and they know when they are hungry and tired. Who better to set the routine. And I said it before, we can listen to the assvice, but in the end, do what suits you. Enjoy this time with her rather than stressing about being the perfect mom with the perfect baby. You are perfect for each other, the other is a pipe dream! I also think those moms are lying through their teeth!

    February 2, 2010 at 7:11 pm
  • Reply Stacey

    Great post! Your love for Ava is so evident and there is no doubt in my mind that you are doing a fantastic job with her. Thanks for staying true to the way your blog has always been. You’re honest, and it’s what I like best about this blog. Those of us who are waiting need to know the struggles along with the wonderful things about motherhood! I know that your honesty will help other new moms who may be feeling inadequate. Keep up the good work!

    February 2, 2010 at 7:29 pm
  • Reply Kristin

    Good for you Shaz! I am a strong proponent of doing whatever you need to do to make it work. You are the mom. You know your child. YOu know yourself and what you can and can’t tolerate. If it works for you and makes for a happy family, do it!

    February 2, 2010 at 7:53 pm
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