My Struggles

Posted by  | Sunday, March 30, 2008  at 8:34 PM  
This week's topic is titled "What I don't get right." We wanted to take the opportunity to open up to you all a little bit about where we struggle as moms. My hope is that this week's posts will generate a lot of discussion and prayer as we share with one another.

I think my biggest problem area would be how I relate to my husband in regards to parenting. It is my tendency to set myself and my husband up as dueling competitors instead of complimentary partners. I am given to holding grudges against my husband for "not helping enough" or "not appreciating all that I do with the kids." I get upset when he doesn't get up in the mornings and let me sleep in, or when he asks me to get Samuel's lunch together instead of doing it himself. I look for the ways he fails to serve me instead of look for opportunities to serve him. This is a really tough area because it affects both my relationship with my children and my relationship with my husband. And as all of you know, if there isn't stability in your marriage, it makes parenting that much harder. Now, I don't want to exagerate things and make you all think my marriage is falling apart or anything. It's just that I see this weak point in my life and know that it isn't a problem with my husband - it's a problem with my heart. That's a tough pill to swallow!

My other weak area would be finding joy in interacting with Samuel on a daily basis. I love my son with all my heart, and I can almost make myself cry just thinking about how much he means to me. I can reflect on things we've done together and be so happy. But a lot of times when I'm sitting on the floor with him, running the car down the ramp for the 100th time in a row, I find myself feeling really discontent and annoyed. I hate it when I am looking at the clock every 10 minutes to see if it's naptime or bedtime yet - but I catch myself doing this pretty frequently. I want to be more content as a mom and interact with Samuel with joy in my heart. I know that he can sense whether I want to be down on the floor with him. I want him to grow up knowing that I enjoy spending time with him.

Well, there is a little piece of my heart for you all to see. Please feel free to share with us this week as well. God's best to you!!

9 comments:

KC said...

Leah, your second concern is one of my biggest concerns about becoming a mother. I know I will love and enjoy my baby, but I have never really enjoyed interacting with other children because, well, it is just hard to pretend to be excited about doing something over and over and over. I think we can ask God to help us change our perspective and not beat ourselves up in the meantime.

Ross and Shannon said...

Leah, I can relate to every one of these struggles. It is good to hear someone humbly share these sins with others, and it is an encouragement to me as a wife and mother to recognize my deep need for Christ daily! Thank you for sharing.
Shannon Bradley :)

Jackie said...

We are currently struggling with Graham (7 months old) when it comes to his sleep. He's always been easy to put to bed at night and usually a good night time sleeper. Naps have always been a struggle and the night time is becoming a struggle too.

I'm sick of listening to him cry in his bed and in my arms because he doesn't want to go to sleep. This frustration has led to fear that if I get him out of bed and don't force him to go to sleep then I'm setting up a pattern where he would learn that if he cries long enough, Mommy will let him get out of going to sleep. When he doesn't go down for the nap, I feel like I can't enjoy him because he hasn't done what I want and if I do enjoy him, then in some way I'm rewarding him for not doing what I wanted him to do.

I feel like I've got a works based love for him- I'll love you more if you do what I want, but not as much if you don't. This certainly isn't Christ-like and I need to grow beyond this!

Any suggestions for the sleep struggles so we can get past this and enjoy our time together?

marymstraits said...

Leah,
Thank you for your honesty! I think 99% of moms deal with both of the issues you brought up--I know have . . . and still do. Your transparency is encouraging.

Jackie,
I hear you. Noah was about 7 months when we resorted to the cry-it-out strategy. We were having the same issues with him that you're having with Graham.

The book _Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child_ really helped us get Noah's sleep pattern straight. It is SO hard to let them cry themselves to sleep, but it's worth it in the long run, especially if you're to that point where you KNOW that something has to change. For naps, the author of the book suggests an hour limit on crying. For night-time sleep, no time limit. After the hour for naps is up, he suggests getting out of the house, playing, etc. and then trying for the nap again later. I highly recommend this book!

My guess is that night-time sleep is becoming difficult because his day-time sleep is difficult. I know we've seen several times that if Noah misses a nap that he really needed, he has trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. It can then become a vicious cycle--the more tired babies are, the less they sleep. It's against all logic since I thought that he would sleep really well being extra tired. We usually put him to bed earlier than usual if he misses a nap, even though some days he's been in bed for the night at 5:15 pm.

Hang in there! And all of this is just our experience. You know your baby best! I will pray for you all the same--I know that sleep problems can be very frustrating.

Mary

Leah said...

Mary,
Thanks for sharing your advice. I definitely second everything you said.

Jackie,
We went through the same issues with Samuel at around 7 months. I was strongly against Cry It Out and so we put up with the sleep problems until about 12 months. By that point, it didn't matter what we did - Samuel was crying all the time and not sleeping well at all. It didn't matter if I rocked him, put him in bed with me, etc - he wouldn't sleep well and he cried a lot. We finally decided to do the Cry It Out. You can read about it here. Looking back, I wish we would have dealt with the problem when it first started. BUT, I think that YOU have to be the one to make that decision. Don't go CIO just because everyone tells you to do it - you'll be miserable. But it did work for us and it only took about 4 days of crying (from 80 minutes down to 10 to none). Pray about it and make the decision WITH your husband because you will definitely need his support. That's my two cents.

NotesbyNewsome said...

Jackie,

I know everyone has practically said this but we did "cry it out" with James around 6 months...it was about this time that we just could not rock him to sleep anymore (he was getting too smart and knew he could keep himself from sleeping by focusing on other things). I will say it has been much easier with #2....we started laying her in her crib as soon as she was tired from the beginning. She learned almost right away to put herself to sleep...and I learned that I can rock them at other times of the day...not just to sleep :o). We'll be praying for your sleep situation! I know what I'm like with little sleep and I wouldn't wish that on anyone!!!

Ross and Shannon said...

????? With my first son, we waited until he was about 9 weeks to CIO. (It was well worth it for us). I have a new 4 week old :) and we have already started letting him CIO...do any of you have any info to share as far as how long it takes a baby at this age to begin self soothing. Each day/night has varied in "minutes" but I don't see a steady decrease in time as I did with Luke, my first!?!?!? When have any of you seen consistency at the newborn age???

Leah said...

Shannon,
I can't really answer your question about CIO with a newborn because I personally don't recommend it - but that's just me. I think babies are too little to CIO at that age. BUT, I'm sure there are others that will disagree with me. I won't personally go to CIO until my child is older. Have you read the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child"? I am going to see if Christina will do a little write-up on it for the blog because it is SUCH a good book when it comes to sleep.

Other moms - can you help Shannon out with her question?

Ross and Shannon said...

I haven't read the book you suggested, but I have heard really good things about it. I did Baby Wise with Luke and we loved it, so did he :)I know there are so many different views on the CIO and I am at a crossroads right now with David...like I said, it worked really well for us with Luke but he was 9 weeks (can be a big difference than 4 weeks). Just for more info if anyone has any advice...he is discontent to be held to go to sleep. When he does fall asleep during the day he is not sleeping long at all. He eats well on a pretty descent schedule. Gaining weight. Good diapers. Does not seems gassy. Just TIRED!! Any advice is welcomed. Thanks!!

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