Sunday, April 13, 2008

A True Story

Once there was a 39-year-old woman. She happens to be a blogger who complains about her life too much, although not nearly as much as she would like to. She has an intense almost two-year-old who still cannot sleep for more than a couple hours a time. He is wonderful and gives kisses and says "I love you", but that is not always appreciated at 3:30 am. This woman is still getting used to being a mom. Perhaps she just had too many years of freedom. She is not used to the utter lack of independence that comes with having a child. She is not used to being at home so much after working from the age of 16 until three years ago. And by home, I mean a two bedroom apartment with small garage space that also is home-base for a general contracting business.

She has her share of normal problems. Family squabbles and the like. She can be emotional at times. She believes in a good cry and that things will look better in the morning.

One day this woman had a particularly rough time. She woke up just feeling "off" and wishing she could stay in bed. Not an option. Toddler to take care of, swimming lesson at 10:00. She found a to-do list from her husband and business partner on the two square feet of a dresser that is her office space. Add that to her personal to-do list, and the housework to-do list, and you get one long list. She started to attack the list. One item was to move fax machine over with the other office equipment. The toddler helped. It was accomplished with much untangling of cables and cords, swearing, and a little sweating.

Swimming went fine, and the toddler fell asleep on the way home. He sleeps fairly well in the truck. Unfortunately the woman forgot, for the first time ever, her knitting bag, so she was prepared to eat her lunch and just hang out in the truck for almost two peaceful hours. Well, the little guy woke up after an hour, she rushed him into the house and into bed so he could finish his nap and she could knit. To no avail. He would not go back to sleep. Guilt-inducing bad parenting ensued. It is a well-know fact that missing one hour of nap time leads to at least two hours of crankiness in the evening. Perversely, it does not lead to going to bed earlier, and actually causes difficulty time sleeping. The rest of the day was looking bad.

Grandma came over and played with the kid. The husband came home to help with one item from the to-do list, pulling the last items together for the taxes and doing a rough run-through. They worked on that together and found very bad news. More money owed than previously thought.

The bedtime was not pleasant, and downright frustrating. Finally the toddler went to sleep. The mom tried to get up from next to him to go decompress by knitting or reading or watching t.v. Every time she got up the kid would wake up and cry. She couldn't read in bed because the husband was sleeping. She was not ready to go to sleep at 8:45. Finally she started to cry, quietly, with frustration. All she wanted was a little peace after a tough day. Why couldn't the kid just stay asleep?

Did her husband comfort her in her moment of need? To the contrary. He growled "I'm sick and tired of your crying all the time". The quiet sobbing turned into full on crying. Self-pity abounded. Why doesn't he understand the value of a good cry? All the time? She wished she could cry as often as she felt like it. And how can he start snoring while she's crying? She got up to get a handkerchief, the floor squeaked, the kid woke up and cried. The mom had to to laugh. Finally the kid went back to sleep and the husband gave a few consoling pats. The mom cried some more quietly and finally went to sleep. The kid just could not stay asleep that night and rolled around out of his crib kicked and talked in his sleep. Not too restful for the mom. The dad, however, snored on.

The next morning the exhausted mom dragged herself into the kitchen. She looked at her husband in a not too kindly manner. They reviewed the previous day's challenges and disappointments. She reminded him of his to-do list, the cranky kid, and his declaration of being "sick and tired of your crying." He admitted it was not the best strategy for dealing with a burned out wife. He laughed and suggested it would make a good blog story.


Fluffy said...

Boy, do I remember those days. But, your right. There is nothing like a good cry. It cleanses you soul.

Kristen said...

It can be so tough especially when sleep deprived. Get as much outside help as you can - family, friends, babysitters, doctors (yours and son's), moms groups, etc. Take good care of yourself!