I know I said I was taking a break from the blog, but I just wanted to say this.
I sometimes worry that Iâve made parenting sounds so fun and easy-breezy, like Iâve got it all figured out and we never have any difficulties here in the Quiring household.
So I thought it was important that I share with you some of our recent struggles and failures.
For the last five days, weâve been a mess. I donât know why, but Lydia has been absolutely wretched every night from dinner time to bed time. She yells, whines, cries, and howls. Sheâs not happy anywhere or with anybody. I canât figure it out and I feel like a wreck.
She then wakes up hollering in the middle of the night, as if waking from a nightmare about all the horrible ways Iâve been abusing her.
Elimination communication has suddenly become a disaster. Sheâs peed in our bed twice in a row now, so that I have to strip off all the bedding in the morning and do enormous loads of laundry. Her elimination timing suddenly changed, without warning, and Iâve been completely caught off guard. Partly because Iâm so exhausted from all the yelling, I canât wake up to respond in time. This morning she also peed all over her change table, soaking everything. At six months old, this is no longer a little newborn trickle of clear liquid that Iâm talking about. Itâs a fountain of yellow urine that soaks through all her clothes and whatever sheâs lying on.
And oh, how she spits up. And spits up and spits up and spits up. I thought this was supposed to subside by now. By the end of the day my clothes are a patchwork of crusty white spots, and the floors are pocked with dried milk. The other day I actually stamped my foot like a four-year-old after yet another stream of warm, milky fluid went down my shirt and into my bra and yelled, âI just canât deal with this anymore!â
Last night I paced around the living room with my screaming 18-pound baby in my arms and just sobbed, repeating, âI donât know what Iâm doing wrong . . . I donât know what Iâm doing wrong . . . Iâm so sorry . . . Iâm so sorry . . .”
I tell you all this, not to complain, but just to let you know: I still find mothering a struggle sometimes, even with all my âSecrets to Making Parenting Easierâ stuff.
Iâm still besieged with doubts. I still wonder whether Iâm messing everything up. And my baby still cries relentlessly sometimes.
I still feel confident that the principles of attachment parenting — keeping her close, paying attention to her cues, etc — will help us to find a good rhythm and solve some of these problems. I still feel this approach makes parenting more manageable and fun by encouraging trust and open communication.
But it doesnât make parenting effortless. Iâm still fumbling through this, just like everybody else. I still throw fits and feel helpless and lose sleep.
I havenât got it figured out. And thank goodness I donât, because what would life be for, then?