12 August 2013

two thoughts that helped to keep me semi-sane during the first month of motherhood

Sure, she's sleeping now. . .
#1 God knows how much sleep you need.

Sleeping was really hard at first. I would get into bed (sometimes with Ellie beside me, sometimes with her in the nursery) and try desperately to relax. My mind wouldn't cooperate: I couldn't stop thinking and planning and wondering. Will she wake up? Will nursing ever not hurt? Did I put the laundry in the dryer? Why can't I fall asleep? She's going to wake up soon! If I don't go to sleep right now I'll be a wreck tomorrow! Bedtime was more stressful than restful.

After a while, though, I realized that every morning when I woke up, I felt okay. I could face that day. Even if Ellie had cried for an hour in the middle of the night-- which, thank God, didn't happen very often-- I was able to take care of her and not fall over in exhaustion. When I went to bed, then, I could trust the Lord to give me enough sleep.

So instead of freaking out about not sleeping, I started to think, I don't have to worry. Ellie might be fussing now, but she will sleep eventually . . . it will be better in the morning. Even if I can't fall asleep right away, I can lie here and rest. That will be good too.

 Don't you know, I fell asleep faster.

Magnesium also helped. :)
In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
Psalm 4:8
Look at those skinny legs!
#2 When your baby is crying, she is sad.

In other words, she is not being "bad." You don't have to worry about spoiling her, because she only wants to be fed, kept warm, and cuddled. Pick her up and love her.

When Ellie would scrunch up her face and wail at the top of her lungs, it helped a lot to remember that she simply needed me. I didn't get angry at her, because I knew that she was not trying to get on my nerves. When I thought of her crying as an expression of sadness, rather than as a pointless irritation, it helped me to be compassionate towards my baby.

Sometimes we let her cry in her crib now because we can tell the difference between "I am annoyed and need to go to sleep" and "oh help I'm scared and need to be held!" When she was really little, though, she didn't know how to fuss herself to sleep, so crying was pretty much a distress signal to be answered immediately.

This is actually my 1000th post. Pretty cool, huh? If I were a big shot blogger I would celebrate with a giveaway or a linkup or a drastic blog makeover, but I haven't the requisite business connections or a large enough readership. So I'll just say thanks to you all for coming here week after week and reading my ramblings. This is really important to me and I'm glad you enjoy it too.

3 comments:

  1. So true! Many prayers for you. I always remind myself in those first few months that it won't last forever and before you know it you will miss it. God bless!

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  2. Congratulations on your 1000th post! Love that you have really hung in there with the blogging. Your baby girl is so dear. Love how you love her. =)

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  3. I don't read every week, but if I had time and remembered when I do have time, I would! Yours is one of the very few that I do read. (And then tell Adalie to read....so much good stuff! But now I don't think I have to tell her; I think she's reading on her own...haha)

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