I’m not OK. I look like I’m OK. But I’m not OK.
My thoughts are on a constant loop.
The to-do list is longer than my baby’s growing body. Seemingly pointless things, but things that nevertheless need to be done.
I’ve tried meditating. I’ve tried deep breathing. I’ve tried walking. Journaling. Listening to podcasts. Talking to friends. More journaling. Reading. Listening to music. More walking.
Nothing helps. Because I feel like I’m drowning.
How do you save yourself when you are drowning?
Just be still.
But I can’t be still. That to-do list …
This isn’t to say I don’t have help. I have a supportive husband who tries to do all the things. But he isn’t a mind reader, and because the thoughts come a mile a minute, how is he supposed to keep up?
Having a newborn is so much work. Exhausting work.
I’m lucky, I remind myself. He sleeps for nearly 11 hour stretches every night. Every. Single. Night.
I shouldn’t be exhausted. Because I’m lucky. I get full nights of rest. But damnit. I’m exhausted.
Because the thoughts don’t stop. The to-do list …
And the baby doesn’t sleep during the day. Unless he is here, on my chest. And even here, snuggled close, I’m lucky if he naps for 25 minutes.
But he sleeps at night.
I should be grateful.
I am grateful. I sleep at night. I wake up feeling rested. The mornings are full of hope. It’s a new day.
But then he doesn’t sleep unless I am rocking him, holding him, snuggling him. How can I possibly get anything done when my arms are always full?
Enjoy these moments – they won’t last forever.
I feel guilty for needing – wanting – to get to that to-do list … I should be enjoying these moments when it’s all baby snuggles & tiny fingers & chubby cheeks.
But that would be ignoring the angst tearing at my heart.
It becomes this vs that. Baby vs mama. Me vs him. Snuggle time vs my time. Good mom vs bad mom.
And right now, because I am itching for productivity, because I crave routine – and the newborn stage is anything but those things – I feel like a bad mama.
And that makes me not OK.
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