My First Mommy Lesson

Thursday, September 13, 2012



Yesterday, I had a meltdown. There we were, enjoying Joshua's two beautiful days off (trust me, when you have a baby, your husband finally being off of work for 48 hours is a beautiful thing) when he got a phone call during breakfast. After answering it and talking for a few minutes, he hung up and proceeded to tell me that he was going to be doing an out-of-town assignment for work that would be leaving me by myself with a 4 week old for 9 straight days. Did you hear that, people? 9.days.

By the beautiful grace of God, my parents are able to come out and visit and keep me company while he is gone. They are saving me from losing my marbles, I tell you. They aren't even here yet, and I can tell you that already.

But my whole point in this, is to reveal sentence number one... my meltdown. There I was, discovering that my husband was going to be gone again, and I just lost it. For 4 straight weeks, I had been going non-stop on a eat/poop/sleep routine. For the first week of Eden's birth, I breastfed over 50 hours. Yes, you heard that right. It was exhausting. Now that the weeks have progressed, she eats less, is awake a little bit more, and poops all the time, that girl. But I got really burnt out, I mean really burnt out-- fast.

And I kept going, and going, and going, like the energizer bunny and thought I was supermom and of course, I was too prideful to just tell my husband that I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown and that I was going to snap. I had a relatively quick come-back after being pregnant, as in I didn't sit around much. That was my fault. I should have milked it a little bit more. 4 weeks into this pregnancy thing, and there I was mopping my floors, doing laundry, meeting the girls for lunch, running errands and still doing the mom thing: breastfeed, change diapers, and pump when I had a spare minute.

I crashed and burned. Bad.

When I found out Joshua was going out of town, I was really annoyed. Why? Because my husband adores his job and there he was getting to go away for 9 days straight and, in my opinion, have fun. It was hard for me to accept that I'd be doing all of this work while he was gone and without his help.

Long story short, I bit his sweet head off and he ordered me to go spend 3 hours straight by myself and just get away and enjoy some alone time. At first, I was a little taken back: alone time? What's that? I've already forgotten in 4 little weeks. But I ran with it, put on some make up and changed my milk-soaked bra and headed out the door without a plan. And, I might add, without guilt. That was a miracle.

So I drove downtown, picked up some Chipotle and enjoyed some time scouring magazines at Barnes & Noble and forgetting for a short while about my responsibilites. And it was awesome. You know what? I came home a new woman. Refreshed, happy, positive and upbeat. You know what else? Upon walking in the door, my dear husband greeted me with a smile and kiss and when I asked if Eden was hungry and needing me, he proceeded to announce that she had already been fed. Already been fed, what?! "Yeah, I took some of the frozen breastmilk out of the freezer, thawed it out in warm water, fed her a bottle and took her on a walk and she fell asleep." Okay... okay... wow. Superman, right there ladies. I joked that I should have stayed out a few more hours, but the point is that I got a break and I was happy to be back home. I saw my new, beautiful little family with new eyes. I literally could not wait until Eden woke up so that I could watch her smile. And I kissed on my husband a lot that night :)

Ladies, you have GOT to give yourself a break. I'm not saying this to rub in the fact that I got one or whatever, I'm just telling you that it's necessary for our well-being and happiness. I even learned another lesson when this all went down...

My husband's confidence soared. And he fell in love with our daughter a little bit more, I think. His words to me were, "Heather, you not releasing control and taking some time out for yourself is pride and you're basically telling me that you don't think that I can take care of our daughter." Ouch. Lesson learned, oh wise one. I watched the two of them cuddle and stare at one another that night and realized that I have to let them have their bonding time, too, and if I'm always around, they'll never get it.

So that's that... today is a new day and the responsibilities are here again and the same. But I have a smile on my face and a little bit more energy to face the day. Lesson learned, big time. Oh this mommy thing... it's hard and so beautiful all wrapped up in one big package.

Leave a Comment

brittany kuhn said...

oh how sweet! good luck while he is gone for work, I am sure everything will be fine!!!

ZADIN said...

I totally understand your point of view. This is how I felt when may baby boy was born, but I was very lucky with my husband, too.

www.zadinblog.com

Lindsay @ Trial By Sapphire said...

I feel like I need to bookmark this for when "new mommy" time rolls around for me! Great post, Heather!

Amelia Bedelia said...

Amen sister! The same meltdowns happen to me if I don't get some "me time" and fresh air every other week, or so! Realizing this now, early into mootherhood, will help spare much stress and frustration! And how blessed we are to have such amazing husbands!!

Hope the 9 days pass quickly and you enjoy the time with your parents!!
-Amy

Ruthie Hart said...

I am so glad you posted this....as we prepare to expand our family hopefully soon, I want to learn as MUCH as I can to prepare. I know I will be fine changing diapers, burping and all that jazz but it is the emotional changes I worry about...things that you can't practice before having a baby. I was talking to my mom last night- has a friend who just had a baby last week (shes obvi a lot younger than my mom) and she is very overwhelmed. She doesnt have family close so my mom went over there to be with the baby while the mom went to the doctor and an errand alone. It was medicine for the mommy and I am already thinking how I will use my mom a LOT when we have babies! Thanks for being so open girl, once you start getting sleep it will be better!

tricia said...

Oh, mama. Yep. Every single word. Amen and amen. I vaguely remember (because I've suppressed it, I'm sure) a day just like the one you described early on in N's life. Being a mama is HARD and it is SO important to have time to just breathe.

Strangely enough, I wrote a similar post today. :) http://www.mamamarchand.com/2012/09/my-thoughts-on-doing-it-all.html

Love you, sweet friend.

elise said...

this totally made me cry! why can't we remember this every single day!? glad you are enjoying your time as a mommy! :)

Erika @ rouge + whimsy said...

these are perfect words for me to hear right now.
i am so.overwhelmed.with.life.

and i am so prideful.

and i need to give myself a break.

thank you for that reminder.
it doesn't mean we are failures.

lots of love to you!

Katie {katie lately} said...

oh i admire you miss heather! and how blessed are you with your husband not reacting in anger to your meltdown/pride but instead doing the loving thing and telling you to do what you needed and give you that alone time.

Kelly said...

Oh sweet friend Im so glad you learned this sooner than later. We all need a little time now and the. Good luck these next 9 days. You'll be great!
xxO

Kassi Mortensen said...

Aw yay! Brownie points for daddy knowing what needed to be done! For YOU and baby! :)

Joy Niehaus said...

Beautifully written and expressed. So true. We all need time out. Even a few years in. Thanks for sharing.

jennifer blair said...

This is so sweet! I'm glad you got some time to yourself. I'm glad you shared this - I'll keep it bookmarked for when we have kiddos!

Lottie Simm said...

i will have to remember this when my little one arrives :)

Jessica Whitman-Horton said...

Heather I SO love this!! My little man is three weeks old and I am so happy to hear I am not the only one feeling this way!! ;) my husband is leaving on a week long business trip in a few weeks and it sounds like fun to me, not sure yet how I'm going to handle the babe and our three dogs ekk! So glad your parents can stay with you, what a blessing! Such a great post, your doing an awesome job Mama!!

Bethany G said...

Yikes. Perfect words for this control freak momma. Thank you!!! Love you!

JeNeal Brown said...

AWW! I love this post! and what a great reminder for me ! I will be having this similar situation. new born + traveling husband. Thank you thank you for this post!
you're so amazing!

Leslie @ top of the page said...

Heather, my main feeling while reading this was thankfulness that you've learned this lesson so soon in your motherhood journey! It takes some mom months or years, and the dads are left marginalized and the moms are miserable. I had to work part time when my daughter was around 1, and that's when I really noticed how intimately my husband and she bonded. I had to be out of the way! They have a very special connection today and I know it's built on the foundation of that season. Think about how important their relationship is long term, and how much she'll need a strong bond to her dad! So no guilt...bookstore here we come :) I love that feeling of coming home from having a break and seeing everyone in a new light again. I remember they are all people I love, not just my responsibilities. Hugs, girl. You're off to a great start!!

Kimberly Bonham said...

Heather what a beautiful post. Thanks for the pre-advice. Now I know this little tip when we have our first little one.

Samara said...

Can I just say that this is a beautifully written post and you're so true- Mums need to take a break sometimes and it's OK to do that AND Dads need to be given the opportunity to bond and care for their child. Glad to hear you are learning these lessons early on, xo

Jennifer said...

wow. so much sweetness in truth in this post. made me tear up for several reasons. i have a two year old and a seven month old and still struggle with all the things you mentioned. i feel guilty leaving to have alone time. but, on the very rare occasions when i get it i really do come back refreshed. it's so life giving. being a wife/mommy/woman is sooo complicated sometimes, huh? kudos to your husband though. he sounds like a very good man :)

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