The past couple of days have been tough. Charlotte is doing all of the following at one time:
- Getting four new teeth (one of which has only broken the surface of the gum)
- Sitting up in her crib without laying down
- Standing up in her crib without sitting down
- Standing up on anything and everything and moving like she wants to walk
- Crawling with expert efficiency all over the damn house
All of these things combined together mean for the worst sleep EVER. On Thursday night, I actually watched her sit up while she was STILL SLEEPING and then woke up all freaked out because she wasn’t lying down anymore. Even when she was in our bed, she was crying out in pain because of her swollen gums. I get it, it’s hard for her, and for us. So because I’ve been short on sleep, I’ve been short on patience, and when she starts flipping over 57 times when I’m trying to put a diaper on her, or when she starts screaming like she’s trapped inside an erupting volcano when I’m trying to dress her for bed, I’ve been agitated. And it makes me feel SHITTY. I don’t even like to admit it, but the other day as she was screaming and hitting me and kicking me because I was trying to change her, I yelled out “CHARLOTTE I JUST CAN’T TAKE THIS ANYMORE.” Between the terrible sleeping, working, trying to make dinners, trying to have my house not look like a war zone, I just snapped. I’m crying as I type this because in that moment I felt like the worst mother. Because there are people who there who want babies and don’t have them and here I am with this amazing little girl and I yelled and just couldn’t deal with it.
But you know what I realized? Mothering is hard. It is harder than I ever imagined it would be, but it is the most rewarding thing I have ever done. I am trying to be the best mother, the best wife, the best daughter, the best worker and the best friend all at the same time, and I need to realize I can’t do everything at once. There is no way I will ever be perfect. I will lose my patience, I will cry, I will snap. But Charlotte will still love me and I will still love her. Those moments of pure frustration will be replaced with moments of pure love and happiness. The times when I feel like I’m going to snap and break into a million little pieces from the sheer weight of trying to do everything will be replaced when Charlotte sleeps for a 7 hour stretch and says the word “mama” when I walk into the room like she did last night. It’s like she knows just how far to push me to the point where I’m going to break, and then she reels me right back and makes me whole again. What a beautiful, scary, exhausting, relentless, AMAZING adventure motherhood is.