Monday, August 25, 2008

I've gone "back to school" every year for the past 27 years. Really truly since Kindergarten - I had my first teaching job right out of college. I love clean desks, school supplies, school clothes, and those first day flutters that even the teacher gets.

I'm not going back to school tomorrow. It feels really weird to me, weird in a bad/sad way. I'm missing things. I'm having a hard time letting go of my classroom and letting the long-term sub take over. I find myself wanting to get the kids started on the right foot.

I don't have anyone else to admit this to. I wish I was going back to school tomorrow.


I'm ashamed that I would rather be in my classroom than home with my baby. But today was my first day as a SAHM (C. went back to school today) and it was hard. Really fucking hard. He cries a lot. He fusses all day. He doesn't nap during the day. Eating is the only way to calm him down - and nursing is still a long process for us, followed by a bottle. I don't know how women do this and like it. I'm not enjoying my baby right now. There, I said it.

I love my baby, I'm just not enjoying him. Don't flame me. Seriously, I'll cry.

31 comments:

The Nanny said...

I'm sorry things are so rough. Is he maybe crying so much because of reflux? A former nanny charge of mine screamed constantly from birth all day long until they had her checked out for reflux. She's been on Prevacid since and it's worked like a charm. Hope this helps... :-(

The Nanny said...

Oh--and forgot to say, it took a few meds they tried before they found Prevacid, which was best for her. So maybe there's hope? Regardless, he is beautiful in the pictures.

Lizzie said...

Well, I just think that you are really brave for putting out there an unpopular but very real and probably very common thought. You've done something and loved it for many years, it would be hard not to go back to school under any circumstances, but given a crying baby who is in a difficult stage/not in a good routine, OF COURSE its hard. Don't beat yourself up. All my friends who wanted to be SAHMs ended up wanting to be at work, and all of my friends who have returned to work ached to stay at home. It's the nature of things, I think. Hugs to you.

Amanda said...

girl, I have SO BEEN THERE.

being a sahm is no joke...
and it is so, so hard.

Especially when you have crying little one.

A full time job is like a vacation in comparison.

Hang in there, and know that it WILL get better.

twomomsarebetterthanone said...

being a SAHM is NOT for everyone. I love it, A hates it, good thing it's working out for me to be home and her to work.

have you been able to connect with any other new moms in you area? CDH has a great meeting of new moms every thursday (ages birth to 4 months). Everyone is welcome and I found most of the moms i met there birthed with the MW at HMC. even though we moved i am in touch with many of them and have visited with several when they've been vacationing here this summer.

hugs.

shawn said...

well, being that i've been a nanny in boston for 15 years, i've heard quite a few moms say the same thing or something like it..."how do you do this all day, i can't wait to go back to work!" it's not uncommon. hang in there. my job as a baby nanny is to help moms hang in there - it's not easy. i know. especially if you have a fussy baby. but the good news is, this kind of fussing doesn't usually too long.

we are all here for you.

Jude said...

Would you like me to come keep you company on Friday?

SW said...

Delurking to offer you some encouragement. I had the very same feelings when our little guy was tiny. Mothering a very new baby is hard work and not terribly rewarding. Which is not to say that you would have it any other way, of course, because it's clear that you love your child. Just know that it does get better. So much better when they can look at you and smile in recognition and start looking around and learning more about their world. Hang in there. Your feelings are totally normal.

Lo said...

Everyone else said it: your feelings are totally normal. Thinking of you.

aspiring baker said...

You're totally normal. I've been finding that my baby cries most from gas and from being overtired. He naps only in the carseat (when the car is moving), the Baby Bjorn (which requires you to keep moving, again) and now the swing, my latest trick. It's working great.

I recommend reading some of the sleep books or just following the advice, which boils to: the baby needs to nap after 1-2 hours of wakefulness. Sometimes you have to put them down earlier than you think...

Again: totally normal!!!!!!!! Hang in there. It'll all change soon.

oneofhismoms said...

If you're upset about not going back now, come back and read this post when you're upset about having to go back. Oh yes, it will happen.

I'm glad you're being honest. It is hard. But it does get easier. Everyone tells you that and you don't believe it. It is true. You'll see.

I'm nervous myself about going back to a class I never had before come January. We'll have to do September all over again, no?

Margo, darling said...

You took the words right out of my mouth. I keep telling myself "you just have to get through this part. you just have to get through this part." My baby has two speeds: asleep and pissed off. And if one more person recommends The Happiest Baby on the Block, I'll lose it. So glad to have your company during this part. Hang in there.

Jennifer said...

The first weeks I was solo with the girls...wow. I would call nicole at work, all upset and crying.I didn't think i could do it. I felt horrible because we tried so long and so hard to have a baby. Where was my gratitude? Where was the strength I promised to have?

It will get better. Others have said that and it is so so true.

Theo's age right now is a thankless age. There are no hugs and kisses and smiles and all that yet. ALL they do is fuss and cry and sleep (if you are lucky) and eat. You are exhausted and running on fumes I'm sure.

If you have people around you that can help, take it. Get out of the house for just a half hour. Just go to the drug store. take a drive. Anything. That really helped me! Beyond that, it's a waiting game. And it wont be too long.

This is your FIRST day alone at home and not at work....don't be hard on yourself for having a hard go at it! It's going to get better.

*~*Lis*~* said...

It's OK!!! really it is. my whole life I wanted nothing but to be a SAHM - then my oldest daughter was born and I had to go back to work when she was 12 weeks old, I hated it! Then we had twins 17 months later and I finally got to stay home. and you know what - I hate it most days and I didn't even like my job! I mean I love being with my kids, but there's no break. There's a silly country song out there called "Mr Mom" - check it out. That's how I envisioned my day, hanging out with my kids. Most days I barley finish cleaning up after breakfast and it's time to start lunch, and so on and so on and so on. It will get better, just hang in there.

Caitlin said...

Hell, I am 110% positive that my mom didn't always enjoy me!! I mean, sure, she loves me to death, but there is no rule that says she had to enjoy everyday of my antics from being a difficult baby to a stubborn child to an opinionated adult! Don't worry - there is nothing wrong with you, you're just figuring out how to be a MOM.

twoladiesinwaiting said...

Of *course* you feel like that, Sweet S! God. SO MUCH WORK. SO intense.

stacey said...

Dude, I think it's so normal to feel that way. Just the first day...will totally get better. Hasn't everything else? At least a little?

Blue Pearl said...

Just saying it is the best thing you could do. Such a normal feeling. And, when you do go back to your classroom eventually, know that there is absolutely nothing wrong w/ being a working mom. The research in this area is clear: a mom who is happy at work is better for baby compared to mom who is unhappy staying at home (obviously as long as baby has a good caregiver while parents working). Meanwhile, as others have said, things WILL get easier with Theo. Fall is such a great time to get baby outside --- I bet as much as anything you may have cabin fever. The house can be so confining when you aren't accustomed to being at home all day. Try to get out w/ Theo and without him. Breathe. . .

NotesFrom2Moms said...

its so refreshing to read honest posts like this. I think it will make me a better mom because on the hard days when i cry and feel guilty for having a hard time with a screaming child I'll remember this post and know that all the moms go through this - its just that some don't talk about it.

possiblemaybe said...

I hear you. Loud & clear. And it's a hard, hard thing to admit because you automatically feel like the child police are going to sneak in & take your baby. "Well, if you're not enjoying every minute of this, we'll just take him to someone who will," right? I was there. And it's a sad, awful place to be. Ribbit was a colicky mess for his first 3+ months. I lived for when he would sleep, only the sleeping? It didn't happen all that often. And early on the nursing SUCKED. Please, please, please don't be so hard on yourself. You're allowed to NOT enjoy it. When things suck, who does? All I can say is that for me, for us, it DID get better. Some infants take a LOT of work, but chances are, he'll turn into an inquisitive, curious, interactive baby who will delight you with his independence. And like other have said, you're not a mom-failure for missing work. Having that me-time full of things you enjoyed before your baby came along is really, really important. Hang in there. I hope things get better soon.

Caroline said...

I am so sorry that you are having a hard time right now. Sending you lots of hugs.

Rosany said...

You are so not alone. That I believe is how most mom's feel if they are honest with themselves. Not all babies cry so much but mine did. He cried unless he was eating. Nothing else made him happy. I had tried so long to have him that I felt aweful about how much I was hating having a baby. Things now are much better at 6 months but there are still moments that are difficult and times that I wish I could leave and do something else.

Rosany said...

You are so not alone. That I believe is how most mom's feel if they are honest with themselves. Not all babies cry so much but mine did. He cried unless he was eating. Nothing else made him happy. I had tried so long to have him that I felt aweful about how much I was hating having a baby. Things now are much better at 6 months but there are still moments that are difficult and times that I wish I could leave and do something else.

eggdance said...

I read all the time and rarely comment (although my partner, Renee Sweeney, went to school with you both), but I just wanted to tell you to hang in there. This is hard stuff and you are doing great. I think you are only admitting what everyone probably feels.

Anabelle said...

I hate my baby too. I wanted to give her back.. everything sucks in my opinion until about 6 months haha then they're fun

More Beans Please said...

Am thinking of you heaps right now. From so many conversations with heaps of other mums - this is such a natural and normal feeling. I remember overhearing my sister-in-law (who had three kids under three) telling another friend who was feeling similar to you, that the joy of motherhood isn't always something that is given or plopped out like in the motherhood myths that surround us. While that is the case for some women, finding joy in motherhood is sometimes something that has to be acquired and gained - step by step. And that just the feelings of loving and no-so-liking motherhood will ebb and flow as bubba changes and you change too. No doubt you are also feeling this way (and I know I don't need to tell you!) because you are used to being in control in the class room and understanding what goes on within that space- it's what you know and it makes you feel strong and so it is fullfilling. But don't forget you wouldn't have known all you know about teaching and wouldn't have felt comfortable in the classroom without first going to college and learning about education. Getting to know you little bub and this new life - I imagine it is no different in that it too will need time for learning and growing. Hang in there :)

beans said...

i have nothing else to add but to say i am thinking of you all--and that it is kind of refreshing to hear someone say it is hard. seems everyone i've been surrounded by lately says how wonderful and easy it is . . .i can't say i believed them much!

keep on keeping on!

Amanda said...

I know this might sound a little "out there"

however, in regards to a baby who cries constantly...

have you ever considered taking Theo to a chiropractor who specializes with babies and kids?
Often the birth process will give them subluxations in their neck/spine that are sometimes thought to be the root cause of colic....the adjustments for babies are so gentle and simple...nothing like an adult receives...it's more like very specific massage.

my(and my son's)chiro has had a lot of success with helping babies who are restless, unsettled with colic and/or constipated.

Just an idea that you might like to explore for your little man.

Co said...

Totally normal. i echo the previous comments.

i would love to be a SAHM...now that my son is 8 months old and independent and crawling and vocalizing and pulling up and giggling when I tickle him. I loved being home with him when he was a wee thing, too, but not because I loved the experience (cry, sleep, poop, repeat), just because I couldn't imagine having to entrust him to anyone but me or Lo at that age. It's hard at Theo's age. Really hard.

So, no flames. And I can totally understand the weirdness about not going in this week. My best friend, a teacher, is not going back to work right now and staying home with her son and she feels so weird about not being at school this week... for the first time in 9 years. So, yeah, I get that.

And it's so great that you feel so connected to your job. The thought of going back to teaching after 2 months home with Jo almost killed Lo. But she did it. And even though she missed him when she did, she was reminded of all the things she liked about her job and enjoyed being back at work and stuff, too. It's okay to like being a working mom, and it's okay to dislike being a stay-at-home mom. It's also okay to complain about either one, because they're both really hard in their different ways. So, no flames. Seriously. Ever.

Hang in there.

sandra said...

*hugs*

I can relate - last fall was when everyone was going back to school except me - it was hard.

And I hear you on the loving but not enjoying - I've been there too. You are so normal.

Hang in there.

Sara said...

I'm so glad you wrote this. I hear you. I get it. I was there too. Sending you SAHM thoughts.