I am currently in survival mode. And this is even more supported by not having a clear path for my words today. I keep writing and rewriting. And I know this comes from questioning what the readers would interpret from my words. So I will stop that and start again.
I am currently in survival mode. Lots going on. Lots of it is great!! Lots of it is sadness. Lots of it is cutting the ties to those people who bring in the sadness (this sounds familiar, doesn’t it??). But that’s not what this post is about. It’s not about the things that brought me to survival mode. It’s about how I was once I got there.
Flashback – Arrine was about 3 months old. Her sleeping was great until she reached this age and then she just started waking up after 20 minutes of sleep. Before we hired a sleep consultant, we read books on sleep training ourselves and tried to follow their advice. The problem with the books was that when we had questions, there was no one to ask. And in that time of always questioning our decisions, it was really rough. We then hired a professional and learned that we weren’t approaching things as we should have, but in the end, it all worked out. (Side note – new parents, if you are struggling with your baby sleeping, spend the money and hire a sleep consultant. It was the best money we ever spent.)
But the flashback memory I had last night, was me sitting on our bed, cross legged, holding Arrine in my arms. She had been crying for what seemed like eternity. And I had been crying too. I don’t remember the details, just that there was a level of frustration on both our ends for the lack of sleep. And I just sat, and held her, rocking forwards and back, and cried with her as she cried. And I did this until Nick came home from work and saved us. In the moment, I knew that I had nothing else I could do, than stay with her and be close and show her I was sad too.
We had a great day yesterday. Time out in the great weather with friends and lots of laughs. But by about 3pm when we got home, both of us were exhausted. I set to work on the endless list of things around the house I needed to get done. Arrine spent one minute in the sprinkler then came in and crashed on the couch. I couldn’t let her nap at 4pm and that’s when it went downhill. The details aren’t important.
So at 9pm last night, both of us were in my bed, Arrine was crying, I was crying. And I had that memory of when she was 3 months old and we both just cried together. And I thought to myself, “Is this just going to be our thing? We both reach our extreme limits and then we just cry and fall asleep and wake up happy?” Because that is exactly what happened. But I also thought about how she would react to this and how it would affect her. I know that I filter a lot of my emotions from her, but at the same time, she needs to see that it’s ok to cry if you are sad or get angry when you are frustrated. As long as you then do something positive with those emotions. I tried to think back and remember if I had memories of my mom crying when I was little. And I didn’t. And I don’t know if that’s just because I was too little to remember or if it never happened. But I don’t want this to be something that is detrimental to Arrine either.
[And I thought of the words of wisdom my mom would tell me when I felt like I had too much to accomplish with not enough time. Prioritize. Make a list. Be realistic with your goals. Remember that one Saved by the Bell, when Jessie starts taking caffeine pills because she has to sing in that performance and has all those exams to write? And then she breaks down, singing her song and crying, “No time. There’s never any time!” Yah, that’s me.]
But we did just that. Cuddled up in bed together, I gave her back rubs, each of us crying, then settling down until I heard her breaths become deeper with more space between them. And once I knew she was calm and asleep, I closed my eyes too.
This morning we both woke up happy and feeling refreshed. I still feel overwhelmed, but at least I have a bit more energy to battle it today. And I made sure to talk to Arrine about it. I asked her what she remembered from last night and if she wanted to talk about it. I reminded her how we were both so miserable an crying. She said that she didn’t. But maybe it was because she was distracted by her requested morning snack of soda cracker and chocolate “that doesn’t taste sweet” (my vegan chocolate).
And then I saw this quote on FB this morning, one friend posting it on another friend’s wall. And I smiled and it seemed to just fit. Since amm and I would always watch this on PBS.
“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables