Being a stay at home parent is exhausting. It is the most rewarding and exhausting thing that I have ever experienced. The days start to blur together because the days never seem to come to an end. Going into having our second child I knew things were going to change again, but I do not think you can fully prepare for this. When you have one child the whole "sleep when the baby sleeps" thing sort of works. When you have more than one child, that just simply is not the case. Even when both kids are sleeping, I find that I am not because that is the only time I have to myself without someone needing something from me. I end up staying up way too late trying to just relax in the quiet. The mornings are a real struggle around here.
On a typical night I get about 3-6 hours of sleep total, but not consecutively (the time of day I feel the most unappreciated for). I do not know about anyone else's partner, but mine sleeps like a brick. If the baby cries, I am up with her until I get her back to sleep. If our threenager is awake, so am I as he is still not to be fully trusted without supervision.
I get sick of feeling like my sleep is not important because I do not have a "money paying job". I get to pick my schedule right? I can sleep all day, right? WRONG. The children cannot make their own food, wipe their own butts, and lets face it even entertain themselves. Every five minutes I am being called on for something.
In the afternoon when my husband gets home I just want to hand him the kids and run and hide. However, I know that I cannot because there are other duties that have to be done. The family has to eat, because if I don't eat soon somebody is going to get their head ripped off. It is easy to neglect my own personal needs throughout the day when I am focusing on the children. Then when he is home I am focusing attention on him too. Typically involving making dinner to make sure he has a nice home cooked meal after a long day at work. Followed by feeding the baby, cleaning up the dishes and mess from dinner, and making sure everyone has their baths.
Sometimes I wish men were able to breastfeed as well because then I might feel a little more human for a few minutes. Simple tasks that I want to get done, but never seem to get to because I am tied to the bed. Granted, I know that won't last forever, but in the meantime it is tiring. Sometimes I just want to be like, no you whip out your boob for her so I can do the laundry. For instance, the other day I was irritated because I really wanted to do yard work. Yet, I couldn't even be much of assistance because the baby needed ME. You see, when you are a stay at home parent and your baby is constantly with you, she gets upset when it is not you that is with her. It is like she is addicted to me, or I guess I should say she is probably addicted to my breasticles. I see her looking at me with a smile and wonder, does she love ME or my boobs? I usually convince myself that it is both.
|Breastfeeding my 3 month old.|
You might be thinking, why don't you pump breast milk so that your husband can bottle feed her? I do pump sometimes, but it never fails that there is not enough time in the day to maintain a schedule with it. I wish I could stock my fridge with breast milk, but the supply needs to increase first as there are minor issues going on there. Which, you wouldn't know by looking at my chunky baby.
It is the most wonderful, exhausting, and rewarding thing that I will ever do. It is important to me to be there in their life as much as I possibly can. So, while yes I am entitled to complain about being tired all the time and wishing my husband lactated, I am beyond the galaxy thankful for the life that I have. Being able to spend every waking minute with my children. During these younger years of theirs, also sharing sleeping minutes with them as well. I would not trade it for anything in the universe. They are everything to me and I would not have it any other way. Unless of course, someone started paying us stay at home parents for all the titles and duties we have.