Sustainably Single Parenting

Making the most of life's journey alongside my three!!!

Nobody Said This Was Going To Be Easy March 15, 2013

I am incredibly overwhelmed.

I put off my coursework to care for my kids.

I do my housework since I’m not doing coursework.

I put off my housework to do my coursework.

While doing my coursework my kids wreck the house.

The baby will not let me put her down.

I am constantly nursing, changing diapers, leaking milk, burping, soothing, being spit up on, peed on, pooped on.

I am constantly serving meals, washing dishes, pre-washing cloth diapers, grooming my children, educating my children, feeling guilty that I cannot find the time for educating myself, running errands, running myself into the ground.

I want to cry like my baby. Her cry is so committed, wholeheartedly unabashed.

I want someone to hold me, to rock me, to love me, to shhhhhhhh in my ear while I cry.

I want so badly for things to be alright.

 

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I Just Forgot March 8, 2013

My little rebel - 2wks old

My little rebel – 2wks old

I forgot about the growth spurt that occurs between the first and third weeks after birth. The typically complacent baby now constantly fussy, red as a grape tomato, and clawing at my breast with small, jagged, never-before-clipped fingernails, suckling night and day to make my breasts produce enough milk to meet her daily intake needs.

I forgot how, insignificant as it seems, those tiny nails produce tiny scratches that lead to very sensitive nipples.

I forgot just how much poop can come out of a bottom the fits in my hand. While pregnant I figured, why set up the changing table? I can just change her diapers on my bed! I’ve been reminded of why changing tables are wonderful. I’d never needed to wash my linen on a daily basis before now.

I forgot that  I should have made time in my daily schedule to pump my breast milk. Even with an expensive electronic pump I’m spending up to one hour each day filling BPA Free 5oz bags. My freezer cannot hold much more.

I forgot the intensity of the nursing thirst. I feel like I can never get enough water. And the hunger, even at night I want to keep eating. I didn’t eat this much my entire pregnancy. And the cravings! Veggies are back on the menu, but for some reason corn, chocolate, and ice cream didn’t leave.

N2I forgot about the fatigue. I don’t know how I survived the majority of my pregnancy on three hours of sleep each night. Even though I go to bed shortly after putting my older girls to sleep, and even though I’m only waking to nurse and pee and change the baby’s diapies, even though we co-sleep, I still wake up low on energy. Like I haven’t slept a wink. What is wrong with me? By 1pm I’m always yawning.

I forgot how quickly the laundry accumulates when you’re cloth diapering. I’m happy to have made 35 gallons of laundry detergent before Baby’s arrival, but I’m still bewildered by the fact that I’m actually doing one load of diapers each day to keep the right sized fitteds, contours, pockets, and covers in rotation.

I forgot about the leaky breasts soaking an entire shirt in minutes. I forgot how time consuming burping a baby can be. I forgot how spit-up only comes out when you’re not protecting your clothing. I forgot how an onset of the hiccups can ruin everything.

But I also forgot how sweet those smiles can be, when they’ve fallen asleep after nursing, and they’re dreaming, but you’re hoping that they’re smiling because they’re dreaming of you.

N4

And I forgot how perfectly unscented their skin is, and how soft their hair, and how chubby their chins, and how round their bellies, and how sparkly their eyes, and how humbling their affection. I forgot how complete it feels to care for a baby. I forgot that my heart would expand and melt simultaneously.

And I never knew how incredibly cute two big sisters would be; eager to help with their baby sister, constantly wanting to hold her, kiss her, never wanting to miss anything.

I suppose there’s a reason I’ve forgotten many aspects of parenting an infant, but there are certain memories that I’ll work to keep with me from now on.

 

Generosity November 14, 2012

I joined a new support group a few weeks ago; it’s so comforting to know that other women understand.

I always find it a little bittersweet to know that someone can truly empathize with my struggles. I wouldn’t wish this pain, this emptiness, this state of destitution, these hardships on anybody; yet there are so many women who can relate to my position, who have previously or are currently fighting a very similar battle, who keep wishing for their abusers to drop out of the game.

Tonight, without having anticipated it, I was given a gift. It was the most generous thing to receive a tub filled with items for my baby girl. I almost couldn’t accept it; I didn’t want to take it from some other mother who might need it more, but my counselors gently insisted. I also felt a bit reluctant because there were disposable diapers in the bundle and I use cloth, but I figured it might come in handy to have disposables at some point. My last twinge of guilt was over the fact that baby may not need anything; she has two older sisters and I kept almost all of their clothing. It will be nice though, to allow baby just a few new things to call her own.

Upon arriving home from group my daughters helped me to open the package; it was like having a small baby shower, just us three. I couldn’t believe the amount of clothing and supplies and utterly adorable things inside!

  • 1 adorable blanket with a bunny on it
  • 4 bibs
  • A 50 pack of newborn diapers (8-14lbs)
  • 1 pair of crocheted mittens
  • 6 sleepers
  • 4 complete outfits
  • 2 dresses
  • 1 blue jean jacket
  • 2 pairs of pants
  • 5 onesies
  • 1 packet of wipes
  • 3 hats
  • 1 set of Johnson & Johnson baby supplies (baby powder, shampoo, lotion, baby wash, diaper cream)
  • 5 pairs of socks
  • 1 embroidered burp cloth
  • A Peter Rabbit themed Baby Book (something I’m committed to filling out for Baby#3)

I will most definitely express my appreciation to my counselors, but I am also hoping that someday I will be in the position to make another woman’s baby prep a little easier. I would love to give back in that way, to prepare a stranger’s baby shower basket, and to enhance her life from the shadows of anonymity. There are so many women out there in need.

I am so very grateful for this unexpected generosity.