I know that children, eventually, grow out of a need to know exactly where their mother is at all times of the day and night. Eventually. But mine aren’t there yet.
It’s 3:13 in the morning, and I am just now able to leave their room without one of them shrieking.
We don’t do “cry it out” here. Nuh-uh. Not gonna happen. These kids have had everything taken away from them, literally. I am not going to make them cry their grief, disappointment, anger, whatever it is they’re feeling, alone. Sometimes I have to leave the room to refill cups, dispose of dirty diapers, wash my hands, get spitup rags, use the bathroom, or even take a sanity break… but I always come back. I rock them, rub tummies, pat backs, or sometimes just sit there if that’s what they need. When I think they’re asleep, I leave. And then sometimes I have to come back because one wasn’t really asleep – either that, or they have baby radar that says I’m not close enough – and their fear returns and the crying begins again.
Sure I’m tired. But it’s helping them adjust. And that’s what they need right now – help. Help from an adult who is trustworthy. Help from an adult who won’t get angry at the crying and hit them. Help from an adult who says “I love you” and who sings in a quiet voice, the same songs over and over, until the very consistency of it allows them to relax enough to sleep.
Sometimes one wakes the other up with his crying. And those times I wish I had separate rooms for them. But other times they’re both upset for their own reasons, and I can haul one crib over toward the other, and sit in the middle with one hand patting each little boy. And those are the times I’m glad they sleep together.
I’m sure I’ll catch up on my sleep some time. Like maybe when they’re in college.
3 thoughts on “You have a child – you will never sleep again!”
You are doing a fantastic job, and I admire your strength and commitment in taking in and loving children that have had such a terrible start.
I think you may enjoy this right about now 😉 It’s been making the rounds on facebook, and this fit ME (and probably most moms) perfectly:
TIPS FOR A WORN-OUT MOM
1. Lower your standards for cleanliness and order.
2. Did that? Lower them even more.
3. Your house will never look like a magazine spread, period. Embrace that.
4. No matter how many baskets you buy to contain toys, they will always be visible. Embrace the Toys ‘R Us/ frat house-chic decor.
5. You can never have too many Popsicle in the freezer. How many bad moods have been fixed by a simple Popsicle?
6. If you can’t change them, change your perspective. For example I read recently – probably on Satan’s website Pinterest – that toothpaste is great for cleaning things like faucets. So now when I go into the bathroom every day and see toothpaste splatter all over the bathroom faucet I think about how my children have done half the chore of cleaning for me. How considerate of them! Then I wipe it off while cursing.
7. Those chores that no one ever wants to do. Decide if you would rather do it yourself, badger your child to it, or let it go. If you are confused about what to do, see Number 1 on this list.
8. No one cares what is stuffed under your child’s bed, why should you. Unless it is old food. In that case, you should get a dog.
9. If you have boys, your bathroom will always faintly stink like pee. Invest in some Febreeze and count down the days until they move out and you can go visit them and pee on their bathroom floor.
10. Don’t buy white furniture. Unless you enjoy screaming at your children every time they go near it.
11. However bad a situation might seem, one day it will be funny. I have a few for which I am eagerly awaiting for the funny to kick in. Any time now….
12. When your child is a young teen there will be nothing more embarrassing than your very existence. Use this to your advantage. Start planning early.
13. Do not paint any walls in your house with flat paint.
14. Be okay with letting your kids stumble sometimes. Whether that is turning in an assignment late because they didn’t do it or wearing an outfit so hideous you have trouble looking at them without laughing.
15. Noise cancelling headphones are great for blocking out whining, bickering and the endless episodes of Sponge Bob.
16. Socks do not have to match. Every day is Crazy Sock Day at my house, which is infinitely better than Crazy Mom Day.
17. The crayons will break and it is okay to throw them away rather then save them to make some sort of craft that involves the hair dryer. In fact, I give you permission to not feel guilty about all the crafts you know you will never do.
18. Your children will not die from eating the occasional hot dog or frozen pizza. And by occasional I mean more than you are really willing to admit.
19. If your children are driving you crazy arguing with each other, start an argument with them. Then your children will bond over their mutual hatred of you and be quiet.
20. Children do not appreciate top sheets or high thread counts. Buy neither.
21. Homework time is the worst time of the day. Help your kids and yourself by having a designated time and a quiet place to do homework. Preferably in a neighbor’s home.
22. Just say No to ironing.
23. Last, but not least, some chocolate and some really bad TV makes everything seem a little better.
YES! I love that list. Especially the chocolate part. 😉
I love your love for these babies. Hugs!