When you get frustrated count to ten. Then what? Everything magically gets better? Your baby stops screaming, your dogs stop barking, your husband is home and you find yourself in a hot bath without a care in the world?
Not exactly. But after counting to ten, or twenty, or fifty (everyone is different) you’ll find that you may see the situation in a slightly different perspective. Or at least that is what I have recently found.
Currently our household is working through Natalie’s constant need to fight sleep. The poor baby can be crying, and struggling to keep her eyes open, yet she will not fall asleep. Granted she is a very curious baby and she probably doesn’t understand that the world will be exactly how she left it AFTER she naps.
Weighing in at somewhere around 17 or 18lbs, I believe, Natalie isn’t the easiest in the world to hold when she is kicking and screaming. Shoot, my arms get tired when she is cooperating. And it just so happens that the “rocking” that gets her to sleep involves holding her. Holding her while bouncing, swaying and patting.
For the ones that believe mothers should all work out post baby… Go ahead… grab your twenty-pound dumbbell, cradle it in your arms, bounce up and down and then swing your arms side to side. Not bad right? Now do it 1500 times and let me know how your body feels after that.
No I’m not exaggerating… the other night I was “rocking” her for what seemed like forever. I swear I was about to fall asleep standing up and I look down and I see her beautiful eyes staring up at me. So what do I do? I came up with an idea to help keep me awake. How about I count the times I sway back and forth…
You guys!!!!! I made it to 800, so I can’t imagine how many times I did it, including the period before I started to count. And I probably bounced about 5 times per sway. That is over 4,000 bounces. For those of you wondering, yes, I have arms of steel! And legs of steel for that matter.
In the midst of this new bedtime routine, I became so frustrated. I mean who wouldn’t when every part of your body is burning like you just finished a 5k. I could feel my blood start to boil and I’m sure Natalie could to because she began to scream. Not just any scream, but an ear piercing scream that up until now I thought only dogs could hear.
I bounced her more, I swayed more, I even started singing to try and drown out the crying, and the crying only got louder, and the kicking became more powerful. Then it happened. I couldn’t take it any more. I walked to the crib, laid my screaming baby down and I walked out of the room.
Living in a trailer, our walls are paper thin, so I still heard every bit of her protest. However after counting to ten, I had an idea. Every day when Bradley gets home from work he takes off his hat, unloads his pockets and usually leaves a pair of earplugs on the counter. I walked into the kitchen and sure enough, there they were. I quickly shoved them in my ears. Ahhhh… so much better. Yes, I could still hear her crying, but it cancelled out that ear ringing high pitch, so I could tolerate it.
I walked back into the nursery, scooped up my upset baby, and sat down in the rocker with her. I began to sing her favorite song to her and before I knew it she started to calm down. Slowly, but it was working. About ten to fifteen minutes later she was sound asleep.
The thing that everyone tells you about your baby feeding off of your frustration is true. By stepping back and looking at the difficult situation in a new light, I realized that her needs have changed. Rather than being bounced, she now prefers to be rocked while resting her head on my shoulder. I am so happy that I have realized that.
Bedtime still isn’t flawless by any means, but at least I know another option that may make it easier. And if the earplugs fail me, I found Bradley’s noise-cancelation earmuffs today. Hehehe!
So next time that you feel like you are going to blow. Step back, leave the room if you have to, and count to ten. Whether it is your child, your parents, your spouse, or your pets that are driving you bonkers. Believe me, seeing a thing in a new perspective makes all of the difference!
What does bedtime look like at your house?