Monday, May 16, 2011

Staying at home makes me cranky

I'm going to be 100% honest here because, well, that's kind of the point of this blog right?

Staying home with my kids has made me super cranky.

I mean I always got cranky before - but not like this...

I think breastfeeding has a lot to do with it as Ben still is refusing a bottle and I mean absolutely refusing. As my husband says, his way of dealing with trying to be fed a bottle is to cry and then sleep. He literally can't figure it out - it just sits in his mouth while he desperately tries to breastfeed off of it. We have tried every bottle possible and are sick and tired of it to be honest.

And there is the irritation of having pumped milk for it to just go to waste.
It's very tiring to hear him cry so much with very little result - if he was making progress I would push it, but he's really not - so I am kind of just convinced I will have to nurse him exclusively for the next 4 months at least.

Which is fine - because I do honestly believe that breastmilk is best which is why I pushed myself through the first 4 weeks of absolutely constantly having him on my boob. Katie got breastmilk for 3 full months and she NEVER got sick as a baby and even now - just gets the occasional cold and I chalk that up to her food in the beginning.

I signed up to breast feed - I didn't realize I was signing up to NEVER getting a break from actually nursing. With Katie I pumped all the time which was annoying and time consuming, but we were able to go out and feed her with no issue at any time of day. Nursing is a little harder when I'm by myself with both kids in a public place. Like Katie's gym class - it's a mommy and me class, so if Ben needs to eat - I'm screwed and Katie runs around like a crazy woman and the other moms have to help wrangle her - which makes me feel bad.

I know, I know - back to the topic of this post - why are you so cranky?

I'm cranky because I have had 9 weeks of constantly broken sleep. I'm cranky because if Zumba or spinning start at 6 and Ben needs to eat at 6 - I don't get to go because I have to feed him.

I don't want to go out and party all night - I am even ok with not being able to drink alcohol and limiting my caffeine and diet. I just want to be able to go to the gym, or go shopping alone every once in awhile without having to rush home to feed him.

I need to get these brief times away because staying home full time is HARD. I am not cut out to be a stay at home mom forever. I definitely could not be a housewife for the rest of my life. I give those women a lot of credit because it's just not me. I need a life outside the house. I need adult interaction and meetings, and deadlines, etc... and so far this life hasn't really given me all of that. (moving to a place where we didn't know anyone didn't help in the social life area so I am very isolated - which is probably not your typical stay at home mom situation)

If you read my blog, you have heard this before.

Now that I have the second kid, I thought I'd be refreshed and feel ok to be staying home again indefinitely - but that's not true. I am tired of being home. I love my kids to death - but waking up at 4 am to feed Ben and being bitchy and cranky because he doesn't want to go back to sleep isn't fair to him or to me. I'm lonely and being lonely sucks no matter how many adorable grins and smiles and hugs you get. I've always been super social and this isolation on top of staying home is getting to me.

We are in the middle of moving into a one family house that has much more space and a backyard - so maybe having more space will help me out and help me get through the next 6 months to a year. (which is how long I had envisioned staying home with the 2nd)

Almost every time I hear someone who works FT say that they wish they could stay home with their kids - I almost laugh a little because I think to myself - you can say that because you only have to do it every once in awhile full time. There's always a light at the end of your tunnel and a definite time that you will be going back outside your house on your own.
You also get to experience the best of your kids by not being with them full time. You don't have to deal with meltdowns over lunch or fighting over toys for 2 full hours, or the stress of trying to convince your 2 year old that she will feel better after a nap.

I read countless posts of parents who can't wait for school vacations to be over and I don't blame you - I understand.

I would imagine that after being with someone else all day that most kids are on good behavior with their parents at the end of the day. I fully understand that it's harder to schedule home stuff and kid stuff when you only have a few hours a day to do it. I also believe that some people really would excel and love every second of staying home full time with their kids.

As for me, I have a lot of moments where I have to count to 5 and breathe deep because I literally don't ever get a second to myself - right this minute, the baby is in the swing for a few quiet moments (rare) while Katie is trashing my living room because I am not paying attention to her. When I do pay attention to her, she won't want anything to do with me. It's an endless cycle. I don't get to shower, use the bathroom, eat, clean or sleep in peace. EVER. I can't talk on the phone without Katie telling me to get off and play with her. (only for her to not want anything to do with me when I am off the phone) I can't go grocery shopping without either taking one kid with me so they don't terrorize my husband or having to rush home to feed Ben.

I love my kids and I am happy that I am able to stay with them during these early times. I am sure I will look back and think of these years as some of the best years with my children because I taught them to walk, talk, draw, color, play, jump, etc... I just wish it didn't make me so cranky.

I think this is a typical case of the grass is always greener. I am sure those of you who work FT will be aghast saying that if you only had the chance to stay home you would embrace every single second and never resent it at all. I call - bullshit. It's tough. Tougher than I ever thought it would be. Especially with a 2 year old and a newborn. Power struggles and constant breastfeeding don't go well together. Every single parent - no matter how much of a super mom you might be - will have moments of crankiness and sadness.

I cook, I bake, I make her arts and crafts, I sing songs, I make up games, I taught her her letters and alphabet and counting and we are going to try to start learning how to read soon. Hell, I even handmade our halloween costumes this year so she could be what she wanted to be. Tell me that's not dedication!!

I'm dedicated and I participate and I love them - I'm just tired and cranky sometimes and I need to vent and then I feel better and am ready to turn around - give them hugs and kisses and come up with the next art project or special activity to try to keep them occupied for at least 5 minutes!

Today is looking glum- I offered to take Katie to her gym class for a make up cause we missed 2 weeks and she told me she doesn't want to go - so now I either have to force her to go and pray that Ben doesn't need to eat during class (because I really don't feel like trying to nurse him AND chase her at the same time since my friend won't be there today) or throw the towel in the bag and not take her and risk her not wanting to nap later because she's not tired enough because it's crappy out and we can't go outside - not to mention the waste of money since we are paying per month regardless of if you get to go to class...

Wish me luck and anyone else feeling the same way - hang in there - I know it comes and goes. It's natural and it doesn't make you a bad parent - I honestly believe that.

Dear kids,
I'm sorry I get cranky sometimes. I love you and I always will but the constant whining and power struggles and spitting up and yelling and running around naked refusing to put on your clothes or leave the house wears me out. The way that Ben screams in his carseat for a good 20 minutes before he falls asleep makes me not want to leave the house, especially since he usually wakes up wherever we are at and continues screaming if I don't push the cart of stroller at just the right speed. Katie, your ability to run away at the speed of light because you think every moment is an opportunity for a game of chase stresses me out.

I promise that after a few minutes or hours of crankiness I will return to my normal, happy, jolly self and sing and dance and make silly songs and art projects with you. I will try to teach you things and continue to give you a million hugs a day regardless of if you return them to me.

Sometimes mommy gets cranky and I'm sorry. I'll try to work on that!


  1. I (and this will sound horrible) chose not to breast feed specifically because of what a raging bitch I am when I don't sleep. When I realized that my "sleep like the dead" husband wasn't going to help, I was stuck like you to my child nightly. He would take the bottle from others, but we didn't have a second car at that time either, nor did we have a sitter which meant that this child was with me ALL the time. I love him, dearly, but when he would wake up in the middle of the night when I had only been asleep for an hour and a half I would gently pick him up out of his bassinet and then kick that bassinet across the damn room! (It was on wheels on hard wood so that sucker flew!) It is INSANELY frustrating to not be able to be your own person. You are absolutely not alone and feel free to vent anytime!

  2. I have a feeling i am living a similar life to yours. I have a baby (7 months) and a cranky(most of the time) 2 & 1/2 yr old. I feel my energy is sucked out of me daily, barely have time for any me-things or time for my husband. And when I have time I am just soooooo cranky I am not in the mood to do anything but sleep. I dread going out anywhere because of the need to nurse, and he won' t accept a bottle. I feel depressed of the situation...and i keep thinking when will it be better?