Sunday, August 16, 2009

It Happened

The day that I've wondered about, thought about and hoped would never happened has occurred. I figured it was probably a matter of time, but had dreams that maybe I could go through life without it happening. It did anyway.

I got really upset and lost my temper with the little guy.

Growing up my mom was someone who I always loved, always talked to, and always looked up to. I also knew she had a wicked temper at times and that sometimes it was best to just avoid her. Usually we knew that what we were doing was going to set her off, but there were times when something just happened or she was just having a bad day and it would show up unannounced. I always hated those days.

I've inherited a lot of good traits from my mom (being passionate about things I care about, being hardworking, and my thriftiness to name just a few), but I've also gotten her temper. I do not like that part of myself and am constantly trying to work towards being more even keeled and not taking my frustrations out on those I love. Sometimes it goes well, but sometimes I still get upset in a pretty big way. It is not something I am proud of.

Friday the little one didn't take his afternoon nap. He went down like normal, but two hours later he was just fussing and playing and messing around. It eventually got to the point that we just got him up so he could eat dinner figuring he would go down for bed at his normal time. Mike had a band job so he had to leave about 6 and I put the little one down at 7 like normal. He fell asleep and it seemed all was well.

Oh, was it about to change.

I headed to bed about 10 pm, later than I had intended. I open our Starbucks on Saturdays and have to be up by about 3:45 at the latest to make it there on time. On weekends that Mike has this particular job in Madison he gets home about 2:30-3am and has to get up with the baby. It isn't a really fun thing, but we make it work the one weekend a month that it happens.

When I went past the little one's crib he woke up. Usually he'll make a noise and then go back to sleep. This time he jumped up and stood in his crib and started crying. I hoped he'd just go back to sleep as it was obviously not time to get up. It didn't happen. He was so needy and clingy and crying and screaming all. night. long. By the time Mike got home I'd gotten less than an hour of sleep and had spent most of the night rocking, walking, giving additional bottles, changing and just trying to comfort our very angry son.

It was not fun. I was frustrated. I was upset. I told the little one things I wish I could take back. I needed sleep.

Mike volunteered to take him, but I knew he was also exhausted and he would have to take over in about an hour anyway so I sent him to bed. He got up one other time just to make sure that he shouldn't take over because he could tell I was at the end of my rope. I sent him to bed again. Eventually the little guy did pass out on me while we sat on the couch and I got about 30 more minutes of sleep. I got him into his crib without him waking up and headed to work. He stayed asleep until 7 so Mike got about 4 hours of sleep which is better than we were figuring it was going to be that night.

I headed to work and made it through. Thank goodness I got a nap that afternoon as I was pretty delirious with exhaustion. I do not do well without sleep now that I've been used to getting it again.

When I had the little one I really was amazed at how patient I felt with him. I was getting sleep in tiny little blocks (he didn't sleep through the night until 7 months) and it didn't bother me. I have often had the feeling that 'if this was anyone else's kid I would be upset', but I never really felt like I was close to losing it. Friday night I feel like the day came when it didn't matter that he was my son I was just really upset. I didn't hurt him and never would, but I can absolutely-without-a-doubt-for-sure see how easy it could be to cross that line.

The good thing is that I reached a point where I just surrendered it all. I realized I just had to give up the hope of sleep and just accept that it was going to be that way for the night. I did shed a few tears and said many a prayer, but I think that the humbling was really good for me. If only it didn't take being up until 3 am to get there. And if only I didn't have to deal with it before I headed to work.

The kicker is we don't know what was going on. He wasn't getting a tooth, no fever, no obvious issues. He ate a huge breakfast the next morning, but he'd eaten well that night and had extra milk overnight in my attempts to soothe him. Maybe he's growing and was having growing pains? Who knows? I'm just glad that Saturday night he slept all night long and I'm praying that it happens again tonight. It probably will as I don't work tomorrow :)

One of the gifts of having a child is learning how imperfect I am. I have a feeling that there will be many nights (and days) of learning to surrender and take things where they are and not where I want them to be. My hope is that my little guy will have memories of a mom who was relaxed and even keeled even when things were out of control. I'll keep working towards that!

Any input is more than welcome. Have you ever been there?



  1. Yes, yes and yes. I have been there and I too cringe at my words spoke in anger towards little people who really don't understand it all. Keep doing your best and the rest will fall into place.

  2. Been there....done that. Truly, you are probably way harder on yourself than the little guy will be to you! I hate it when I lose my temper with the boys....and later realize they are just being little boys. My job is to patiently teach....and have the patience of an adult. Not easy when you are SO tired.... You've accomplished a major truly realize how vulnerable this mom role is, how imperfect it is AND that you want to do better. You will... You'll have 1,000,000 other opportunities to practice your adult patience. Better luck next time! {{Hugs!}}

  3. I have been there too and then instantly regret the words I said or my actions. hugs! Noone is perfect!!

  4. We can all lose our temper sometimes. I find with the more kids i have the easier that temper surfaces. Not good.

  5. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. Yup. Welcome to the human race of imperfect beings who are struggling to grow beyond our imperfections. Don't beat yourself up over it. Recognize it, apologize, move on, and try to become a little better next time. One step at a time.

    Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving that nice comment. I love it when people let me know they're there so I can visit them as well.

  6. I have 8 children and nobody handed me a halo in the delivery of any of them.
    If that had been me, and it has been lots of times, I would give him a dose of Tylenol and offer a bottle then put him back to bed.
    It just stinks that the little guy had to do this on a bad weekend. It happens like that sometimes.


  7. Oh, dear, I've been there, done that, and got the tattoo, unfortunately. (Way past the t-shirt!) I've found (after reading book upon book about baby sleep) that when they're overtired, they don't sleep well. It's best to shoot for an earlier bedtime - as soon as you notice signs of sleepiness, or hyperactivity, as this is how some get when they're tired, get them down ASAP! And then I try to be very vigilant about nap and bedtime the next day, too. Those short nights are so painful, though. I read somewhere that motherhood is very short years made up of very long days and nights . . . so true! Hope everybody is feeling a little better by now. :>)