Her dad is around and is helpful between getting home from work and going to bed at 10, but that’s really all he can contribute at this point without fear of losing his job. I will be sleeping much better when we’re able to put her in daycare and have me go back to work since I can at least sleep on my lunch break and for the hour between me getting off work and daycare closing. Honestly, if they had a spot open right now, I would take her just so I could get enough rest to function safely.
I’m just finding it impossible to keep her happy and the insinuation that that makes me a bad, uncaring mother, is extremely painful. But whatever I’m doing is wrong. The “experts” say you can’t rely on motion to soothe a baby or put her to sleep because she’ll become dependent on it. But they also say that sleep is vital to her brain development, so she needs her rest at all costs. Except the cost of her becoming dependent on being walked or rocked to sleep, which is the Worst Thing Ever. So, at the first sign of her being tired, you immediately put her in her crib and if you swaddle her, play white noise, and give her a pacifier, she will definitely go to sleep. And you can’t wait, because you must not ever ever ever let your baby stay awake more than an hour or it will damage her brain. They don’t seem to understand that this particular baby is not sleeping, but not for lack of opportunity.
Another problem with attachment parenting and being responsive is that sometimes her wants don’t square with her needs. She has had a frenectomy to correct a tongue tie and I have to do these stretches with her before every feeding. She hates them, obviously, and they make her scream. Crying releases cortisol, which, again, damages her brain, so I’m a shit mom for making her cry and I would be a shit mom if I didn’t do her therapy for her. So, what the fuck am I supposed to do? She’s also on medication that has to be administered 30 minutes before a feeding. I have painstakingly recorded every single feeding she’s had over the past 6 weeks to figure out at what intervals she gets hungry so that I can time this medication. Well, today she got hungry and hour early and I had to make her wait to eat. So she cried. So, cortisol. And brain damage. Yay! Or, I could skip the meds. Either way, I’m failing as a mom no matter what I do. She also cries when I burp her or change her diaper, but I still feel like I should do those things.
So, where’s the line? Babies don’t know what’s good for them and I would hope that most parents do things that make their babies unhappy if it serves them well in the long run. I definitely do, and feel obligated to take care of her even when that care is unpleasant for her. This is where I feel attachment parenting misses the point. Not all babies are 100% healthy and totally satisfied with life as long as they get a tit shoved in their face every now and then. Some babies are harder to satisfy and to act like parents have to give their babies exactly what they want every second of the day is starting to seem horribly unrealistic.
I also want to just say that I am working harder than any other mom I know, so those of you making condescending remarks can seriously shove it. I know the stats, like that the average new parent loses 350 hours of sleep in the first year of their child’s life. I’m on track to get the amount of sleep that many of you are losing, so you really have no clue what I’m going through if you slept 6-7 hours a night when your kids were babies. Family who have come over and observed what goes on in this house and how she behaves are astonished that I’m still alive.