Learning to Accept

I came across Dr Sears list of survival tips for parents with high need children. Just what I needed to lift up my spirits after another rough day with Emma.

I cried again. Cried with thoughts of uncertainty about the future. As I tried to put her to bed with the routine I had set up, Emma clearly wanted to stay awake longer. She wasn’t even drinking much of her milk. Then, after I lay her down and gave her the binky, she decided that she wanted to finish off that last 2 oz of milk.

My tears couldn’t stop rolling down. My heart burned with so much guilt. But for some reason, I still don’t know why I keep getting upset with the whole situation. However, after reading that list, I have some idea now. It’s a reality check for me. I was questioning why my baby isn’t more behaved and easy to care for. Not that she is a high need baby. I think I just can’t deal with myself and all the expectations I come up with. Two of my aunties tell me my cousins used to sleep through the night since two months old, from midnight to 7 in the morning. Emma gets so tired by 6.30, pm she sleeps till midnight, but then wakes up every 3 hrs till morning. Am I doing something wrong here? Or are they just lucky?

I keep comparing. Even when I told myself not to. I am weak. I need to stop doing this. But it is hard without the support from people around me. My parents think it is funny that Emma is this way. But I don’t find it funny after going through a rough day with her. People are quite insensitive to their comments. If people can watch what they say about other’s ppl mental/physical disability in front of the family members, why can they not do the same for a “bad” baby?

My mom asked how was Emma this evening. I told her she didn’t want to nap after she woke up from her second nap at 1.30 pm. It was a struggle and finally she fell asleep at 4 pm. My mom replied, “Then, she is a wild kid. Her heart is wild.”

Honestly, what was that suppose to mean? Did I give birth to a monster? Is it my fault for having a child like that? It is the last thin I wanted to hear after a tiring day.

Yes, I need a break. I need to get out of the house and take care of myself. I regretted not taking up that offer from my husband to pamper myself at the spa.

The problem is I need reassurance. Positively. I’ve been facing so much negativity and exhaustion that I sensitively need the cream on the cake.

I am trying to find positive traits about Emma to counter all this negativity. The only one I’ve noticed so far is her playfulness is related to her intelligence. I try to remind myself she is a big rebel when it comes to daytime naps. I know she wants to play, but she is tired. Or maybe I’m reading her wrong? I’m so afraid to let her go into the overtired drive that I become rigid sometimes with putting her to sleep.

I feel guilty. Today I actually let her cry hard for 3 minutes. While to some it may not be long, but it seemed endless to me. This is where I breakdown. I question all the info I’ve researched. It all comes falling down like rain, jumbling everythig up in a puddle. My confidence for the methods waver again. How can I go on?

For a brief moment, I pictured myself standing at the edge of the railing on the top floor of the house, waiting to fall and end everything. But I cannot do that. It will be a selfish thing to do to my family, especially Emma. And so I virtually do it in my head. Let it all go. And start over again.

This I feel guilty. I wonder if I am the only mother who goes through this. Perhaps I am not loving enough to be a mother and withstand babies fussiness.

My small moment of peace is achieved in the shower, after Emma falls asleep for bedtime. At the end of the day, even with all the drama unfolding before me, I feel as if there’s at least something I’m doing right. For all I know it could be worse. As I walked into the shower, I took one last glance at the baby monitor. I thought she was asleep but her eyes were staring straight into the camera. She looked intently, and then turned away and went back to sleep sucking on her binky. For once, I felt that she knows I’m there watching her. I feel less guilty now for letting her cry so hard earlier, and returned to shower without looking again at the baby monitor.

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