You mothers have been on my heart lately, and I just need to write down my thoughts.
You know who you are. I’m not writing to every mother here. Just the ones with the extra fussy babies. The ones that screamed their first of year life for no reason. The ones who really might not be allergic or have a medical problem.
They’re just fussy.
You get tired of hearing advice, and you get tired of hearing that it’s going to get better. Because in the moment, you don’t want to think about enduring another minute of screaming, let alone another month or two.
I’m here to tell you…there is hope.
I’m finally feeling like I’m reaching the light at the end of the tunnel. Sophia is 20 months old now, and while she still is a super energetic toddler with a scream that can shatter glass it’s gotten better. We finally feel like we have some answers.
Sophia is the most talkative out of all of our children at this age. She also seems to be the smartest. Not that our other children were not smart, but Sophia just is extremely alert and aware of everything going on around her. A few people told us that once she would be able to talk, things would get better.
I didn’t believe them (I had gotten to the point of losing hope of the screaming ever stopping!), but it’s really true. Now that she has been able to communicate with us, life has gotten easier.
She sleeps all night long. She takes a nap every day, she plays with her little people toys and wooden blocks. She loves to get into absolutely everything, and climbs on whatever she possibly can.
While she still prefers me over everyone, she will happily go to Sean most of the times, and sometimes lets her brothers and sisters hold her.
While this sounds horrible to say, we actually enjoy her now.
Don’t get me wrong, we always loved her. We held her constantly, kissed on her like crazy, and prayed for her. But it’s really hard to enjoy having a screaming baby in the house. Now we all laugh at her adorable toddler ways, and find so much pleasure in watching her blossom into a little girl.
Tips for Surviving
Take Time For Yourself
When you have a baby that screams all the time, you must take some time to be by yourself. Run to the library to pick up your books on hold, go to the grocery story, take a bath, or go for a walk while your husband watches the baby. I know it’s hard to get away if you are breastfeeding, but try to go right after a feeding. There have been many times that my husband has stayed in the van while I’ve run in the store, just for 15 minutes to feel like an adult.
It’s All About The Baby
When you have a fussy baby, it really is all about the baby. You can’t ignore the screaming, or zone it out. There are times to just lay the baby down when you can’t handle it one more second, but it takes many hours of rocking the baby, walking and bouncing, singing, and feeding the baby. When you have other children, it’s important that they have one parent still there, doing family devotions and spending time with them. Our five older children survived this time, and have even said they want another sibling someday, but honestly nobody is ready for that still. 🙂
Fill Up Your Own Cup – Receive Encouragement from Others
It’s so important to receive encouragement during this time. You can’t keep giving to your fussy baby and your family without receiving something yourself. There were (and honestly still are) many Sundays where I felt like I received very little out of the sermons, because of tending to Sophia. Several times she was screaming so much, I asked my sister to take me home during the service. We live really close to church, so that is an easy option for me. However, my husband is currently the pastor of our church! I’ve felt very disconnected at times, but I constantly remind myself it’s an extended season, not forever.
The times I’ve had to come home from church, I lay Sophia down to sleep and turn on a sermon or a podcast for moms. By the time my family comes home I’m uplifted and ready to face the rest of the day! Read any book by Sally Clarkson if you need a boost of mothering encouragement.
Use Paper Plates!
This isn’t the time to be supermom. Think of this time as an extended 4th trimester. You need to still take it easy, grab a nap, and use those paper plates! I’ve just started weaning myself off of paper plates, but still keep them on hand for those crazy times.
Be Prepared for Skeptics
Sophia seems to always be better out in public. There have been times I’ve even doubted myself, and wondered if it’s really as bad as I think it is because others just don’t see it. My husband is quick to tell me it *is* bad, and that our other babies never did cry like this. Just be prepared that others might not understand, because they just won’t see it.
Don’t Forget About Your Marriage
You are still a wife. Having a fussy baby is incredibly hard on a marriage. Sophia had to sleep right next to me for months, snuggled up where she could touch me. If Sean rolled over in bed it would wake her up, so he ended up sleeping on the couch for months. That sounds fun, right? It was so hard, but we did survive! Try to grab any peaceful moment in the evening to snuggle with your husband, even do it during family time in the evening with the children! I found if I could even just get some snuggle time in, it helped me feel more like a wife and I could keep going.
The days are so hard. The months can roll into a year, and before you know it, your baby is becoming a toddler. I hope that your days do get easier. I don’t think they become more peaceful, because that baby turns into a very busy toddler! But the day you finally wake up and realize your baby isn’t screaming as much is a blessed day. You stop and take a deep breath and realize you are going to make it. Life will never return to what it was before the baby, but you are going to find a new normal!
***Don’t miss out on a new special that just started at Deborah & Co. I did almost all of my Christmas shopping online this year, because it’s just so much work going out shopping with six children! We have a fun sale going on, shop now and receive a gift certificate for later! We are still shipping out for Christmas Delivery!**