I get it. I’ve been there before. I’m there again. You waited 9 months for this miracle. You might have fought hard battles to get pregnant, or to just stay pregnant. Your birth might have been difficult, but it was all worth it to have this beautiful baby lying in your arms.
Life was bliss. A baby to snuggle and love on.
Until the crying started. It might be from an allergy, colic, teething, reflux, or just a fussy baby that can’t be diagnosed. Whatever the cause, the crying causes distress to the entire family. But for mom, it can cause a lot of mommy guilt.
You might be a first time mom. Or you might be an experienced mom of 4. It really doesn’t matter. Mommy guilt can come because you can’t fix the problem. The crying continues. Some babies cry even when you hold them, others cry all day long unless you hold them.
I’m currently a mom of six children, homeschooling, running a business
and this blog, and I’ve been given a baby who often cries if I am not holding her. Her siblings are seldom good enough, and sometimes daddy isn’t either.
The exersaucer sits in the corner of the room, mocking me because I know it doesn’t amuse her. Rocking her is a joke, the only thing that works is standing up and holding her, so I thank the Lord for my Tula baby carrier
, and the fact that she does actually nap in her crib. Being out in public seems to distract her more, so people seldom see what she really is like here at home.
I worked extra hard to get this baby here
. She is the sweetest thing, giving me lots of smiles and giggles, but there are times I’m just so exhausted from being up half the night with her that I complain about how much work she is. Then the guilt comes on. Thick and hard. I can’t believe I complained about my precious baby.
You know what? A fussy baby IS a lot of work! It’s overwhelming and stressful when you have been given a not so calm baby. We moms worry about sharing the struggle, because we don’t want people to think we don’t want our baby. Especially in a society that does not value children like they should.
A fussy baby is not a bad baby. When people ask you if your baby is good, it’s not like that child is choosing to be that way. You love your fussy baby just as much as that baby who was practically perfect.
So how do you survive this season? Remember that it’s just that, a season of life that will pass. The teeth will eventually come in, the colic will go away. Here are some ways I survive though.
1. Sleep in later than normal. Take a nap if at all possible. Don’t feel guilty over this! You can only survive so long on a few hours of sleep each night. The other night I was up until 2:00 AM with my baby, and I just couldn’t get up at the normal time. I woke up several times after that to nurse, and finally slept in until 9:00 AM. I was finally dressed at 11:00 AM.
Is that normal life?
Should I feel guilty over days like that?
It can be frustrating, but it’s totally out of my control.
I will say, I don’t sleep in every day. There are many days I get up even though I’m tired and get going on the day. However on days when I’m up so late with my baby, I do sleep in.
2. Cry a little. Cry a lot. Just release some stress though tears if needed. Hormones don’t go away just because the baby comes. If I’m super tired and getting stressed (normally around dinner time!), sometimes I do just cry for a few minutes and then pull myself out of it and go on my day. Again, it’s not every day, but there is no shame in a few tears.
3. Ask for help. This isn’t always possible, but see if your husband can hold the baby so you can have at least 10 minutes alone in your room. When he is home on the weekends, he should get an idea of how difficult your days really are. Call or text your husband, mom, or friend when you need a pick me up. Consider hiring someone to clean your house if you are extremely overwhelmed and behind on things.
4. Pray during the low moments in the day. This is not the time in your life to expect an amazing study time at a scheduled point in your day with the Lord. However cry to the Lord for help, put the scriptures on an App on your phone, and go to church! I skipped Wednesday evening church recently because I had been up until 2:00 AM with her for days in a row, and physically couldn’t keep going on. I normally am encouraged to press on by attending church, and you need the fellowship of others!
5. Realize that parenting your other children might look a little different. Some days I’m the mom that has it all together and we are on a great homeschool schedule. Other days…I’m just going to say it because I think every mom should understand. My children can get by with attitudes I don’t normally allow because I’m distracted by a crying baby, or else I’m so exhausted I can’t think to deal with it. Yes, it’s discouraging to know you aren’t doing the absolute best job as a mother, but God gives grace for these seasons!
6. Sing to your baby! Sometimes if my baby is crying a lot while I change her diaper, I’ll just start singing her hymns. Honestly it hasn’t seemed to calm her down so far, but it calms me down!
7. There are lots of natural things you could try,
but I really hesitate to suggest very much here because we are talking about such a young child. If it’s a serious problem like reflux or allergy, find a good doctor to help! For teething, I really like this teething oil
from Herbs for Kids (not to ingest, just to rub on their gums).
Every few weeks your baby might change. My little girl did not start out as a really fussy baby, and I don’t anticipate her staying this way forever. It’s a season of life that we are currently in.
Finally, Step away from your baby if you feel out of control. I’ve never, ever had this happen to me, but I know that the shaken baby syndrome comes from frustrated, angry parents. If you ever feel like hurting your child through your frustration, leave your child crying in the crib and call someone immediately!
Don’t forget, take lots of pictures of you with your baby, even if you look exhausted! It’s what real life is like, and your baby will want pictures with you when he/she grows up!