I have written about the dread of evening that I have experienced as a new mom. I struggle with the frustration I feel at my infant daughter when, in the evening, she's at her inconsolable fussiest. (The Man maintains that I, too, am at my fussiest then but what are you listening to him for? You're MY friends.)
Anyway, yesterday evening was particularly difficult, what with the WAH-WAH-no-sleeping-despite-nursing-every-2.4-minutes-can't-be-put-down-or-all-hell-breaks-loose-did-I-mention-the-WAAAAH-WAAAAHHHHH?? I've taken to calling her 'The Warden' if that gives you any indication of her demeanor at these moments.
And although the hormones have substantially receded, making it possible for me to discuss these said events without weeping uncontrollably, make no mistake. They make me feel like shit of the stinkiest kind. First, I get angry at a tiny baby. I feel feelings that are irrational and awful, like hate. Like I kind of hate her in those moments. Which I don't, really, you see. Trust me when I tell you. I very, very much like her. A lot. But those are a couple of dark hours there, when nothing I do works.
Which brings me to my second thought, which is that it makes me feel totally ineffectual and without mothering skills. You know, when she's screaming her head off and nothing (and I mean nothing) I do works for more than 5 seconds. There is a kind of despair that sets in, after a time, when I feel like it might BE me, that I might be the problem. I logically, rationally know that it's not me. But the pressure that I feel inside when she's over the top, deep-red-scrunchy-face screaming is very, very uncomfortable, let's say. That almost-purple-face continuous yelling--it's like a technique from Guantanamo Bay, really, it can make you a little wacky.
But last night, as The Man took his shift during the melt-down hours (you love him more all the time, don't you?), I logged onto Kellymom.com and found this article. And the skies opened up and a chorus of angels started singing. And playing harps and all.
It is amazing to me how much better I feel knowing that it's not just us. Knowing that it's average, it's common, it's normal. That sense that it's universal, that tons of people go through this, feel this way, gives me hope and a kind of rough road map. Not that my girl won't take us on a detour now and again (every day), but it's so comforting to be part of a group.
Even a group of super-stressed out parents with red-scrunchy-faced screaming kids.
Maybe especially that group.
Here's my teenie weenie meanie.
Why don't you put yours up? Put your link in the comments here and we'll all stop by for a visit during your dark parenting hour. How's that for support??