Before having Wyatt, I assumed stay-at-home moms (SAHMs) had it easy. I thought it must be so nice to have a ton of free time and do whatever you wanted all day. Hahaha.
Now I know what SAHMs really do. At least I know what I do with my 6 month old each day. No one day is like any other, but here’s a glimpse into my life as a SAHM…
4:40 a.m.: I hear the kicking over the monitor. This means Wyatt is on his back and awake. The kicking continues and I try to ignore it. A few minutes later, he starts blowing raspberries. I pray that he falls back to sleep. Then the pterodactyl noises begin. It’s true, my son is part dinosaur and makes these angry, forceful screams that sound like a pterodactyl.
5:10: I finally get up and head upstairs to his room before he starts screaming. He sees me and smiles. Which is cute and all, but the the smile usually means he’s up for the day. I nurse him and try to rock him to sleep.
5:45: It’s not working. Baby is rubbing his eyes and yawning, but won’t go back to sleep. Then he spits up all over his pajamas. I change him into his first outfit of the day, then I place him in his crib and pray that he falls asleep on his own.
I had 5 miles planned for this morning, but I am way too exhausted. I’ll either run with the stroller later or take an unscheduled rest day. I hop back in bed, let Jeff know the baby isn’t sleeping, and tell him I’m too tired to ever run again (I’m not dramatic at all). Soon we hear the pterodactyl over the monitor.
6:20: Wyatt is now all out screaming in his crib. Jeff gets up and tells me to stay in bed. I can't fall back to sleep, so I chug some coffee and cereal, and head out for those 5 miles (my Garmin died mid-run for the second time this week, why?). Meanwhile, Jeff and Wyatt play with typical boys’ toys.
7:20: I get home and meander towards the baby sounds. Jeff is upstairs trying to rock Wyatt to sleep but it’s not working. I take him, nurse him to sleep, and try not to cover him in sweat.
7:50: I place baby in his crib. While he’s sleeping, I shower, fold laundry from the night before, make breakfast for us, eat, check email, and decide to start keeping track of my day so I can blog about it. Jeff leaves for work at 8:30.
8:45: Baby is awake! I pick him up, change him, and give him the chance to eat, but he’s not hungry. We head to the grocery store, where he sits like a big boy in the cart for the first time.
10: We’re home from grocery shopping. I hate this part. I need to put Wyatt down so I can unload the car and unpack the groceries, but he is never happy when I leave him on the ground alone. He goes from content to angry as soon as I leave him. Proof:
10:10: Once the groceries are unloaded, it’s time for someone to eat food. This was Wyatt’s first time trying carrots and they were a hit! He even licked his bib clean.
Immediately after brunch, Wyatt needed to be cleaned and changed (no matter how thoroughly I think I clean him, I always find specks of food in random places- like his eyelids- hours later). I let him enjoy some naked time on our bed. We keep a sheet over our comforter to protect it from furball hair (Nati is on vacation right now, hence why he’s not in any pictures). Wyatt likes how the sheet feels and loves rolling around in the bed naked.
After he’s dressed, we head upstairs to play. He’s in a really good mood! I document it with an Iphone video to send the grandparents. I thought I’d share with you, too:
He didn’t get Nemo today, but I know he will soon
10:50: Someone is getting hungry and sleepy. We head to the nursery, I feed him, and he dozes off a few minutes later. I put him into his crib and his eyes pop open. Thankfully, he’s able to fall back to sleep on his own.
While he’s down, I clean up the highchair and start research for a freelance article. The babysitter is usually here at this time, but she’s on vacation this week.
11:35: I hear screaming over the monitor. Someone is awake and unhappy.
I pick him up and try to rock him back to sleep. It doesn’t work, but after about 20 minutes, he calms down.
12 noon: We head to the kitchen. I need to make and eat lunch before we head to Gymboree. I put him in his jumperoo, but he’s super cranky. As I make lunch, the screaming gets louder. I end up eating with him on my lap. He gets covered in honey mustard in the process. I scramble to get him changed (into outfit #3 for the day) and pack his diaper bag before heading out the door.
12:25: We’re on our way to Gymboree. He screams in the car for the first 15 minutes. He passes out for the last 12 minutes. He doesn’t even wake up when the car stops. Figures that he sleeps now.
1- 2p.m.: Gymboree! He makes it through without crying, wohoo!
He sits up so well that he “graduates” to the level 2 class next week. I nurse him before the trip home.
2:30- 3:20: We’re home and he needs to nap. I take various measures to get Wyatt to sleep and they keep failing. He ends up in hysterics, but he’s finally asleep in his crib…
3:33: for thirteen minutes. He’s up and cranky. He calms down when I pick him up. I’m at a loss for what to do now. We’d normally take a walk, but it’s storming.
I decide to test my luck and see if I can get some work done while Wyatt entertains himself in my office.
3:50: He’s not content playing alone for long. Soon he’s crying, and I can tell he needs a change of scenery. For the next hour, we dance, bounce, and sing around the house, but he stays cranky. I try feeding him, he won’t eat. I try rocking him to sleep, but he fights it. So the attempts at playing and trying to make him happy continue.
5:10: An all out cry-fest begins. No doubt from being so over-tired. Finally, he nurses and goes to sleep. When he naps at this time of night, things get tricky. I like to begin bath time by 6:30- 6:45ish, but with him napping so late, I know he’ll fight bed time. But I’ve found it’s much better for him to nap at anytime than not nap at all if there’s any chance of him sleeping well.
During this nap, I try to respond to all of the flagged emails I’ve received over the past few days. I make it through most of them.
5:40: He’s up, but he’s super cranky. I change him and then make him “fly” in an effort to cheer him up. It doesn’t work. I try to give him a banana in a mesh feeder, but he won’t touch it tonight. Since he’s so upset, I forget to clean the mesh feeder right away which means it’s ruined. A side effect of being the only parent around during meal times!
From now until bath time, I just try to make him happy. He won't let me put him down at all. He screams his lungs off if I even try to put him down, but he's just cranky if I hold him. The screaming gives me flashbacks to his colicky time. I am so thankful that’s over. At least Wyatt was happy earlier today.
6:30: We start our bedtime routine: bath, baby massage, pajamas, story time, nurse, and rock to sleep. Luckily, he really enjoys this time of day.
7:10: I think he’s asleep so I place him down in his crib and kiss him goodnight.
Then he sleeps for 12 hours.
Ha! Not really. He doesn’t even sleep for 12 minutes. A few minutes later, he’s awake and screaming. It only lasts for about 5 minutes so I ignore him.
7:15: I go heat up leftovers for dinner and head back to my office to get work done.
7:30: He’s up and crying again. I ignore him again.
7:40: The crying is only getting more intense the gagging starts, so I go to his room and rub his back for a minute. I leave his nursery and listen to him scream for 15 more minutes, then I go back into his room and rub his back. I follow this pattern until he’s asleep, around 9:00 pm.
Somewhere in there, Jeff gets home. After Wyatt is out, I go down to the kitchen to bake muffins so I can chat with Jeff while he eats dinner.
9:30: I go back to my office with the intention of doing work, but instead, I start typing this post.
10:10: The baby is up and angry! Since it’s been 3 hours since I last fed him, I go in an nurse him to sleep.
10:45: He’s finally passed out, so I head to bed, too.
12:20: He’s up and screaming, but stops after a few minutes.
2:14: Wyatt is awake and crying. I give it a few minutes, but the crying gets more intense. I go to his room and nurse him to sleep.
4:55: I hear the kicking. And the day starts all over again…
I wanted to add that I know my day probably looks a lot different than the days of SAHMs who have “typical” 6 month olds. I don’t think anything is wrong with my son. He’s over the reflux, he's not teething, and I truly don’t believe he’s in pain. I think he’s just a high-need baby. He fits the definition perfectly. Do I wish he slept well, smiled every day, and was on a predictable schedule? Of course I do. But not everyone gets a happy baby (or a healthy one, and I am very grateful he's healthy). I’ve tried everything and I’m done seeking out things that are guaranteed to “fix” him. This is just how he is. I’m just trying to respond to his cues, meet his needs, and love him the best I can. I truly believe things are getting better. When I re-read this post, I don’t see the baby who was cranky all afternoon and woke up a lot at night. I see the baby who was happy for a good part of the morning. My baby used to never be happy. We’re making progress!
This past Saturday, I ran the Seneca Fest 5k. This was the first time I raced a 5k all out. (I ran this race last year at 11 weeks pregnant.)
I hate making excuses, but I had a pretty rough two days leading up to this race. My baby has never been a good sleeper, and it only got worse this past week. For the two nights before the race, he was literally up every hour and nursing every two hours.
I felt completely drained Saturday morning when it was time to "wake up" and get ready. Jeff told me I looked awful and requested that we skip the race, but we already paid for it so I was determined to run (which is not the best reason to run a race). I downed three pieces of toast with peanut butter and coffee and was ready to go. When we were about to leave the house, I ran back in and grabbed a banana because I was still hungry. I am not exaggerating at all when I say nursing drains me (I also ate another 1/2 banana and a Larabar immediately post-race). Lately, I feel like I can't get enough to eat (this topic warrants its own post).
I had no idea how to race a 5k. For all other races, I take the first mile or two slow to warm up. I usually hold a pretty consistent pace and am sometimes able to negative split. Since this race was "only" 3.1 miles, I didn't want to spend 1/3 of the race warming up. So I ran a mile before the start to loosen my legs up. I felt awful.
I'm not sure if it was due to the lack of sleep, the constant nursing, or the heat, but I had stomach cramps and felt really weak. I knew this wasn't going to be my day.
But it was "just" a 5k. I tried to give myself a pep talk at the start, but as soon as we were off, I couldn't shake the negative thoughts. Luckily, this was a really small race (just 160 people!) and only one woman was in front of me. That gave me a small dose of motivation. I made it my goal to place.
This felt like a long 3.1 miles. With every step, I felt worse. More so though, I hated my attitude. Racing is such a privilege and I wasn't appreciating it. I tried so hard to snap out of it.
Right after the halfway turnaround, I saw I was catching up to Jeff. I'm all about trying to beat him, and normally I would have sped up and ran my heart out to try to win. But at that moment, I could not care less. I eventually caught him and said, "don't worry I feel like crap, too". I was about to add "let's finish this together", but before I could say another word, he took off! I guess even though he felt awful, he didn't feel bad enough to lose to his wife. I can't say I blame him!
I finished in 21:51. I honestly expected to run a bit faster, but it wasn't my time that upset me. I hated that my body felt so weak despite having a strong training cycle. I positive splitted this race, running each mile about 20 seconds slower than the last.
Of course, I pouted like a brat and vowed never to race again as long as I'm nursing. Once I cooled off, I gained some perspective. A few months ago, I would have never thought I was capable of running a 5k at a 7:04 pace. That's pretty fast for me, especially on an off day. I was also able to hang on to second place and I received my first ever cash prize. That definitely lifted my spirits!
While I'm not a fan of the 5k distance yet, I am glad I get another chance to race in 3 weeks. Fingers crossed that someone sleeps a bit better in the meantime.
The winner of my blogiversary giveaway is (note: if you left duplicate comments, I had to delete the second one to make the giveaway fair):
Congrats Kristy! Send me an email at runnerstrials [at] gmail [dot] com, and a pair of Brooks will be on their way to you!
Tomorrow my blog becomes a toddler. I can't get over how much has changed over the past two years!
Surgery for endo, finally pregnant, really pregnant (side note: why didn't anyone tell me I was the hugest pregnant woman EVER?), holding my 6 (!) month old.
I started this blog to document my trials as I tried to set running PRs, train for my first triathlon, and beat infertility. I've technically accomplished all I set out to do. So, my story- and blog- could end here.
But I've gotten a lot more out of this little hobby than anticipated. Namely, support from you guys. So, so much support.
You tweaked my training plans and told me when my goals were a too lofty. You helped me feel less alone when I was dealing with my fertility issues. You convinced me to cut back on running so I could get pregnant. You got me job interviews and helped me land fulfilling writing gigs. You answered my many pregnancy and baby questions. You've given me tons of virtual hugs and the strength I needed to get through these incredibly hard past six months.
Frankly, I'm too selfish to give you guys up. I need your friendship and I definitely need you to keep me in check. So, I'm going to keep sharing way too much of my life over the internet.
I truly appreciate every single one of you! I don't know how to thank each of you, so instead I'm giving away something I can't live without to one lucky person.
Leave me a comment telling me what your favorite running shoes are. I'll buy one random winner a pair of running shoes of their choice. Entries will be accepted until 11:59 eastern time on Sunday, May 27, 2012. I'll randomly pick a winner and announce on Monday. Good luck!