Yesterday afternoon Leah had a complete breakdown. Wednesday’s are always a little rough on her since we have a Nurturing Your Newborn class in the morning that interferes with her usual nap time, but yesterday was worse than usual. After a much too short 40 minute afternoon nap Leah woke up in a nasty mood. I tried my best to get her back to sleep, rocking her, putting her in the swing, cuddling, etc, but nothing worked. Instead, her screams just continued to get louder and more intense. When Leah gets overtired, she falls apart and will fight falling asleep with everything she’s got. After 15 minutes straight of screaming I could feel my body grow tense. I tried taking calming breaths, knowing that me being tense would only make Leah MORE tense, but my anxiousness continued to grow as her screams continued to get worse. After 20 minutes of screaming I wanted to start screaming myself. I found myself thinking “Sometimes you can be so frustrating!!” Knowing I needed to take a break I stuck her in her crib and shut the door. As I listened to her continue to cry I texted Brett saying, “Leah has been screaming her head off for 30 mins now and won’t calm down no matter what I do. Hurry home, I need a break NOW!” And my loving husband texted me back, “Coming!!!” and I felt calmer knowing I wouldn’t be alone that much longer. After a short break I went back into her room and picked her up from her crib. Looking down at her face, with tears streaming down her cheeks, my frustration melted away and I picked her up and started a second round of snuggles. 10 minutes later (as hubs walked through the door) Leah was quiet and falling asleep in my arms.
As I put her to bed that night I hugged her, told her I loved her and whispered to her that I promised to be more patient tomorrow. Having a baby can be tough and sadly it’s not all snuggles and smiles all of the time. Sometimes her screams get to be too much and I feel my frustration at her grow. I hate feeling frustrated at my baby and frustrated with myself for not knowing how to calm her. That is when I have to remind myself to turn to God in prayer. I’m not a perfect parent (nor will I ever be!) and I know patience is not my strong suit. But I love my child and I don’t want to be the type of mother who easily loses her patience with her children. Knowing this I need to continue to pray for patience when it comes to my parenting because Lord knows I want to be the best mother possible for my cute little girl. The crying will one day stop, but it will be replaced with something else…tantrums, arguing, talking back, etc as she continues to grow. I’m sure one day I’ll look back and think I was lucky when all I had to deal with was a few crying fits! Knowing this, I’m going to continue to work on my patience and, when it all seems to be too much I’ll remind myself how lucky I am to have Brett as a parenting partner (seriously, I don’t know how single moms do it!) and how blessed I am to have this child who changed our lives for the better.