A little bit of perspective…

Today started out rough for me. Actually, the last couple days have been more on the hard side, but I wouldn’t say I really became frustrated until today. Bailey is going through what is called a “Wonder Leap.” Basically it is when she makes a big leap in her development, both physical and mental. As a result, she is fussy and crankier than she usually is. She doesn’t really feel good. Not in a sick way, but in a frustrated way.  It is sad to see her have a hard time 😦 And at the same time, my sleep has taken quite the toll and I have to scrape the bottom of the barrel for my patience. I kept pushing back my overwhelmed feeling for a few days now, but today they kind of spilled over.

Bailey woke up a few times last night a bit more than usual, so the little sleep I was already running on led me to running on fumes. We had church this morning and it is during her nap time, so she fought her nap because there were far more interesting things to look at, and she was used to sleeping in her crib and not in mommy’s arms in a church building. Because of her lack of a real nap, she was fussy during the whole 3 hour block. Once we got home I tried watching the General Women’s Broadcast that I missed yesterday (It was wonderful btw, it can be found at www.lds.org and you will be guided to the broadcast). Anyways, so I am trying to watch it and Bailey is screaming and wanting my attention and will only accept me holding her standing up. She finally goes down for a nap and I come back to the living room and I notice the leftovers from lunch were still on the table. For some reason something inside me kind of snapped. My overwhelmed flood gate burst. When I get overwhelmed I become pretty emotional and easily frustrated. So I made some remarks about needing to clean because otherwise it will NEVER get done. (Yeah…shameful passive aggressiveness going on) and I start silently doing the dishes quickly and angrily. Adam doesn’t really understand what is going on, and is eating ice cream, when he offers me the last two bites. Instead of being grateful, I made a remark about how nice it must be to eat ice cream instead of cleaning the whole kitchen. (Yeah, I still feed bad about that, but I have apologized and gave lots of kisses since then). At this point Adam is looking at me like “what the heck did I do? I didn’t make you clean.” So I then make a few more frustrated comments, finish cleaning the kitchen and finally finish watching the broadcast. President Utchdorf gave some amazing inspiring words that really helped my struggling soul. He talked about how Heavenly Father’s love does not change depending on how we are dressed, or if we are looking our best that day, or if the house is clean, etc. That our Heavenly Father loves us greatly and that we are His children. This was the first ray of sunshine that was trying to shine through my rain cloud. I turn to Adam and apologize for my negative comments that were geared toward him as a result of my lack of sleep and feelings of inadequacy, and we have some cuddle time.

So then Bailey wakes up after maybe 30 minutes and was in a relatively good mood, so we had some smiles and giggles and that helped my cloud become a little less rainy. Another ray of sunshine. Adam cooked a delicious dinner and then Bailey was starting to get fussy, so I started the bedtime routine since I knew she had to be exhausted from the poorly timed short naps. She usually doesn’t put up too much of a fight at bedtime, but boy. Tonight she was determined to not sleep. Ever. She screamed and cried and I tried to comfort and soothe her in the usual ways that she liked. Nope. Not having it. I made sure she was fed, changed, clean from the bath. Not happy. I even gave her some tylenol to help with maybe some of the growing pains. She was not wanting to feel better. I finally laid on the couch with her crying on me, on the brink of tears myself. I am not sure what to do or how to soothe her and I am frustrated. I am frustrated that I cant make her happy because I am the mom and that is my job. I know she needs sleep and she is fighting it. I know she will feel better once she sleeps, but she cant possibly know that. So I am on the couch with her and falling apart…when Adam takes her. At first she goes ballistic because even though she is not happy with me…she was not happy without me either. I hesitate at whether I should just take her, but Adam holds her. She continues crying in his arms, but he just stands and holds her. Maybe 15 minutes go by and I suddenly realize I can hear myself think again. She stopped crying and fell asleep in his arms! After 15 minutes in his arms…when she cried almost an hour with me. Must be that Daddy touch. Adam lays her down, and I look around and realize my kitchen is clean from dinner. Adam did the dishes! I felt so grateful and sheepish all at once. We cuddle on the couch for a while, just talking and enjoying the silence and looking at the video baby monitor of Bailey sleeping peacefully. Another ray of sunshine through my rain cloud. My rain cloud is almost gone! Then while getting ready for bed so we can catch up on some much needed sleep, I browse Facebook and come across a page from this woman who had lost her son due to a nanny abusing him. He died of shaken baby syndrome the day after he turned one. She is still awaiting trial for the nanny 3 years later and is missing her sweet angel. She wishes she could have just one more night with her little son to snuggle him and tell him she loves him. That was the last ray of sunshine I needed to change my rain cloud. Not because it was a happy ray, because I know she is devastated, 😦 but it was a ray of perspective. It took everything in me not to run to Bailey’s room and grab her and snuggle with her (I would have if she didn’t need her sleep so bad!) I felt so sad that I had such a hard day with my one child who is only going through a tough time, and that it will pass.

I needed a little bit of perspective. It didn’t take away the fact that I am running on less than a few hours of sleep, or that Bailey is cranky, or that my house is getting harder and harder to keep up with….but it did change how I can look at that. I have a perfect angel who loves me unconditionally. I have a husband who is more than willing to help if I let him. And we are sealed, so no matter what happens, we are together forever.

I don’t usually like to talk about my tough days because I feel guilty over them. I feel guilt over not being the “perfect mom.” I feel guilt for getting upset when others have it so much worse. But I have feelings too. I have bad days too. And it’s normal. I just needed some sunshine rays to help my lingering rain cloud turn into a fluffy cloud of perspective. I am sure I will still be up many times in the night with my little Bailey….but tonight I will be doing it with a smile.

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These are our Bits O’ Bertoch.

Cassie Bertoch

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