Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bloghop: Challenges in parenting

Are You Listening is hosting a blog hop, and the subject seemed to resonate with me this week. 

The subject is the most challenging part of parenting.

For some reason, the last half of the week was very hard for me.  I had three long days the last part of the week, with very little time for myself.  And then last night I was up every three hours with Little Guy.  Not sure what is going on, my guess is that he is probably teething.  It is still a pain in the ass.

For me the most challenging aspect of parenting right now is finding space for myself.  Little ones can take up a lot of your time and energy, and you have very little left over for husband and yourself.  When the baby is demanding, and the hubby needs time with me, I have very little time to recharge myself.

I do not know if it is because I had my child later in life, but I had a fairly good sense of myself before I had the baby.  After the baby was born, it was a huge adjustment to make room for this demanding little person in my life.  I had a hard time keeping hold of my sense of self immediately after the baby was born.  The baby needed so much time and energy, all I had the time or energy to do was care for the baby.

As he got older, I began to make an effort to make space for myself.  As I did that, I found I was more available as a parent if I had time to myself to recharge.  I enjoyed him more.  I played with him more.  All because I was able to have some space away from my mommy duties.  Going back to work was great for me because I was doing something meaningful to me again.  It gave me space away from "being mommy."

Nap times are essential in this house.  For mommy and baby.  Naps are good for little ones, but mommy really needs that time, too.  When baby does not nap, mommy cannot recharge.  Fortunately, most of the time he naps well.  But there are times when he does not nap, or he does not go down for the night very well.  This is when I get frustrated.  I can feel the loss of my down time, and I get grumpy.

I know that it gets better as he gets older, but right now it can be difficult to find "me time" with a demanding toddler underfoot.

I hear him waking from his nap.  My recharge time is over.  Sigh.


Jamie said...

I know just what you mean - when I get a little time alone, I can *feel* myself being a better mother. I am more focused on Skeeter during my time with him and I enjoy it so much instead of being preoccupied with, "As soon as he goes to bed, I am taking a long, hot BATH!"

I hope you find more and more opportunities to recharge your batteries.

andrea said...

oh I KNOW what you are saying! I NEED that naptime to recharge. Even though I am usually working my tail off for that time she is asleep, it is still MY time!

The Red Headed Mama said...

I haven't had a chance to post my blog hop, but it's almost exactly this. Finding the balance between everything and still being ME and having ME time. I'm 8 years in to this whole parenting thing and still trying to figure it out (although it's much better then it was!)

Oh, and "hi" from the blog hop :)