I don't mean to sound ungrateful because I have just about everything in my life I've ever wanted. But I will always remember this as the toughest and certainly one of the most depressing times of my life (luckily for me I have very few of those). Just when I think we're about to catch a break (Waylon's weight is finally starting to rise; he is sleeping a bit better; Delaney has stopped attacking her brother; I was able to take a shower) some crappy thing happens (Delaney catches a nasty cold; her tiny brother catches it too and is completely miserable and can't sleep unless I hold him upright all day and night; I'm back to getting only 2-3 hours of sleep a night; Delaney throws sibling-angst-induced tantrums; Delaney wakes up with what appears to be pink eye). Add to those unfortunate circumstances the bleak, dark, cold January weather and you've got a recipe for "Woe is Me" pie (best served with hot coffee containing a shot--or eight--of Jack Daniels). Yes it's safe to say that on this, my 37th birthday, I'm wallowing in self pity.
My best friend (who just had her first baby in July) totally understands what I'm going through. Her daughter had colic and reflux. And, while I'm not dealing with those exact problems, I obviously have my own set of challenges. Her daughter is now six months old and so she keeps reminding me that it does get better. It gets easier. I remember that it did get better with Delaney but it was never this hard to begin with. Having two kids is HARD. Although everyone told me how hard it would be I had to experience it for myself to understand that. And it's to tough accepting how our lives have changed. Even though I know things will get better, easier (?) and more manageable, things feel pretty bleak right now. I feel trapped in this tiny house with two small beings who constantly need, need, need and who try my patience and push my buttons and some days all I want to do it make a break for it and drive south, alone, until I hit the beach.
Lot of friends also told me that three years old (or nearly so as Delaney is) is a great age for a child to have a sibling. But this is one of the toughest parts for me...dealing with Delaney and her feelings regarding her brother and this new situation. She acts out so much that we're constantly correcting her. This leads her to act out even more (because, as they say, it doesn't matter to the kid if the attention is bad or good as long they're getting some kind of attention) and we correct her again which leads to a vicious circle of more bad behavior. We're flying blind on how to help her through this and most days it feels like we're not doing that great of a job. I feel guilty that I can't spend as much time with her as I used to. I feel like I'm failing her daily as her mother. No wonder she acts out. She realizes that her formerly fun mom isn't fun any more and has been replaced instead by a tired old hag who can't seem to spend enough time with her and who only complains about what she's doing wrong. If I were her I'd act out too.
Still, ever the optimist (And why? I need to give that angle up. It's definitely not working for me lately.) who tries to focus on the bright side of life, I must mention that yesterday Waylon smiled at me. And not once, but twice and two more times today! So, there is that. He's developing his little personality and making me realize that although we seem to be mired in a dark hell right now, things are changing ever so slightly for the better. I suppose I need to turn my attention to the little things that count most to get me through these days. Because this is definitely the life I want, the life that's filled with my fantastic husband, my two kids, my family and friends, my job. And I am lucky. Very lucky. At least, on some level, I still know that.