Thursday, March 7, 2013

Mama guilt

It's after midnight.

I wanted to pretend that we'd all fall asleep together easily as a family when Dylan asked to sleep in Mama and Daddy's room just after 9:30 when we had tiptoed up to bed with the baby and found him still wide awake and begging for our company. I knew better. I knew that Dylan would be too excited to sleep calmly in between Sean and me and that the baby wouldn't go down without a last-minute plea for Mama milk followed by at least a half an hour of sitting her upright so that she didn't immediately spit up her efforts, and mine.

I pretended this would go smoothly as if by wishing hard enough I would find us as a sleepy family of four, able to snuggle up in each others' arms in an instant without the chaos that accompanies an overtired two-year-old and a wide-awake newborn.

As per usual after a busy day at work Sean fell asleep immediately and I was left holding a swaddled breastfeeder and listening to Dylan sing the theme song to Mama Mia on repeat.

At one point I fell asleep and woke up to him sitting half naked in bed next to me. I found his diaper and sweatpants in the bathroom only after tossing the covers a hundred times in search of the missing diaper. (Good boy for trying the potty, Dylan). I warned him a thousand times that if he didn't lay his head on that pillow I would have to bring him back to his own bed. I pleaded with him to stop talking, to stop roaring like a lion, to stop kicking the covers obsessively.

Finally, just now, I gave up and carried him kicking and crying into his own bed. I'm too tired, period. I feel awful for following through with my threats but it was necessary. A huge part of me is wishing I could go back to the days when I could sleep next to him in that bed. I will always have a soft spot for all-night cuddles with my boy.

Instead of scooping him back up in my arms and carrying him back into our bed he fell asleep almost instantly.

And my heart feels heavy. He is my first baby. I nursed him all night long in my arms for a year and a half and I cuddled him even longer once he was weaned. Now we have this new little angel to love and cuddle but I don't want my big baby to feel like he's lost me.

Tonight he did not lose his mama to another baby, he lost me to lack of sleep. Although I'm now wide awake to write about it.