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I'm a new SAHM with a 9 1/2 wk old. It's been a battle of wills since I got home between being new parents learning how to deal with a newborn and each other. The first 2 weeks were holy hell. I tried BF'g and with the exhaustion, pain, bleeding & frustration of not pumping enough and more out of one side than the other it just threw me for a loop and so I switched to formula. That made it easier (not on the pocket though).

Beside that, I was battling what I guess was postpartum depression along with the stress of the holidays. Well, after a few blowups that almost made us go our separate ways, we made it thru the holidays. Slowly the baby has started eating more less frequently and sleeping a good stretch at night.

With Vic's schedule, its still hard. He works Wed-Sat and is gone from 12 noon until 1 am. Structured naps are just not in the equation. She sleeps from about 1 am to 9 am with 1 feeding at 3 or so. Also, If it weren't for my sister coming 3x a week I think I'd go nuts. She helps with cooking/cleanup.

What I'm really having a hard time with is balancing the feeding, cooking & cleaning and head exercises b/c she is favoring one side and had to go to physical therapy. I have to cook and clean in stages (between fussing episodes) and wait for Vic's weekend (Sun-Tues) to do the food shopping & laundry & a big cook. I wouldn't mind taking her to the food store but I've been out on my own with her twice and am afraid to venture to a store for fear of her having a crying fit. I know I need to get out with her eventually and learn to deal with it but man when she starts up she really gets going. I'm also scared about how to coordinate the whole feeding/changing while out in public thing. How do you handle that? Feed in the car?

I don't know, I guess I had some seriously delusional Donna Reed kind of images in my head before going on maternity leave that I'd be able to do it all with a smile on my face. I'm really trying to keep up with everything but it's just so hard! The baby really doesn't nap, so doing things while she's napping is out of the question.

Thank you for letting me vent and ramble on nonsensically like a fool. If you've made it this far, I guess my question is does it get easier and how do you balance all that comes with being a SAHM? And call me crazy but I want to start planning # 2 (maybe a year from now) but how in the heck does one deal with a newborn and a toddler? It's hard enough with just one!
 

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Yes it is that crazy at first. I could not put my son down for the first 3 months. Not much got done, but they will never be that little again.
We didn't have a set schedule until he was about 4 months.
I "woke" up on his 1st birthday and couldn't believe how fast it had gone by.
Just take day by day - be happy when you are able to shower or get 3 hours of sleep in a row. You are blessed to have someone come 3 days a week - take advantage of that for naptime for yourself. You need rest most of all.
Good luck!!
 

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It does get easier. The cleaning and housework will be there. It isn't going anywhere BUT each day that passes your little darling daughter is getting older. ENJOY her now. She will never be that little again. Sooner than you think, you will be wiping tears from your eyes as she leaves home for college. Just rest when you can and don't sweat the small stuff. You are doing great. :)
 
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The first one is the hardest. With #2, you know what to expect and adjust accordingly. Trying to brainstorm some advice....

1. It's okay to let the baby cry some. It makes you aware that they need something, but that doesn't mean you have to already be standing over the crib anticipating the next wimper. If she can cry a few minutes and learn to comfort herself, that's a good skill for life. Let's say you've started some household chore and she starts to cry....take 5 minutes to get to a stopping point rather than dropping everything immediately. Finish your shower, finish emptying the dishwasher, or start a load of laundry, for example. Then go meet the baby's needs.

2. Have a routine and rotate activities. Feed, change, and comfort the baby, and then station her close by. Rotate the baby's location while you work or rest. Bouncy seat, swing, floor time, or snugli. Talk or sing to her while you work.

3. REST yourself. I took a daily nap through all the years that I was getting up at night with little ones. Collapse when the baby naps, or if she's wide awake but you're falling over, put her in a bouncer on the floor next to the couch while you zone out for a while. Accept a lower standard for housework...it's okay!

3. Keep meals very simple. Eat more convenience foods. It's okay!

4. Venture out a little when you feel ready. Just a walk around the block is good for both of you. Don't worry about the crying in public. We've all been there. Just pop in the pacifier, grab a few more items, and head for the checkout.

5. Don't worry about the nursing. I tried with my first, but didn't get it until #3.

Hang in there...usually things get easier between 3-4 months.

Blessings,
Becky
mom to 6
 

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I used to walk around the house muttering "The days are long, but the years are short" over and over and over. Helped to calm me.

I'm sorry you're having a rough time, it really does get easier. Sleep deprivation just makes everything so much more intense.
 

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hang in there mama, i promise it does get easier in time. :hugz: i recommend investing in a baby carrier [babywearing] it'll help you get things done. i like the moby wrap and beco [you can find them used for cheap. check out www.hyenacart.com/spotscorner :) if your breastfeeding you can even nurse while wearing her! as far as diaper changes i always carried an extra blanket to lay my little one on when using the baby changing station.

i'm not sure if i'm allowed to post links on where to buy the carriers so feel free to msg me if you'd like the links :)

also, the boppy vibrating chair was a fav here.

remember, you don't have to take on so much at once....trust me, the house def isn't going to stay clean once she gets mobile lol and its ok to let it get messy stimes.
 

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It is definitely a balancing act. I have 3 children ~ a 6 year old daughter, a 2 year old son, and a 6 week old son. :) I stay at home with them, and my husband works 5-6 days a week, 10-12 hours a day. I also do my shopping on the weekend, since going from 2 children to 3. When I do, I take 1 of them with me, and DH watches the other 2.

Right now, I'm typing this with the baby in the Snugli. Do you have one, or a sling? I can't recommend them enough! I can use both hands to do things, eat while holding the baby (gotta be careful not to spill on him! LOL), and he loves the chest-to-chest position ~ he often falls asleep in it.

I get things done in little spurts. I might unload the dishwasher, but not get to re-load it till a later time. I'll hand-wash a few bottles. Do one load of laundry. Wipe down counters. Vacuum. Whenever I go upstairs, I grab a few things from the main floor to put away. I just try not to let things get out of control (although I do enjoy tackling a room when it gets really messy).

Hang in there!
 

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I'd say it definitely gets easier, but it depends on the child. With two kids, it was harder the second time around because I had to have the energy level to handle being up all hours of the night and take care of a disabled child during the day. Family helps out a lot because it takes a weight off your shoulders for a bit.

Dakota never had a structured schedule and he was my second, but Matthew did. With Matthew, I was getting up at 5:30 every day and going to work. He would be at the day care from 7am until 5pm, then I'd take him home and he'd be in bed at 6. He seriously slept 12 hours in a row and having him on formula made it easier because he wasn't being fed as much as he was with breast milk.

I'd suggest maybe doing the little things when the baby is sleeping. Save the bigger things for when Vic is at home. Ask him to help you with at least something.

I agree that letting the baby cry at least a little bit would help. Perhaps put the baby in a carseat and rock her a little. Also, I'd look at getting one of those Oceans Wonders Aquarium thing for her crib and let her lay in the crib for a bit. Give yourself an hour to take a nap during the day while she's in there. A mobile might also help distract her long enough. I would also HIGHLY recommend Baby Einstein. They have some really great videos for the baby and the music is awesome, so it might help her get a little nap during the day that way too.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks everyone for the words of encouragement. I really need them! I'm prettymuch following what everyone has advised, just was wondering if I was the only one going through this or if I'm just plain nuts!

The sleeping is better since we figured out that we needed to do shifts. He comes home and watches her from 1-4:30am so I can sleep. We then switch and sssshhhh I sleep on my shift. For some reason he refuses to. We've had her sleeping in the living room in the pack & play but I'm really pushing that we need to get her in the crib now that she's going long stretches. It would be nice to sleep in the same bed, as we haven't in over 2 months.

He also watches her in the morning when I shower before he goes to work so that's good too.

I don't have a Snugli, we bought one of those carriers but she doesn't care much for it. That and I still can't do much one-handed. The swing doesn't do much either, maybe 20 minutes. We just got her a bouncer seat the other day and that does help out. I put her in the kitchen with me last night for a bit.

As far as the crying, I have let her cry for 5 min or so to catch my bearings/step out on the balcony for some air. The loud painful screaming just hurts my heart and my head LOL. I know it's OK but I just feel so bad.

Little spurts of cooking/cleaning seem to be working, I just need to cook simple meals I guess. Yesterday's meal of meatloaf & mashed potatoes took me at least 6 hours I swear between prepping, cooking, mashing and attending to Ms. Crankypants.

Whew! Babies sure are a lot of work! (and worth it)
 

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Her sleep schedule should start evening out in about a month or so. Some babies start sleeping through the night at as early as three months, others may take a little longer. I think that being in the crib with a mobile and a music player would do her some good, even if she's in there during the day for a bit. Anything you can do to distract her safely while you get things done is a blessing!

I hate it when babies cry too. It breaks my heart! The best thing I can do is to check for the following:

Is she hungry?

Is she tired?

Is she wet?

If she's not, then I'd find a way to soothe her that'll distract her. That's why I mentioned the Baby Einstein videos. :) If you can distract her for long enough, sneak in for a quick bubble bath and do the little things that make you feel better...paint your toes, do your hair up, wear something that makes you feel good. :D
 
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i asked myself that same thing. and now, i have a 7 year old running around. where did the time go?? the best advice anyone gave me was 'nap when he naps'. the cleaning can wait, and ours did until he was 3 when i finally put him in day care a couple of hours, 2 times a week. he was stuck to my hip until then, i couldn't get out of his site without him coming and looking for me. i didn't know anyone well enough for play dates, at least at the day care he had other kids to play with for a couple of hours and i finally got some laundry finished.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The thing that worries me about the sleeping is that her day starts at 9 am and she goes down for the night around 12 or 1. I was used to getting up at 5:30 am every day, going to work & bed by 8:30. We've had to work around Vic's schedule (2nd shift) and I worry it may do some sort of damage.
 

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we patterned our sleeping schedule around my husbands shift changes too. we never really had a problem, until of course school started and we had to get on a real schedule.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I sure hope she doesn't inherit her Dad's sleeping habits. She is snoozing away in her bouncy chair...silence is golden!
 

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I echo what the pp's have said. It's gets easier! hang in there take one day at a time. Don't worry about tyring to do everything, give yourself lots of grace and enjoy this time your your precious baby, they grow so so so so fast!
 
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the bouncy chair was the best invention ever in my book! sometimes, that was the ONLY thing that would get coop to fall asleep. one cranky night, it broke. quit working completely. i loaded us up and headed 35 miles to walmart just to get a new one!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I feel guilty leaving her in the chair when I should be playing with her/giving her tummy time. She really needs to be worked with due to her one ear being pushed forward from favoring the one side. Guilt guilt guilt!
 

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dont beat yourself up! we cant do everything perfectly 24/7, and they still grow up to be great kids. my kid has a flat spot on his head. he favored the left side and no matter what i did, he was going to sleep with his head turned on that side regardless. and he still turned out pretty decent. ;)
 

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guilt is there no matter what you do... if you are giving them tummy time you think you should be holding them, if you are holding them you think you should be doing laundry... it never ends so you just have to learn to balance.

I agree that the housework will always be there... when you're little ones are grown they don't remember if the house was always spotless but they do remember the time you spent with them. And just because you are home doesn't mean everything is you're sole responsibility. Raising children takes time an energy so you will need help with the rest.

As far as time is concerned I would say, yes, it does get easier. My 8 and 9 year old are much less physically demanding than they were at 1 and 2... but I question myself a lot more about things. I know what to do when my one year old scrapes her knee, I'm not as adept at making it all better when her friend saying something hurtful.

I do have to speak up that for us we never followed the "let them cry" philosophy. I have plenty of friends who did and they have beautiful, happy children, but so do we. The research I've done supports that this doesn't spoil them or make them overly attached, it actually helps them feel secure that their needs will always be met which makes it easier for them to try independence later. That doesn't mean my kids NEVER cried, just that I always tried to respond as quickly an didn't really care if the dish water got cold or the floors didn't get finished.
 
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