Motherhood

Tough love

I held my baby boy tonight and wept alongside him.

The tears, they flowed fast and freely, as I begged, BEGGED him to sleep so that I can finally get the rest that I so sorely needed and craved.

My voice cracked as I told him that I am done with this, that I am so done with this. I am barely functioning as a human being anymore, I explained between sobs, and I am not a good mommy because all I can think of is how tired I am and how much I needed coffee.

Nobody really understands sleep deprivation like a mother. And it’s hard to confide in others because nobody cares and all you get in response is “Oh you poor thing” or “Been there, done that” or “Enjoy this period while they still let you cuddle them”.

I do, really, I do. I try to inhale the baby scent of my little boy as he sleeps even as I am kept awake. And I feel guilty for not enjoying every moment. Because, hey, I tried for two freaking years, didn’t I? And I got what I wanted.

But I am not.
I am certainly not enjoying this extended period of night wakefulness, when I am everything that he needs to go back to sleep. I resent my husband because he gets to snore his way through the night and wake up thinking that the boy had slept well, when I am woken up three, four, five, eight times. I lose my patience with the little man because, COME ON, I JUST NURSED YOU, FOR GOD’S SAKES.

I had really hoped that night weaning and some sleep training would help. And that his joyful, sweet nature in the daytime would translate into an easier transition. But it is not to be.

The crying, oh the crying. I caved, because I am so tired. And I need to drive and work the next day. I caved, because I feel so alone in this battle and I am sinking.

And so tonight we both cried together, my baby and I.

7 thoughts on “Tough love”

  1. Yann, I feel for you. I cannot start to imagine how it would be to be woken up that many times a night, and for 15 months now. I hope it gets better for you.
    Can I suggest co-sleeping? Is that something you can try? I would personally vouch for it, made and still makes my life easier. It has its own cons too, but those compromises, I and my husband can take. (I have a 15 month old boy as well)

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  2. Aiyo sayang, it’s tough and it’s ok to cry. I don’t think you can be there with him if you wanna quit nursing. My mom and husband helped – by taking baby away from me. And it helps if you’re not there, not even within the same walls so you don’t hear him crying cos it will break your heart. That may seem rough but I don’t think they will be harmed in the long-run. It’s called weaning. Not sure if you’re hard-hearted enough to try. But you need help. *HUGS (& just to share, J doesn’t sleep through still and I have long given up my night duties since I stopped BF-ing. I don’t care who looks after him cos I need my sleep so that I don’t breakdown. Not the best response but I cannot/dont want to be so tired anymore)

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  3. Hey babe,

    I’m so sorry to hear that it’s been such a rough ride. I mean, I knew that you haven’t been sleeping much at all. But I didn’t realise that it was THIS tough. Even then, like you said, no one can comprehend how hard all this has been on you, simply because we’re not Aidan’s mother and cuddling, carrying and nursing him night after night after night without respite.

    It’s okay to cry. Breaking down and crying it out offers relief from trying so hard to be the Good Mummy – that we all so want to be – day after day, night after night. I’ve cried over how hard breastfeeding was. Over how I feel I can never be a good enough mother to my babies. Over how much more meaningful our husband-wife relationship used to be before the mundaneness of childcare took over our lives. Over how I’m losing my self to a robotic routine. Parenting is a beautiful experience. But there is this other side of it that we keep to ourselves behind all the picture perfect Facebook updates.

    Crying didn’t make it all any easier. The daily routine went on. The interrupted sleep continued. But even if I didn’t get the break or breakthrough that I was hungering for, the breakdown helped me feel better.

    I hope you feel better today. Bloody tired, still, I’m sure. But better.

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  4. Hi Yann,

    Like your sharing.
    Same like you, sometimes i feel that i never sleep at all at night (but i think i am better than you, cos i dont bf). Just like last night, with the haze and the heat, my boy slept, but kept fidgeting all night, what makes it worse was that, I am a light sleeper, so his every move, I will know. I have long forgotten when I have really slept. I hardly switch on the air-con at night, so when the mozzies came, it makes matter worse.
    I am looking forward to the day when his full set of teeth all grown, and can eat adult food to sleep through the night.
    Ok, some encouragement words for you are: Take care and enjoy this frustrating & unrewarding moments, because this is a mum’s unconditional love for their own child.

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  5. Thanks everyone. Feeling much better now that I took the day off to nap!

    Divya, we were co-sleeping partially. It no longer works because he keeps me awake and being in such close proximity to me makes him wake up to nurse.

    June, ah, so the solo trip abroad helped to wean. Yeah, the crying is so painful. Luckily the husband has taken over all night wakings because, as you pointed out rightly, me being around makes it harder for the kid to give up the boobies.

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  6. It must be hard sharing this… I have a friend going through this and she tells me, why didnt anyone tell me that it will be this hard..Thanks !

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