25 January 2010

i feel sheepish.

so i've realized something about myself (and i've secretly always known it but never really admitted it). i really am too hard on myself. last night was a difficult night for me; i felt very inadequate and clueless... and even a little unfit for certain things. i told jake about the car seat article, and while i was talking about it i found myself getting a little teary-eyed. he kissed me and told me i was doing a really good job, and that i shouldn't be too on myself. as he walked away, i couldn't stop the tears and the anxiety that was building up inside of me. these feelings have been frequent with me lately. it hasn't been easy inside this heart and head of mine... to say the least. alas, i am too hard on myself, and that is something that i'm really going to work on.
i thank you for all of your nice and loving comments: i felt built up and confident because of them. thank you. i've looked back on this past week and realized all of the negative feelings i was having really were completely unnecessary. you're all correct when you say that i'm doing my best. this is true. and my best is MORE than enough. goldie is loved, cared for, fed properly, cuddled, kissed, kept warm, talked to, etc. etc. etc. she is a happy girl as far as i can tell, and on top of that she is healthy. why be hard on myself when all things are as they should be?
i feel sheepish about the post that i made last night when i referred to myself as a horrible, bad mother. i am none of those things. i'm realizing that i don't have many temptations right now. let me explain. i don't leave my house very often, i only watch the food network, and if i'm not doing that, i'm reading or taking care/playing/having girl talk with goldie. i'm not very distracted from these things. satan doesn't have much to work with, it seems. but i know he knows how important motherhood is to me, how long i've waited to be a mother, and how much i love goldie. if he can't get me in other ways, then he'll get me in this way: bogging me down with feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, hopelessness.... i could go on. well, he's not going to win with me this time. we've had this battle before, and i haven't always come out on top. but he's not getting me today. or tomorrow. or ever... if i can help it.
the truth is, i appreciated the comment about the article. for some odd reason, i took it personally, like i SHOULD'VE KNOWN. but i didn't, and that's okay. now i do. that seems to happen a lot with me; again, something i'm admitting that i've never admitted before. but when people give me advice, especially those close to me, for some reason i take it as a personal jab. i feel offended. how lame is that. i have no idea why or how that happens, but it does. i am now very aware of this weakness of mine, and i'm doing my best to overcome it. i need to learn that advice given to me is out of love, not out of spite. i'm learning.
so last night, during my pity party of me thinking i was a bad mom, i brainstormed different ways goldie could sleep. ummm.. not many options. how about a laundry basket? YES. this will work! we put a few blankets down, rolled a few other ones to put on the sides for cushion and for bundleness (not a word, but it is today), perfect. i put goldie in and she seemed pretty content. i felt happy and relieved. then she started pushing with her legs against the bottom of the laundry basket, which in turn caused her little head to push up against the top of the basket. a blanket above her head would've only made her more cramped.
laundry basket attempt = failed.
next idea. no other option except for the pack and play by our bed (see a few posts below to get a visual). scared. don't like this idea. she slept here the first night and it was a very long night. we got a ton of blankets and created a little pocket of bundleness for mrs. after a few tries, she finally fell asleep and did pretty well for the night. i was up a little more than usual, but i think after a few nights she will be used to sleeping on her back. i've also decided that during naps i'm going to put her in the pack and play as well so that she becomes very familiar with her sleeping place. currently she's been sleeping up there for a little over 2 hours. and she seems very content, happy, and cozy.
that is all for today.


Zach and Katie Hillstead said...

good job! that's what i did with abby and now she is sleeping like a champ in her pack and play in my room. goldie will get used to it. also...just know that EVERY mom goes through those feelings of inadequacy all the time. hello...i sure do. but also remember that your hormones are going CRAZY right now trying to get back to normal after pregnancy, birth, etc. it is SUPER normal to get really emotional in the next couple weeks...it will die down though i promise. you are doing great...i actually have been super suprised that you haven't had any sort of melt down yet. good to know you are human like me:)

Anonymous said...

Stupid question. Do you have a buggy? In the old fashioned models, there is a "basket" thingy in them. The baby usually sleeps really well there, because it's small and cozy, and they're sold separately. And it's flat.

Another stupid question. Do people use buggies in the US? I moved to Denmark when I was 17 so I have no clue.

grant + brittany said...

wow. i just loved this post. i want to remember it for when i'm a mom. i look up to you. thanks for being real and honest. thankyou. thankyou. thankyou.

Canadian Princess said...

Just wanted to add that I don't think the feelings of inadequacy and /or second guessing yourself and your efforts ever go away, no matter how old your child is. I constantly struggle with similar feelings and Jacob's almost 2. I've learned that the feelings are always there, the reason is just different... right now it's Goldie's sleeping, later it will be something else! The trick is to not beat ourselves up about these feelings or focus on them too much. You're right that Satan uses these feelings to get us down and to feel poorly about ourselves, as the more we focus on ourselves and how poorly we feel the less time and energy we have to focus on helping lift and nurture those around us. Just remember Satan's tricky ways and more importantly remember you are doing great!

And talking about sleeping (which is something Jacob REALLY struggled with), have you heard about the 5 S's? A lot of people talk about them in relation to fussy or colic-y babies, which Jacob wasn't, but they sure did help with his sleeping. They're swaddling, shushing, side/stomach (while holding), sucking, and swinging.

The book I read was called "Happiest Baby on the Block" by Harvey Karp, MD.

Keep up the good work my dear! And sorry this was so long!

Alyssa Griffeth said...

I have no doubt that you are a FABULOUS mom, Jenna!

I just noticed that someone else mentioned the 5 s's from The Happiest Baby on the Block....They were a LIFESAVER for us (as were swaddle blankets).

But something that my sister in law LOVES are sleep positioners. She had a really difficult newborn, and the sleep positioner was the only way she ever got him to sleep through the night. It made him feel super cozy and secure. Here's an example:


Hope that helps!! Good luck!

Rachel said...

Aww Jenna you ARE too hard on yourself!! I think you're doing a great job. Just to let you know, one of my co-workers swears by bundling your baby super tight at night and apparently he or she will sleep...like a baby. :)Basically it sounds like swaddling the baby. I haven't done any research to see if this is good or not, but they've had three babies that they've done this with and he swears by it.

Good luck! You're doing great. :)

abby said...

jenna, you just described me to a tee. i am also way too hard on myself and super super sensitive. it helps to know others struggle with the same things, doesn't it? thanks for being brave and sharing.

i wish i had some help in the sleep department for you, but my children didn't sleep through the night til past their first year! don't let that scare you. that's just how my kids are. high-maintenance! but swaddling really well seems to do wonders.and i'm a huge believer in the pacifier.

Michelle said...

Jenna - I just love you. Really, I love your honesty, and I'll tell you...I also, very often, get offended when people give me advice. I am super prideful, and totally take things personally. It is a very hard thing for me, and especially a super hard thing in my marriage. Mike says one simple thing to me, and I get super offended and make it such a bigger deal than it is. I didn't leave a comment on your post from yesterday, because it would have just been exactly what everyone else said. You are a beautiful, loving, super mom....and Goldie is one of the luckiest girls in the world. love ya

Darren and Brandi said...

Loved the post. You really are a wonderful mother and I'm glad you can see that. As a side note, I was just curious to see if you swaddle Goldie? Cade love love LOVED to be swaddled and that way he felt snug, cozy, and confined (in a good way). If you're not, I've heard it helps them sleep and keep them from accidentally waking themselves up by twitching to hard. Anyways, that way he could sleep in his crib and be content (we also had a rolled up blanket on both sides of his middle section which may have helped him feel more cozy too... it's hard to say). Anyway, good luck!

Andrea said...

hey there, we had pres sleep in the papasan seat until she was about 6 months and finally was able to crawl out of it. Seriously we tried everything with kaylee so once pres came around I knew that a lot of babies just won't sleep laying down. When we realized Pres was like this too we used the papasan seat...best decision ever. We would swaddle her super tight and then strap her in the seat and she would sleep ALL night! It was a miracle. Anyway, if you want to borrow ours your more than welcome too. Ashley put Jonathan in it too for the first month or two and it worked great for them!!!

just google fisher price papasan chair to see a picture.

Niki said...

I can just tell that you are a great mother, just by reading your posts when you were pregnant and when your daughter was born. After I gave birth, I wasn't depressed at all, but very weapy!! The weirdest things would make my cry!! There's so many hormones going on in your body right now, that's probably why you're feeling this way or being hard on yourself. I have a 3 yr. old and I didn't know about the carseat thing, never heard of it. I always see babies sleeping in carseats. What about a swing? At night, I would wrap my son up like a little worm and he would sleep right next to me in his "inclined to sleep" thingy.....actually, he still sleeps with me :) You just go with whatever your motherly instinct tells you. You're gonna make mistakes now and then, believe me, we all do. Don't be so hard on yourself, you're a great mother!

KEH said...

Dear Jenna,

I wish I had some advice to give, but since I don't, I will just tell you that today, after reading your recent posts, I'm extra EXTRA happy to be single without children. And if you've done nothing for anyone else today, at least you have helped a soon-to-be cat lady grateful for her station in life. I hope this thought gives you at least one single chuckle...because then I will feel doubly good about myself.

Don't be too hard on yourself. It's never worth it.

And p.s. in thirteen years, if your young'n gets a hold of this record of yours, that 95% oxygen rate is going to come back and bite you in the ass, so why give yourself wrinkles about it now.

(i guess that is advice. sorry. )

Lots of Love

Anonymous said...

You know, the hardest thing for me to do when I first became a mother was to be able to let other people's opinions of my parenting roll off my back.

And I know you're really hormonal right now, but it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better. Now that you have a baby, family, friends, ward members, and even outright strangers are going to criticize/critique the way you are doing things, or point out your (perceived) inadequacies. Remember that when you are offered unwanted/unsolicited advice, you are ABSOLUTELY right to say

"Thanks for pointing that out, but we have our own way of doing x".

And also remember, that when it comes to Goldie's care, you are accountable to only 3 people: your Heavenly Father, your husband, and (to some extent) your pediatrician.

You're a good mom. Relax and enjoy your baby. :)

jenn said...

you are doing great jenna....first time mom...full of triasl and errors. i know, i am fumbleing through it now too! finley was born 6 days ago...i am a first time mom, like you. all moms have been there. try not to be too hard on yourself. you rock!

jenna said...

LOVE you.

Rebecca said...

great post. i don't know you, but I'm from GA too, so I feel a little kinship...??? anyway, have you read babywise? it's an amazing book about getting baby to sleep/eat/play well. it's been a lifesaver for my two kids (and me, of course).

Tay and Teigan said...

Hi Jenna!
You don't know me and I stumbled across your blog when I googled babies sleeping in car seats oddly enough! I read your posts and I just have to tell you that this post rang so true to me. I remember feeling the EXACT same way with my little one. There were moments that I felt on top of the world and moments that I felt like I was the worst mom on the planet. Still feel that way actually and he's almost 5 months old. He slept in his swing and car seat for a while and I always felt so guilty because he wasn't flat on his back in his crib (hence the googling about it) :). I remember not wanting to discuss it with people because I didn't want advice and I didn't want people to think he wasn't a happy baby. And it took me a while to realize that ALL babies cry and all babies are especially fussy from 2-6 weeks.

I finally read Healthy Sleep Habits Healthy child and it really helped me to understand that it's just part of the process. . . our sweet little babes and their new nervous systems have to make the transition into their new world. And I watched the Happiest Baby on the Block as well, the 5 S's really helped.
Again, it's all part of the adjustment period for babies and of course their mammas.

I'm so glad you're enjoying sweet Goldie, she's a beautiful girl and I hope it's not weird that I commented. Your thoughts just brought me back to my first couple months with my baby. I'm still a new mom and have so much to learn, and it's all part of a wonderfully exhausting journey :). For me, it has been hard to learn to completely trust my maternal instinct when there is SO much information out there and so many opposing opinions. So if you figure that out let me know!! :)

Morgan said...

I think that everyone experiences feelings of inadequacy. Mothers feel it. Fathers feel it. Children feel it. I think that we, as individuals, set certain expectations for ourselves. Someone once explained it to me like this: Think of a ladder. We each have our own ideas in our minds of what perfection is. We also have our own definitions of failure. Perfection is at the very top of the ladder, and failure is at the very bottom. Most of us fall somewhere in between the two, somewhere in the middle of the ladder. There are those of us who hate to be in the middle. We want to be at the top, and if we're not, we feel like we have failed. We feel like we're way down at the bottom, even though we're really not. And then there are those of us who feel perfectly content being in the middle. Those, I think, are the happy people. They try their very best in all that they do, but sometimes they make mistakes and, even though they may not ever make it to the top, they are okay. They're happy.

The ladder analogy really put it all into perspective for me, and it's definitely given me the push that I need towards rewiring my mind so that I don't fall apart when I feel like I'm not good enough. I'm still working on it;)

You probably don't need to hear all of this. It seems as though you've got a great perspective. I just thought it was interesting and thought I'd share. I want for you to know that I think that you're wonderful. Goldie is a very lucky little girl. Heavenly Father would never have sent her to you if He thought you wouldn't do a good job. You're her mother for a reason. You're doing your very best and you are right. It is enough.

Wow, this is long. Sorry!

The Unintentional Housewife said...

Jenna ... I have been trying to figure out a way to email you for a while, but I haven't found any other way to contact you other than a comment, so might as well do so sooner rather than later. I have been following your blog since I stumbled across your original one about a year or so ago, and then realized you had this newer one. Reading through all your entries has been really inspiring - you are such a lovely, good person, and I wish I knew more people like you :) I am so happy to see how things keep getting better for you in life, and how you always seek out the best in every situation. I hope to see you (and your family) keep having fun and growth in life. Thanks for all the honesty in your blogging. It's meant a lot to someone who has been through many similar things.

callie said...

you adorable sweet little mama. i wanted to comment on this, well when you posted it, but of course got sidetracked with the MAYHEM in the home... jenna i do ATLEAST 8-9 things a day the jeopardizes the well being of my children! haha. i think all parents do. there is always going to be some scary article about some side of parenting...and then a week later there will be an article about the benefits of newborns sleeping in carseats. it can be a whirlwind. but one thing is for sure...we all learn as we go. and we learn what we feel comfortable with. YOU are the mother of sweet goldie. her ONLY mother in this world. that is pretty amazing. she was given to you and you alone. you needed her. and boy, she NEEDED/needs you. its the perfect match. thanks to a perfect plan.

i love your blog jenna...you are so gifted and talented. but i can also understand those very real feelings of inadequacy...and being a new mom can multiply those feelings. the combination of lack of sleep, the same(and sometimes boring) routine of a new baby was not a good line-up for keeping my mind from a downward spiral at times. but keep your adorable chinny chin up (really, you really do have the cutest chin...has anyone ever told you that??)... you are a joyful person and you share so much good with all. the good thing, is that life with kids gets busier and busier and will help keep your mind (and your energies) from going down those paths too often. goldie is just precious, as you know. i can't get over that head of hair! i'm hoping i get me one of them fuzzy little babies one day!