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Monday
Mar262012

a new kind of tired.

so, this photo could be taken as a still moment & capture all the bliss, joy, excitement i feel about being a mom. all those things are true. but, the thing is, i'm looking at my sweet girl, so you can't see the dark circles under my eyes. i was genetically blessed with ridiculous dark circles to begin with,  but motherhood has taken them to new heights. you also can't see the three cavities (!!!) (the first since childhood!!) my dentist found last week. i swear i'm brushing my teeth, but apparently not well. i almost cried when he told me. you also might not notice i can't wear my wedding band because i cleaned my rings for the first time in a year, and apparently the jewelry cleaner was really old and gave me an acid burn (i didn't even notice it -- ryan did!). you can't see my split ends, but boy oh boy are they there. i haven't even had time to think about a hair cut. you can't see the sore muscles -- caring for ellie is using muscles i've clearly never focused on & at the end of a week of feeding, changing, diapering, lifting, playing, soothing, rocking, carrying -- i ache. you can't see the zits that look more like a thirteen year old than a twenty eight year old -- hormones? sleep deprivation? stress? who knows.

i'm not complaining about these things -- ok, maybe i am a bit -- but really i did this post because i am just concerned with all these oh so cute photos of ellie (& your sweet comments about them!), you may think we're just sailing by over here & i want to be sure you know we're still rookie parents making lots of mistakes. last monday, i cut ellie's finger with nail clipper, right after she had a massive spit up (the kind that made me call the pediatrician the first time it happened) and a ridiculous blow out diaper. it was close to lunch & i knew ryan was in class, so i called and begged him to come home over lunch & help me recover. the cut on her finger seemed so small by the time he came home & i felt a tad ridiculous, but when it happened, all i could think was in 18 years ellie is going to be hanging out with her new college roommates & one is going to say, 'what happened to your finger?' and ellie will have to reply, 'oh, my rookie mom cut it when i was only three months old!'

my inbox is out of control (if i owe you an email, i'm so, so sorry!). i'm way behind on calling friends back. my to do list has been at a standstill for weeks. i'm not even sure what's in that pile on my desk. i spend most days feeling tugged in so many different directions -- for a minute i think my productivity will be like it once was, making big plans for ALL i'm going to get done, only to have a nap last 15 minutes, or get called to the fifth costume change (as i've begun calling them) of the day -- between wanting to hang out with all these wonderful friends here (who i need to keep my sanity) & feeling my to do list banging down the door with a sledge hammer. 

one more story: yesterday, we got home from church & it was a rainy afternoon -- the kind that just begs the us all to take a nap. after lunch, ryan asked if i'd like some time to myself -- he suggested i could go get a pedicure, just drive, tackle my to do list, read, anything i like (if you're thinking sainthood, i'm with you). i said i wanted to do all those things, but all i could imagine doing was taking a nap. he told me to listen to my body (wise one he is). so i went upstairs, struggled to keep my eyes open for a few pages of my book, & fell fast asleep. i awoke at one point to the sound of ellie crying. the mama in me wanted to jump out of bed & go "fix it" -- but i was so tired i felt i couldn't move. i think it was God's way of making me lay there long enough to realize that ellie was ok, she was in really good hands, & i wasn't the only one who could take care of her. 

a year ago i would have read this post & found it a tad melodramatic -- i wouldn't have been able to believe taking care of one eleven pound baby could be more exhausting than my absurd, over committed schedule in college, or my incredibly demanding jobs out of college with insane travel or even swimming competitively in high school, getting up at 5:30 a.m. for practice. the thing i've realized is this is a new kind of tired -- it's emotional, physical, spiritual. 

a friend (and mom of three boys) asked me the other day how i was adjusting to "having no saturdays." the question hit straight to the heart of things. i hadn't realized that was what was exhausting me. this land of no weekends & the adjustment to it.

but boy, that sweet smile you see in the photo above -- it gets me EVERY time. with prayer & a sweet husband & so much love around us, we get up the next day to see what ellie has in store & feel really blessed she's ours.

p.s. tired mamas & mamas-to-be (& their friends!!), don't forget to enter this amazing giveaway for a calendar for your little one's first year! (it would also make the most wonderful of baby gifts!)

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Reader Comments (7)

Thanks so much for this, Mary - I really appreciate your honesty! I'm not a mom, but am certain it's a lot harder than it looks. One day Ellie will appreciate all that you've done for her and be really proud of her awesome mom. :)

03.26.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMcKinze

Thanks so much for your honesty. I get weary of hearing cool lady bloggers only talk about the pretty/adorable sides of new motherhood; it is so refreshing to hear an honest and humble portrayal of the very real difficulties of it, too. The blogosphere needs more young moms like you!

03.26.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAbby

Oh, man. Yes, yes, yes. Nodding head and agreeing with all of the above. At some point, the clouds in the land of no weekends part, and you really do get them back in a more fabulous way than you can ever imagine. But I'm still exhausted. In every sense. All the time. Big hug. Here's to the naps and fabulous husbands who nudge us to take them. XO

03.26.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlison

this post could not have come at a better time! i've been shedding my own tears of frustration being a new mom and having no idea what to do with a newborn who refuses to nap longer than 10 minutes during the day. i'm relieved to know i'm not the only new mom who struggles at times. i totally agree with abbey's post (above) about honesty and seeing both sides of motherhood - thanks mary!

03.26.2012 | Unregistered Commenterjen

Mary, I adore you and your blog! And I can so relate to all of the above. No one told us it would be this hard, did they? You are not alone with these feelings (or your exhaustion...) and I so appreciate that you took the time to share. Sending lots of love your way!

03.26.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDana Ipri

Yes, this all rings so true! I especially love how you refer to this new kind of tired as emotional, physical, and spiritual. I think you are absolutely right on the mark. Everyone says this, and I know it sounds trite, but it does get easier--or maybe the challenges just morph into something more familiar, or at least something new and different from your current challenges. These changes will keep you engaged, somewhat refreshed, and always intrigued. My daughter is nearly 14-months old now and it is already difficult to remember exactly what 3 months felt like. I do remember cutting the tip of her pinky finger, though, when I missed the nail entirely! She cried; I cried. But I know she doesn't remember now and I promise there is no scar to be seen. :) Sounds like you and Ryan and Ellie are doing great--just the fact that you have the self-awareness to reflect on exactly where you are in this new journey is a gift. Keep up the good work, Mom!

03.26.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMeredith

hi cousin.

kc and i love reading about your life, perusing the links and enjoying the photos. you give us so much to think about with our little one quickly arriving :) thank you.

-kc+cam

03.27.2012 | Unregistered Commentercam

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