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June 27, 2004

Comments

angela marie

Boy, those kids can drive you nuts and then the next day (or the next minute) your heart is dripping with love for them.

If you'll notice Amy, everyone is saying the same thing...because it's true....play a little with her, let her play a little without you, and rest when she rests. I remember people telling me that when I had my first baby (who is now almost 10) and I didn't do it. I did the laundry or the bills or the dishes.

Now I have 4 children, the youngest being 16 months. You are not alone with your feelings. They are VERY normal. Once she is old enough to paint or color or play in the sandbox, it gets a lot easier...well, until those pre-teen years anyway!

Caryn

What Darby said! I can't tell you how much my local playroom has saved my sanity. Also, Ellie naps *much* better when we've left the house and gotten a little more stimulation. Even if she won't nap, she still gets at least an hour of quiet time in her crib because I need that time to myself.

You might also want to check out your parks & rec department's summer activities, and check the library for story hours. There are a surprising number of toddler-oriented activities out there, especially if you live in an urban area.

Definitely schedule in regular baby-free time for you. Get a babysitter and Get. Out. And make sure to use it to do things that recharge you--don't waste it on housework. (My definition of recharging has changed though. Solo shopping, even if it's just for groceries or more diapers, is fun now.)

I just started The Happiest Toddler On The Block. It looks interesting, and it has some nice short chapters and a summary at the end ;-)

AGK

Lot of advice already given, so I'll just add what someone else said - it gets easier. You won't resent her, either. And it's normal to feel a little overwhelmed with baby when she's active and has developed a mind of her own:)

Robin

Finding some grown-up time for yourself is helpful even if it's just a playdate with a friend who has a child. Other moms are a great support system. When you are thinking you are the worst mother ever they are thinking that about themselves and you just realize you are human and not a mommy-bot! We all love our kids but being their only playmate is draining!!!! Running after them is frustrating when they are very young.
Make time for yourself and make time to enjoy your daughter. Soon the summer will be over and you will be missing this precious time together.

darby

Playgroup was my sanity-saver. There was a non-profit organization down the road from me that ran a free drop-in for preschoolers and their caregivers. I started going when my dd was 11m old and I went there almost every day. I even once hiked up there in an ice storm only to discover they'd closed the center. I went so much, they actually offered me the job of supervising the room (but by then my oldest was starting junior kindy and it just wouldn't work out time-wise).
;-)
Churches and community centers also often run drop-ins, and now that it's summer you can go to the park almost every day.
There are, of course, many pros and cons.

Pros - regular adult contact!
- an outing for the baby
- structure to the day
- a sane mommy
- early exposure to all those nasty germs they'll have to come in contact with some day anyway

Cons - a sicker baby (initially, but then they tend to be healthier after that - my kids got their chicken pox over with very early, and my dd even got mononucleosis out of the way quite painlessly)
- possibly some initial difficulty breaking into the mommy-cliques (I prefer the free drop-ins where the nannies hang out, versus the expensive upper-crust ones, for just this reason)

With an outing for dd every morning, I could then let her watch Sesame Street or whack the keyboard on Jumpstart Toddler without guilt. I also discovered that she traveled very well, so long as we were walking. So, we walked everywhere. No more driving to the grocery store for me!
It does get easier, as you adapt to their routines and learn to read their moods.
Good luck!

VJ

We have a routine where I am with Tony (who's five now) during the day, and in the evening Angelo takes over with the bath and night time routine. Then one afternoon during the weekend, I have my personal time where I can write, read, sleep, take a walk or do something uninterrupted for a couple of hours.

My life is pretty stressful right now with the news of my mom (she was just diagnosed with breast cancer, I have more info on my blog)and on Friday, I was in overload. Tony was bouncing around trying to get my attention, and I was writing, browsing, cleaning, reading, doing wahtever I could to stay busy. His constant chattering nearly drove me nuts, and I was within a hair's width of calling Angelo and asking him to come home to take care of Tony before I had a meltdown.

If you feel like you're getting the same way, call a friend or your spouse and ask for help. Your life has changed in the past year, and you are experiencing a new aspect. It's going to take some getting use to. Ask for help. It's OK.

Mieke

It gets easier. You just have to find a way to create a framework for the days that works for both of you. The worst thing to do is to stick around the house. Get outside. Make a date with yourself. Go for a walk with Isabelle for coffee and then to the park. Meet other moms in the neighborhood. Before you know it's nap time. Then lunch time, then out for another walk. Like anything you have to give it some time to settle into it. Hang in there, you'll come to love it. Especially knowing that,for you,it is not endless. September will be here before you know it.

Jo

Amy - It is hard, isn't it? My guy is just finally sitting, achieving a new independence I haven't experienced since he was born in December. But I foresee where you are in my not-so-distant future, and I just know it will be an adjustment. Being a new parent - heck, being a parent to your first child IS an adjustment as you learn about each other. I guess I can simply suggest that you develop a good, comfortable routine with your daughter this summer. Make sure she takes a good nap or two a day, and keep her active with a lot of child-centered activities. Yet (if your home is well-proofed), make sure you give her some "alone time" with books and toys so that she can learn to entertain herself and yes, give you some breathing room. Can you set up a safe place near your computer so that you can spend this time doing some writing while she plays at your feet? And, even though you took her out of daycare so that you can be with her, do NOT be afraid to get her a sitter once a week or so, so that you can have your vacation too. I think all moms (all parents, really) need a break pretty regularly. I used to wonder about that, but now that I am a mom and a mom who NEEDS her space as well, I respect it and try to let other moms know it is OK to take advantage of a kind friend who offers to babysit.

If you really feel that it's too much, perhaps you can place your daughter back into daycare part-time for the summer? That is a viable option, seeing that you must have her enrolled somewhere already. Another thought here is that her little world could be upside down now that she is no longer in "school." This might be just what she needs to get her energy out - have her consistent routine back, at least a bit. Let us know how it goes. I feel for you. I work from home, but I have a sitter two days a week. It's just what I need to be the best mom I can be.

Goldberry

The months when they are all over the place are the hardest. You just learn their routine and you work around them. I took my quiet times during her always-on-schedule naps. Even if she wasn't tired, I let her have quiet time. There is nothing wrong with that. I have also learned that the more I hung around her, the more I learned about myself. I actually do have patience, at least for the important stuff. I am still a kid at heart. And vacations within a vacation are NECESSARY. You still need a chance to be you. Get out and have some adult fun!!

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