Monday, June 25, 2012

Top ten struggles I faced in my first year of being a mommy

Everyone knows that the first year of having a baby is the hardest.  I struggled just like any other mother does.  Here is my top ten list of struggles in my first year of being Destructo's mommy.

At the top of my list was 1) breastfeeding.  For something that is so natural and something every  mammal species does, it sure is hard.  I ran the gamut of problems in this area.  I had a 74 hour labor (70 with no pain meds) with Destructo and was exhausted when he was born as I had been awake something like 90+ hours at that point.  He was also exhausted.  He wouldn't latch on for about 2+ weeks and I had to pump and bottle feed.  Then once I finally got him latching more often than not, I got mastitis on both sides and ran a 103-104 fever for three days.  Yeast infections that go systemic because of the antibiotics, vasospasms, and low supply because of the mastitis all follow.  Then having to go back to work and pump while there and bottle feed all come into play.

Needless to say, it was all well worth it and I would do it all over again if I had to.  But I have learned valuable lessons from it.  But that is a whole other post worth of info.

2)  Lack of sleep.  I am sure this is up there on any new mom's list.  I was up for 92 hours while I was in my marathon 74 hour labor.  So I went into it exhausted.  Heck my entire last two months of pregnancy sucked sleep wise.  Then I had a baby who (like a lot of newborns) had his days and nights mixed up and stayed up all night.  Then he was just a typical breastfed newborn baby who was up every three hours to eat and it took a good hour to feed him and pump.  (Things got much better once breastfeeding worked.)

But Kai is a crappy sleeper overall.  From 2-4 months he slept great and I thought I was so lucky.  But he regressed and even now at nearly 14 months, it is a rare night that he doesn't wake at least once.  Even if he soothes himself back to sleep, I still wake and I am a crappy sleeper and don't always go back to sleep.  It is a vicious cycle.

3)  Challenging behavior-- Kai is a head strong little boy who is incredibly smart, but a lot of times chooses to use his smarts for trouble.  He has a temper the size of Texas and doesn't like to be redirected.  He is a challenge or a "spirited" child as many books call him.  Learning how to best discipline him, while not breaking his spirit has been  and will continue to be quite a challenge.  Anyone have any tips on good discipline tactics for a child like Captain Destructo?

4)  My labor-- 74 hours total, 70 with no interventions, having to cave and get an epi and pit because Kai's chin was caught.  Needless to say this was a huge disappointment and I still wonder whether I could have made it all the way med free.

5)  Postpartum depression-- While I never had this bad enough to seek help for, I suffered with this on and off for the first nine months of Kai's life.  One lesson learned is that next time, I will probably seek counseling if this happens again.  Luckily, it went away around nine months and I felt normal again.

6)  Anxiety--  I have always been an anxious person, but having a child who is completely dependent on me and who is so fragile and small really made it bad.  I could picture in great detail all the ways he could get hurt or sick or die.  Looking back, this probably went hand in hand with my PPD.  Luckily, I have learned to rely on God and put my fears in his hands and know he is totally in control of all things.  Prayer has really helped me to get through the anxiety spells.

7)  Working-- I never wanted to be a working mom.  It was out of necessity that I returned to work and I have struggled ever since.  I want nothing more than to stay home with my little man and know he is cared for exactly how I want him to be cared for 24/7.  Luckily for me, thus far he has been able to stay with family.  My sister keeps him two days, my mom one day, and my dad one day (and if you guys are reading this I am eternally grateful to you.)  I also cut back to 30 hours, 4 days so this helps me feel better about it as well.   Hopefully, once we have our second baby I will be staying at home finally!

8)  Time management-- I used to think I was busy back before kids.  Now I laugh at that thought.  I had so much time back then.  What did I even do with it all?  Learning to juggle all the hats that mothers are required to wear has been tricky.  I still don't seem to be able to squeeze it all in and find time for myself.

9)  Losing my identity-- This goes hand in hand with number 8.  I used to be Melissa the horse owner, racing enthusiast, and bird watcher.  Now a year before Malachi was born I lost my horse.  I still miss Ellie to this day.  I still follow horse racing, but not like I used to because as I mentioned above there just aren't enough hours in the day.  And good luck bird watching when you have the loudest child on the face of the earth with you.  I assume though that as time goes on I will either pick those hobbies back up or get new hobbies.

And finally, 10)  Cloth diapers-- I absolutely love cloth diapers and would not use disposables even if they were free.  I love knowing that no extra chemicals are sitting on my child's skin 24/7 and that I am not taking up space in landfills.  I love that I can show my personality through the designs on the diapers I use.  They are much more absorbent and an added perk is that they make my super skinny, but super tall kid's cloths actually work!  But there was definitely a learning curve and even still I am still learning.  My current issue is ammonia build up from the hard water mineral deposits that I am battling.  Anyone have any tried and true tactics to battle this?

 I wouldn't trade motherhood for a bazillion dollars.  But it is a daily challenge.  I imagine I will look back at this list when I am in throes of teenage angst with Destructo and laugh and think how simple life really was back then.  Kids grow up so fast.  I swear the first year went by in the blink of an eye.

What a difference a year makes.

This blog post is a part of the Ten Things Tuesday over at Many Little Blessings.  Check it out!


  1. Abintra Montessori has some great Positive Discipline workshops. I went to one back when Char was about 20 months and it was a huge help. Of course a lot of it can be aimed at older kids, a lot of the tools can still be used with toddlers. I am so glad I went. It filled in some gaps that the books left behind.

    1. LOL I am glad to hear that from you since Kai is Char's male counterpart. I guess I didn't put the pillows around my stomach tight enough and she whispered her schemes to him after all. I will look that up. I am definitely going to look into Montessori schools when he eventually does preschool since if he keeps developing like he is now, I have a feeling he will be bored in regular schools.

  2. New follower from the Make My Morning Hop!

    WOuld be great if you stopped by and followed back!

    I share a few of the same struggles and can tell you that it does get easier in some parts and more difficult at the same time because you're forced to face new challenges with every milestone. It's definitely worth the ride though

    1. Whooops I accidentally deleted my reply to you. In case you didn't see it, I already follow your blog. If you look back, I actually linked your playdough recipe in a post last week.

  3. Don't blink the next thing you know he'll be starting school and the tooth fairy will be there at night and joining baseball.... Yep, just mark every day with a memory and give a lot of quality time. Wish somebody would've told me that when mine were growing up. I missed a lot for sure, but now I try to make up for it with my nine grandchildren by spoiling them & sending them HOME! lol I'm your latest follower. Nice to meet you & have a good weekend.

    1. Thanks for following! I am trying to truly enjoy every moment because each day that goes by means my baby will never be that young again.


Thanks for leaving a comment! They really do make my day. I make every effort to reply to each and every comment.