Thursday, February 10, 2011

The guilt of crying...

A yes, another blog about crying. I have read and heard that 2 months is peak crying time for babies and it decreases after that. How many weeks are you again Rylyn??? No, no, no...cannot wish this time away as it will be so short in hindsight....guilt trip number one.

We are trying not to use a pacifier...for many reasons, which I won't list here. I am not opposed to their use in anyway. We are just trying to go without. Pain now, gain later? I was a thumb sucker and my sister used a should have seen our orthodontic bills! The soother decision is guilt trip number two. "Maybe that is all she wants! To suck on a dummy" says guilt. Reason sarcastically retorts back, "Yes, because babies know what a man-made soother is without introduction. They innately crave one from the womb."

Ry has been fairly good with crying. Certainly nor excessive or colicky, if I have not mentioned that before. She typically has a two hour fussy time in the evening sometime after dinner. No biggie, because it is not like it is in the middle of the night. Well, last night we went for our second evening (the first was a few weeks ago) of a 5 hour stretch of wailing. Not fussy time. Wailing time. Fun times. Especially when you are supposed to go out and that is SO not happening anymore.

Chris said on his way out the door, "Do you want me to take her with me?" I am laughing inside. Did you grow breasts all of a sudden, honey? (We are still working on bottle training for occasional use). How exactly are you going to lead worship practice for Sunday and soothe her in the process? These were of course my inside thoughts (which if Chris chose to read my blog, which he doesn't, he would be able to share in). Where was I? Chris was out and I did the 5 hour stretch of wailing time on my own. No daddy relief. You have to love the man's heart! He tried and he was definitely feeling a little bit of daddy guilt on his way out the door.

After about 2 hours of focused soothing...Rylyn became my crying accessory. I will tend to your needs (feeding, changing...etc) baby girl, while I distract myself from your voice. Guilt trip number three. Please note I am distracting myself while I continue to care for her, not leaving her to cry on her own for the remaining 3 hours. (See that is the guilt talking...self-justification).

Honestly, dividing your attention is survival, but the mommy guilt is still there. (You could be super-mommy. Give her that full-attention she deserves while she screams her little heart out. No one died of singing and rocking for 5 hours straight). The reason mommy feels guilty is because after 2 hours of crying, these distractions feel more appealing than focused soothing. Dividing your attention gives you the best of both worlds: supportive and loving "mommydom" while actually having a sense of accomplishment (which your soothing isn't giving you).

Here are some things that are distract well with a crying baby, some require both hands which allow you to see if the swing, chair or floor will work for five minutes or so, while others require one hand or no hands (for the crying snuggle): Folding laundry, checking email, watching sports (you can still follow it despite the noise), listening to music, reading (especially from the Bible, I like the Psalms), fixing something to eat, going to the washroom (say a little prayer while your there), paying bills, write a card, pet your cat or dog (I have a VERY needy Himilayan and another short-haired cat), exercise (do a set of squats or sit-ups), go for a drive and turn on the music.

Rylyn and I ended with the last idea and we went out to meet my friends anyway for the last 15 minutes of Bible study. Her wimpers announced our arrival during the home stretch of prayer time. I waited for the last 15 minutes to show up to minimize the distraction. She settled long enough to hear the compliments of how beautiful she was and then it was off to finish the stretch of crying at home.

When Chris is home, he gets the pass and I go take a shower. So I would like to blow a kiss to any single moms out there. You are stronger than me and when you feel weak may God provide you with whatever relief and support you need for perseverance.

The final guilt trip for the blog has nothing to do with crying...that I am writing this blog instead of watching my baby sleep. (Honestly!) This chide I ignore, because Ry is asleep in my arms as I type and I can steal a glance whenever I wish.

Bible Reflections:

Proverbs 21 (New King James Version)

 1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD,
      Like the rivers of water;
      He turns it wherever He wishes.
       2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
      But the LORD weighs the hearts.
       8 The way of a guilty man is perverse;[d]
      But as for the pure, his work is right.

-The Lord knows our hearts and can change them. If we let Him, He can free us from the guilt that also chains them.

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