Wednesday, June 16

The "Hateful" Years...or are they?

I have been doing a lot of reading since I am nursing all of the time. I even read in the middle of the night to keep me awake while Benjamin feeds. I am sure if my neighbors were to look in my windows in the middle of the night they would have quite the site. I have a head lamp that Brad's grandma gave to him for Christmas. I put it on and can read and nurse without turning on lamps or dealing with an awkward flashlight. It is awesome....although I look hilarious. Anyway, that is besides the point. I have started reading Nicholas Sparks book "The Wedding" which I am pretty sure I have read before, but can't remember it. I am hoping it isn't too depressing. Last night, in the middle of the night, as I was reading I came across this paragraph where the man in the book is describing how his wife looked to the years with young children. As I am right in the thick of things I could relate all too well. She called them the "hateful" years. I find the word "Hateful" too strong. I don't hate anything about this time in life. I really actually love it.....except ask me that after a night with no sleep and a day with a screaming baby. (Obviously today was a good day with Benjamin and last night was okay). However, I really could relate to her frustrations and I had to laugh at how too true it was.

Let me share what Sparks had to say on this matter. By "hateful" what Jane meant was this: There were moments when she hated practically everything. She hated how she looked and how she felt. She hated women whose breasts didn't ache and women who still fit into their clothes. (Amen to this!!!) But it was the lack of sleep that raised her ire most of all, and consequently, nothing irritated her more than hearing stories of other mothers whose infants slept through the night within weeks of leaving the hospital. (I can really relate to this as Ryan was 14 months before he slept through the night. So please, don't share how wonderful your babies are in sleeping so quickly through the night. If I can get this guy to do it by 6 months I will be doing great!!!) In fact, she hated everyone who had the opportunity to sleep more than three hours at a stretch, and there were times, it seemed, that she even hated me for my role in all this. After all, I couldn't breast feed, and because of my long hours at the law firm, I had no choice but to sleep in the guest room occasionally so I could function at the office the next day. Though I'm certain that she understood this intellectually, it often didn't seem that way."
This is where I laughed. I so remember just before I had Benjamin thinking about how little sleep I will be getting and remembering that I sometimes get so angry(not at Brad, just the situation) that Brad can just go to sleep and I stay up trying to get the baby to sleep. He does have to work and I can nap ...ha ha ha-nap, really?!!! I do have to say that Brad has been so wonderful. As long as the baby is fed he takes him and puts him to sleep for me. The other night I was so beyond exhausted I fell asleep without meaning to and Brad stayed up an extra hour putting Benjamin, who wasn't quite tired enough, to sleep. He is so wonderful to me!!!
Now, as I said before, hateful is way too strong of a word. Do I get so tired and frustrated with the not fitting clothes and trying to lose weight that I sometimes get frustrated? Yes. Am I angry at anyone? No. Am I angry at having made the choice to have a baby. Not even remotely. I am just tired and impatient. However, this week I have reflected on these feeling, even before I read this book. I realized that even though some days I am past the point of exhaustion, because who can nap when you have 5 kids, I wouldn't trade these moments for anything. I knew exactly what I was signing up for and every time I even think about Benjamin I smile and think how worth it it all is. So, I will never call these years the "hateful years" because they aren't. I don't know yet what to call them. I am way too tired to be cleaver and thoughtful anymore on the matter. I just know I will reflect with fondness on these times and will be so grateful for every moment I share with these little people I adore!!