We (as in Alex & I) have been having a rough couple days this week. Partially of my own doing.
I do believe that the process of training Alex began almost immediately in the form of establishing some routines, or expectations, for him. We started off great..he'd eat, be up for a little bit, then I would swaddle him and put him in his crib to sleep. Rinse and repeat about every 3 hours. After weeks of this, I began to allow him to also nap in his Boppy during the day for a change of scenery. Once we set up the swing and I realized how much he loved that, the "routine" has morphed into feeding him, playing with him, and I then put him in the swing. Which he inevitably falls asleep in until feeding time. As it has been lately, the only time he has been swaddled and put into his crib is at night after his last feeding.
When Alex was 2 weeks old, he began sleeping through the night, waking up only once to eat, and would go back to sleep until about 6:00 am...no fuss, no muss. Lately, however, once he eats he does not want to be put back down and go to sleep. Our days, most noticeably this week, have not been much better. The only time he seems really content is when he is in his swing. He does not cry constantly or anything, he's not colicky, but he is definitely fussy...unless he's in his swing. I used to be able to go and do things during the day while he slept peacefully in his car seat. This week, however, it seems any time I've left the house it's resulted in a meltdown. I don't mind changing diapers, getting spit up on, giving baths, holding him or any of the "mothering" duties. Where I start to lose it is when all of his needs have been met and there is nothing I can do to appease him, because essentially, there is nothing wrong.
This week has been so trying for me and I'm positive there are many more to come. I've chosen to be angry at times and I even tried to reason with a 6-week old. Neither of which were in the least bit effective or made me feel any better. I've spent much time this week confessing my anger and spite and yesterday, amid tears, shame, and regret, I began to view things a little differently. I suddenly realized that in training my child, I have also become the trainee. This new job called Motherhood is a road I've never traveled and I have much to learn. Patience being the most obvious.
A couple of weeks ago, I called a dear friend because I was beginning to understand how some animals could eat their young. Yesterday, I reviewed some things she said and wrote it down to constantly remind me.
- I need to put off bitterness, resentment, and anger...all of which stem from PRIDE and SELFISHNESS.
- I need to put on confession, hear what scripture says, and renew my mind.
- I need to constantly be confessing my sin, most noticeably of late is anger.
So, beginning today, we started something new-ish. He eats, and I play with him for a bit and put him in his swing for about 1/2 an hour. After that, whether he falls asleep or not, he gets put into his crib. Surprisingly, (or maybe not so?), we're having a great day! He seems almost more secure and content in getting back to the old routine. I think he is even napping better being back in his crib. It does seem that he doesn't sleep as soundly or as long when he's in his swing.
I'm not inclined to think that I have this all figured out. But, I am pleased that, praise the Lord, we seem to have had a breakthrough today. I have a lot to learn about Motherhood, but I realize that I cannot do it in my own flawed, sinful, strength. I have to allow myself to be constantly changed.