So it Turns Out I'm NOT a Supermom

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As I was preparing to go back to work, I had this grand plan in my head. Henry was still waking up once or twice a night, but I figured this was a manageable schedule for when I'd be back to work. Marathon training was going OK, considering, and we finally had our childcare situation lined up. I was going to be able to balance a career, my family, and maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle. I was going to be a Supermom. I'm now in the middle of my 4th week back to work, and boy am I pooped. Henry has regressed back to every 3 hour feedings, and we've consistently been up 3-5 times a night. Twice a night seems to be a welcome rarity. By the time I get done with an 8-10 hour day at work, I'm totally beat, and given that Henry needs to make up for lost time on the boob, I'm constantly feeding him. My visions of evening runs with the stroller have turned into mommy-baby naptime.

Last Friday, Henry was up 5 times overnight. By morning, I was SO tired. All I wanted was for Steve to say, "Here, honey, I've got this one. I'll go get him a bottle." Instead, he poked me and informed me the baby was hungry again. I got up 20 minutes early to throw supper in the crock pot only to discover I left the tubing to my breast pump at work and would be pumping with the hand pump so Henry had food to take to daycare. So much for those extra 20 minutes. By the time I got to work late, crabby, tired, and at the end of my rope, I thought, "Hmm. I'm still hungry." That's when I realized I had forgotten to eat breakfast. I haven't forgotten to eat breakfast in 30 years. Of course then he had a great weekend equipped with a happy demeanor and lots of giggles and naps with mommy. I started the week rejuvinated, but I'm already back to needing a mid-morning caffeine fix...

I've been getting in my long runs on the weekends, but there has been a serious hole in the rest of my training. My 18 miler 2 weeks ago went really well, but my 20 miler a week ago wasn't so pretty. I'm a little nervous how the marathon will go this weekend. I'm just going to have to focus on hanging out with people at the back of the pack and enjoying myself. It's the only way I'll get through the last 6 miles.

On a brighter note, being back at work has been going OK aside from the serious sleep deprivation. I bounced back faster than I thought I would, and although I don't have as much time at the end of the day to socialize (I'm running out the door to make it pick up Henry), I do enjoy seeing my coworkers again. I'm also back to a weight that I've been before. Granted it's a weight that I usually see at the end of an overindulgent winter, but it's relieving to at least fit into my "fat" pre-pregnancy clothes. I've got another 6 or 7 pounds to lose, but I know I need to be patient. I worried so much going back to work that I couldn't find any clothes to buy, but it has turned out that I've been OK wearing some carefully selected items from my own closet. In the last couple of weeks, I've been catching glimpses of myself in the mirror and have noticed that I'm getting my waist back! Last but not least, Henry's demeanor is getting MUCH better, and we can at least lay him on the floor to play for a few minutes here and there. We used to have to hold him constantly, and even then, he cried all of the time. It's amazing how much you can get done in 10 minutes without a baby in your arms! We still haven't figured out his tummy troubles. We're seeing a pediatric gastroentrologist on Friday. I'm currently off of all dairy, soy, and wheat products. At times it's really hard, especially since it means we have to cook all of our food at home, but I keep telling myself that lots of fruits and veggies, lean meats, and nuts is really how I should be eating anyway. I haven't been perfect and have snuck in a baked good here or there (I'm hungry ALL of the time and have a whole mouth full of sweet teeth), but overall, it's going better than I thought it would. Henry hasn't had a bloody poo since last Thursday. It's hard to say whether it's sheer coincidence that his demeanor is getting better since getting rid of wheat and soy or whether it's making a difference...

Steve's been putting in crazy hours at work, but some of that is starting to work itsself out. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks, I won't need a daily afternoon nap. Henry will continue to be happy enough to take out in the stroller, and Steve and I can take shifts in the evenings so the other one can get out and get in a workout. In the meantime, I'm running a freaking marathon this weekend! It's been my dream since I signed up to put a sign on our stroller in the cheering section that says, "I did this last year." I'll be back next week with a race report!

22 comments:

Jumper 2.0

Not a Supermom!

Whatever!

Bummer on the timing. Henry must be going through a growth phase right now to increase his feedings at night. It could also be a response to the change, going to daycare and all. That's what happened to Ang with Zach. It won't be too long when you'll be able to give him some food which will satiate him longer over night. Right?

Have fun with the marathon. Love to say that I'll see you but with so many people you never know.

bobbi

But - this proves you ARE a supermom!

It's so so hard while you're in it. My second was colilcy for amost a year, and John and I would tag team nights. It got so bad that I gave up nursing early, thinking it was all me making him miserable. Good for you for sticking that out and adjusting your diet! I saw the video of him giggling on Steve's blog - he sure is a cutie!

I'll be there this weekend - if I see you I'll say hi for sure :)

Alecia@tincantreader

My first kiddo was a constant crier too. Going places with her was always a gamble. You never knew when the meltdown would occur.

Your back of the pack days will be short lived. You're doing great!

Ashley

Hi there! I have read your blog for a while but never commented before. Have you tried a baby carrier or wrap for little H? My son went through a stage where he wanted to be held all.the.time and he lived in my Moby wrap. I have add a few different carriers over his first year and a half, and nothing seems to soothe a baby quite like a wrap. It is great to be hands-free!

If you have tried this, feel free to ignore me! :)

Amber

You're totally a Supermom.

It is going to hard for a while, but that's what qualifies you as "super" - coping with the difficulties (even if it isn't pretty!).

I give myself a workout pass if the baby wakes up even once in the night. This morning was a total pass - she was up from 11-1. It isn't what I want for myself or my fitness, but I found that if I didn't do that I was getting sick, I think from the lack of sleep. Had to find my priorities. I'm walking around like a zombie at work. But I'm here, and that's half the battle.

It will get easier!

Trisaratops

NOT a Supermom?! You CRAZY. You are a superwoman, girl, and are taking on more than most people take on in a decade, so just remember that.

Enjoy this weekend and just think about forward motion, ya know? You'll get there!

I remember feeling like I was at the end of my rope and crying and exhausted all the time, and feeling like it would never end. I PROMISE it will, even though this part is really tough. HANG IN THERE--I'm hear to talk anytime!!!

My Bug is turning 4 on your marathon day. Unreal. Soon Henry will be soundly sleeping (and so will you) and playing with legos and transformers and telling you how much he loves you, and this exhaustion phase will be a distant memory...and you go, "Hey, maybe I want another one of these!" ;) ha ha

HUGS!!!

Trisaratops

"Hear to talk." Yeah. But apparently I can't use proper English ;)

Nelson

You're doing great! Ambition is the first thing to go when you have a kid, and you've still got it. Trust me, we had a colicky first little guy, and between the sleep deprivation, my long hours, and going to law school I thought my wife was going to jump out a window (or more likely through me out one.) It seemed like it would never end, but looking back it was a blink of an eye, and I can hardly remember how tough it was. This will pass, and things will be awesome again.

Good luck on the marathon, I know you'll do fine.

Robyn

My heart goes out to you. It's so hard to function when you're tired all the time. Keep taking care of yourself (i.e. naps! and food!). And remember to enjoy race day, no matter how fast you are going -- I ran a 3-hour half marathon with my mother this summer, and it's fun at the back of the crowd too!

Kimberly

My grandma likes to remind me almost constantly that I cannot, in fact, do it all. In which I reply, "I would just like to do some of it."

I think you are doing an amazing job. I feel like I barely fit in my turtle-paced 4-mile runs, and you are out there doing 18!

My fingers are crossed that Henry is going through a growth spurt and long stretches of sleep are in the future.

Anonymous

I have a question, and it's only meant as a well meaning one. Why are you insisting on running while pregnant and then training for a MARATHON when your baby is only weeks old? Something has to give, and I sincerely hope that you will finally figure out that this time is about HENRY and not losing weight, not going for a PR in a Marathon...if it's a self-esteem issue, relax and don't be so hard on yourself. Would you rather look back and say, "gee, I sure was grateful for the quality time I spent with Henry"; OR, "gee, I really didn't get in enough long runs". When you have a family, priorities do and must change. It's no longer all about us.

Pharmie

Hi anon, thanks for your concern. I obviously knew my priorities would change when we had a baby. Running the marathon has become a tradition for me. This will be number 12. I think it's more of not losing sight of who I am while adding the title mommy into the mix. I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a new parent who doesn't struggle with figuring out how to balance this new life. I'm definitely looking forward to shorter runs soon, and I know that getting out for a few minutes to burn off a little stress definitely makes me a more patient and attentive mama.

Nobel4Lit

Good luck!! I totally don't know how I would handle all that, but I do want to remain active, even if my future kid is weeks old, because I want to not go insane just childrearing all day.

Nitsirk

Usually I lurk but anon's post dragged me out of the closet. I have been in your shoes and I completely understand your need to do this marathon (I am also beyond impressed that you can but that is another post). It is so important to do something for yourself right now. I got resentful of both my husband and my son because I felt tethered to the house while I was nursing. I finally switched him to formula at 4 months both to help with reflux and to give myself a break. Have you considered doing a mix of formula and nursing so you aren't always feeding or pumping? It doesn't have to be all or nothing. Hang in there, it does get easier but you will never feel like you are doing it all (at least not as well as you would like). At the end of the day make sure you are happy and the rest will work itself out. Good luck on the marathon!

Heather

Hey there Supermom! Yes you are a Supermom. It doesn't matter what milestones you have accomplished and which ones you have decided to change. Some days I am over the moon I have been able to pull my sleepy head off the pillow and wipe the drool off my chin.

I really wrestled with posting my "true" feelings on my blog. I knew there were going to be people that were not as supportive of my goals/decisions as others. Boo to the nay sayers. If they don't have anything else better to do than tell other people what to do than POO on them. :-P

I hear ya on big training goals, finding balance with mommy-hood, and finding enough sleep. I think I actually slept through the night when Aven was 8 months old. When that day happens for you, things will be SO much better. Trust me, Henry WILL sleep through the night -- at some point. =)

You are doing a GREAT job. Breathe and find your rhythm.

Heather S.

Judy

I find that motherhood is like a marathon that you have only trained two weeks for and there are very few aid stations.

I completely understand one side of your brain knowing that you can't do everything as well as you want to but the other side of your brain telling you that you're just not trying hard enough.

There were times with my cranky baby that just running away for a 10 minute grocery store run was almost too much to ask. And yet, we survived. However, I also remember not liking when people said it will "eventually get better" because I so desperately needed it to be better "right now". :)

You just can't compare yourself to the past anymore or really to other athletic moms. Everyone has their own stuff to deal with and if someone can run 40 miles a week right now at 6 weeks postpartum - well good for them. They'll probably have a different experience with their 2nd child and not be so smug anymore.

And if someone thinks you're taking on too much - they have not spent hour upon hour with a cranky baby and don't appreciate the NEED to get out of the house and clear your mind on a run or workout.

You'll be okay.

GoBigGreen

Hey Pharmie, just want to wish you a great race sunday. Weather looks good, and always the fans will be there powering you thru Summit Avenue. Ihope youhave fun out there!

Rural Girl

Good luck tomorrow!!! The other day I was just thinking about you and wondered if you we're doing the marathon. I thought 'no, she just had a baby and is probably exhausted.' wow! You go, girl! You always keep things in great perspective. Enjoy the day, then REST!!!!!

SteveQ

Women often become better athletes after having children, just because they get better at managing their time (and discover that they can plan for 9 months, go through a great deal of pain, be sleep-deprived and STILL function). I'll be watching the marathon at about 21 miles - best of luck!

Amy

This post isn't to scare you. I've been following your hubby and you for a couple of years. My five year old was a very fussy, didn't sleep more than a couple of hours a night for his first six months. He had a twin sister who was sleeping though the night after three months. We thought it was reflux and he was on anti-reflux meds. Finally the dr. did a barium swallow on him and we found out he had an intestinal malrotation. He ended up having a LADS surgery the next day and got better almost immediately. Turns out he could only eat so much so he WAS hungry every 2 hours because he couldn't digest food like he was supposed to. Anyways - just keep it in the back of your mind if Henry doesn't start to go longer periods of time that a barium swallow might be an option to see if there are other issues going on. Again - don't want to scare you - it's rare.

I'm in Madison, let me know if you want more info. And good luck, I know being a new, working mom is tough.

Amy

Maddy

So PROUD of you!!! Today you proved you are indeed a super mom :) Now enjoy your week (or longer!) of well deserved rest.

Josie

I rarely choke up when I read triathlon blogs, but I got teary eyed today. You are doing an amazing job. I could list the reasons why, but everyone before me already has. I understand the need to do something for yourself after having a baby, don't ever give that part of your life up. It's what makes you a good mom. In a few years, Henry will be jumping up and down at the finish line, waving a handmade sign, trying on your medals, and the pride in his eyes will create tears in yours. Babies are hard. That's the bottom line. But they are only babies for a short time. If you miss a workout (or seven) don't be hard on yourself, just make a new plan for tomorrow.