Jack was up all night. Sleeping a couple hours at a time only. Then waking up hysterical. He also had a very hard time settling down for bed after our normal routine. At first we thought he was just unable to unwind. I mean, it happens to all of us sometimes. So I kept going in there to comfort him, rub him, give him his binky, until he drifted back off. After about 4 or 5 times of that happening before we went to sleep for the night, he settled down. I couldn’t fall asleep though. I didn’t fall asleep until closer to midnight.

Then he woke up at 12:30! I went in there and tried rubbing him but I knew from his response and intensity that was not going to work. So I ended up nursing him. He fell asleep and back in the crib he went.

Then he woke up very angry again at 3am. I tried bringing him in bed with us. He was still very angry, so I just nursed him in our bed. He began to settle down. I kept saying to Jason, “my milk supply must be so low. He is clearly starving. He can’t even go a couple hours. I have no milk!” He did finally settle down. I decided to put him back in his crib in hopes the poor baby would get some good shut eye. I went back to our bed distraught that I again am having milk issues. I just felt awful. The poor baby was clearly upset.

He was up again before 6 am. I decided that I was going to try Tylenol. He is never this hungry this often. Maybe it isn’t my milk. Maybe his teeth are bothering him. I need to rule some things out here and figure out what is wrong with him. His behavior had been totally abnormal. He has not been having sleep issues. Especially with settling down before bed. I cannot remember the last time he woke up so many times at night. After 5 months things started to get better at night. He was doing well going to sleep and sometimes sleeping through the night. If he woke up it was once between 2-4am. Then once he turned 6 months old it was like something in him switched and he started doing beautifully at night. We never had to do any form of sleep training with him. I am not a fan of crying it out. It isn’t my cup of tea, so I am glad that I had the patience to just go with his needs. In hopes it was not my milk I skipped another nursing and tried the Tylenol.

He passed out in ten minutes and he is still asleep. It is just over an hour, but he fell asleep on his own. Which is more than I can say for every other time last night. So I think we found the culprit. His teeth. I feel incredibly awful. I feel like the worst mom in the world. All night I was trying my hardest to comfort him with rubbing him, singing to him, and nursing him and it was wrong. I got it entirely wrong! It did calm him down enough to drift off again but overall it wasn’t what he needed. He was in pain all night. So now I feel guilty.

I have found that guilt is a huge thing I have had to deal with since becoming a mom. I always feel like I am not doing enough. I feel guilty for letting him play alone while I try to clean, do dishes, etc. I have been sick since last Friday night. My hubby stayed home Tuesday because I was feeling my worst. He worked from home but he also helped out. At one point they were upstairs together and I was downstairs just resting a bit. I felt so guilty for resting. For not taking care of him or cleaning or something! I felt entirely guilty for sitting on my butt trying to get better. How lame is that? I am human I need to get better when I am sick! I even feel guilty for snuggling with him in bed while he watches one of his shows and I am trying to just rest but with him. I do feel miserable but he needs my attention so I was trying to balance everything while sick. At some points I just needed to lay down so we would have cuddle time and the entire time I felt like ugh, I am awful. I am not engaging him 100%!

I shouldn’t feel guilty when I am doing a load of dishes because keeping a clean home for him is taking care of him. But then I think well he isn’t getting my undivided attention, so is that hurting his brain development? Is he going to be scarred for life because I was vacuuming instead of reading to him? Shouldn’t I be engaging his brain 100% of the time?!?!?! Doesn’t he need me constantly? Is he going to feel alone and neglected because sometimes I have to do other things? I know they need to learn to have alone time, but the guilt is still there. I am guessing most of my worries are entirely irrational, but it is always there in the back of my mind. Just lingering. Mocking me, and telling me that somehow I am not an awesome mom.

I even felt guilty for not wearing him to the grocery store the past two trips because I was sick. I ran there Monday for soup and a neti pot. Then yesterday I ran there because I was sick of soup and eating out. I wanted to cook some dinner for the rest of the week. I had him sit in the cart for the first time. He is still a little wobbly, so he had some of his stuffed friends next to him for extra support. The entire time I felt like a bad mom for sticking him in this stupid cart. Really??? I feel bad for bringing him to the store with me and putting him in the cart like most moms do! I told him while shopping, “don’t worry buddy, next week momma will wear you again.” And I will fulfill that promise.

So realizing this morning that I was trying to fix the wrong problem, I just feel even worse and even more guilty. I just want to make sure I do everything right for him. I want him to be a happy baby and child. I want him to know just how much I love him. That when I see him my heart swells to a million times its normal size! That his giggle fills my world with an unexplainable joy. That his cries break my heart and if I see tears, forget about it. My world is destroyed when his face is soaked with tears!

Does this ever go away? Do moms ever feel like ahhhh I do everything right? I got this! I am guessing that is unrealistic. I am guessing that most moms feel more like I do. We just don’t know how exactly our actions will impact our precious little children. So we always have to worry and yes sometimes feel a little guilty. Jason tried to reassure me that I wasn’t awful and I shouldn’t feel guilty. He said if this is the worst part of Jack’s life, then he is a lucky baby. He is a lucky baby to have such a good Mommy to spend his entire day with every day! And that I shouldn’t be so hard on myself.  That now we know if he has a night like this it probably isn’t hunger, it is probably his teeth. We have lived and learned and we can take this with us for the next time this happens. Which is true. Trial and error. Until he can talk I am afraid that we will have to manage this way.

And then I am sure that next stage will bring on a whole new kind of guilt and worry….

On a good note…I  have taught him something. (so see, I should lay off the self guilt business. I am clearly doing something right!) He now plays peek a boo! On his own terms. He will bury his face in me, then snap it back and smile. I then say “where is Jackson? THERE HE IS!!!” or “peek a boo!” He smiles and laughs. I play this game with him a lot. With my hands, with a blanket, in the car when I am loading groceries or bags. We have an SUV so I can pop up and down from the trunk and he can see me. He loves it. I will even play it with him while preparing his food in the kitchen if his high chair is in the dining room. I will pop back and forth in the doorway to keep him laughing. He has finally learned how to do it himself! It is the most fun game in the world.

I have been engaging his brain and I need to give myself a guilt break! Easier said than done… 🙂