Sink Or Swim: Rising To The Ever-Changing Challenge Of Mamihood

This past week, I have experienced a very contrasting mixture of emotions: very happy, because life is wonderful, and so are Mr. Sweetie and Cisco and my family and friends; and very frustrated, because my life has reached a point of sink-or-swim yet again, and I am getting more and more tired as the days go by.

Sweetie has been teething, HARDcore. This not only means more fussy, more clingy, and lots of bruises on my shoulders and upper arms from where he has been gnawing, but it also means lots more poop. LOTS of it! Every hour or two there is a new poop, and every time I change his diaper, fortune is smiling if twenty minutes pass without another one.  Not only does this mean a grumpy baby and grumpy baby bum, it means that I must now do laundry every single day. Our bathroom is not big enough to have a diaper pail bigger than the one I have currently, and keeping the diaper pail in another room is out of the question. Also because of the teething, his nighttime sleep has become extremely wakeful, and naps during the day only occur if I carry him and bounce him, and as soon as I try to put him down to give my back a break, he wakes up. To add to this, he is going through his separation anxiety phase, which means that he is not happy with anyone else holding him if I am around, and if I am around but in another room, even if he can’t hear me, Mr. Sweetie knows I am there, and howls and howls for me until I come and rescue him from his poor Papa.

If all I had to do was care for him, it wouldn’t be as difficult. But I have school now, and deadlines, and papers, and tests, and studying. I have a house that needs to be cleaned, food that needs to be cooked and cleaned up after, and a business I am working on starting in my “spare” time. I have an immigration case that I am all but solely responsible for. There are plenty of other things, but I will stop there. And none of these things gets my adequate attention with a baby who isn’t quite ready for independence strapped to me all day long, and attached to my boob all night long.

It’s been a bit rough. Every night, I am awake until at least 2 AM, trying to get the dishes and my homework finished. My sleep is suffering, because taking naps with Mr. Sweetie if I am feeling tired during the day is nearly impossible, as he won’t stay asleep when I put him down. I am eating, most days, only dinner, with a couple snacks in between; at first I would be hungry, but my body has mostly given up on reminding me that I need more food.

I am finding that striking a balance with everything that is going on right now is not working. Either I do too much of something, or too little, and I can’t be consistent with any of it. All of the above being said, I have not stopped trying to figure out how to navigate this new state of things.

One thing that I must say has helped me a bit has been to have a schedule for the things I need to accomplish for school. At the very least, if I can get that , and diapers, done in a day, I feel like I am doing something.

Another thing that has been helping is to be sure to make myself some breakfast when I make Cisco breakfast, three times a week.

One more thing that has been helping me to stay on track is reminding myself that every single stage that Mr. Sweetie has gone through has had an end, and I try to remember that ultimate rule of parenthood – nothing stays the same forever, so enjoy it while it is here! I know the day will come when I will look at my little Sweetie, and wonder where my baby went, and miss the days when I was the only living thing he truly trusted.

“Just keep swimming!” -Dori, Finding Nemo


How is/was your experience with parenting? Did you/do you have time periods where it feels like life is crashing down around you? How did you/do you cope with it, and what strategies did/do you employ to manage it? Please share your comments in the space below – you are not alone, and there is undoubtedly someone who may benefit from your shared experience. Thanks for reading!

Encouraging Empowered Mamis Everywhere To Do What They Do


Mami is an artist, aspiring entrepreneur, and first-time, full-time mother. She enjoys long walks with Mr. Sweetie, good food and cooking, her family and dear friends, writing, arting and crafting. She doesn't know everything, but wants to learn, and loves to do research and share what she finds. She thinks life is like a box of puzzle pieces: you keep trying until it fits, because every piece has its place. She owns and operates whatever she sets her mind to, and knows that the sky is only the limit if you haven't left the ground yet.

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2 Responses

  1. Rebecca says:

    Ohhh Mami, I am so sorry you are going through this! I am coming out of a two month phase, where the only thing that would get him to sleep is wearing him.. And I know those sore muscles and back aches oh so well. Somehow you just keep pulling energy out of absolutely no where and you do what ever it takes for your baby. We struggle with the separation anxiety also unless baby is well fed and papa walks him outside. But lets face it, papas just don’t always know what to do! You are right, this phase will pass. I find that when I absolutely can’t take anymore, my baby seems to sense this and backs off just a little – totally weird but true! Mamas don’t get sick days either! Hope your Mr. Sweetie feels better soon – you are creating a bond that will last a life time! Don’t forget that! It’s what I keep telling myself.

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