(I am an idiot.)
I cannot even explain how glad I am that I pushed the PUBLISH button on that last post. I know the old adage "it takes a village" is supposed to refer to raising children, but I think it's actually talking about keeping moms sane because sometimes it takes other moms saying "I have been there" to clear a tired head. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the suggestions and encouragement.
I am, in fact, an idiot. I forgot the most important lesson that I learned from baby number one, my sweet girl, and it is: It's not about me. Sleep deprivation clouds the thinking and judgment, but putting it all in writing and reading the responses helped put everything in perspective for me.
It's not about me and my schedule.
It's not about me and what I want/need.
I became so focused on my own needs and desires that I forgot about Colin's, and I know that's harsh judgment of myself, but it's the truth. I am a selfish being, we all are, but there are certain things that I know I need in order to have something left to give at the end of the day. Mothers are notorious for denying themselves what they need or want, and I don't think that's healthy for the mom or the child. When I stopped to think about what it is I need, it comes down to two things:
1. I need Colin to be happy. I need for him not to spend his awake and alert time crying. It's very demoralizing to me to see him clearly miserable and not be able to comfort him. It makes me feel like I am loving my baby wrong, if that makes sense.
2. I need some "hands off" time. I love, love, love snuggling and holding Colin, but I also need to be able to put him down without him crying because sometimes, I need to eat or pee or stand on my head.
The past two weeks have been pretty tough with Colin resisting napping through most of the middle of the day. I was not getting enough of what I needed and he clearly wasn't either, so I decided that a schedule and napping in the crib would solve these problems. I was wrong about that. Babies do not fit into their parents' schedules; parents fit into their baby's. Once I realized that Colin will not be forced into napping when and where it's convenient for me, he began actually sleeping during the day. It's not been in his crib, but for the past few days, he's taken long naps in his car seat. He's also been napping well swaddled in my arms. All of this napping means that when he's awake, he's so much happier. In fact, there has been minimal crying and lots of smiling for the past few days.
Focusing on Colin instead of myself has actually given me more of what I need. He's happy. He turns his head when he hears my voice and smiles at me, and that fills my love tank to the brim. He coos and chats and interacts, and this is how I want him to spend his awake time. Forget all that crying.
And once I stopped trying to force him into his crib, I realized that he will sleep for longer periods of time in his car seat, which means that I have a little time to myself. I am a better mommy for it. I can take a nap, write some thank-you notes, check my email, or get dressed, and not feel guilty that Colin is losing it while I am doing something else.
I guess I just forgot how tough these first few weeks and months are, but things will get easier. I needed to remind myself that babies get to be pretty fun. Just look at how much fun Cara was!