Sunday, September 21, 2008

Horizontal Parenting: Ineffective at Best

I have been laying down for one week and have 11 to go! Yahoo! Lets here it for week 29. My moods change by the minute. I get sad, frustrated, depressed. Then I"m grateful for another day and glad my baby is still inside. Then I feel lonely. Then I crave alone time. So it is a guessing game with me these days.

I am learning how to parent laying down.

Since May of 2006, I have put Seren to bed. There are a few exceptions, my parents put her to bed and Dad has too on occasion as I have been out with the "girls" or at yoga. But by and large, I "do the bed routine". Since twenty four of the last twenty seven months Sam has been home with her during the day, it has been really important to me to do dinner, bath and bed routine. It is snuggle time and I wouldn't change a thing. Since bending over the tub, picking her up, running down the hall and lifting her up and down into the diaper changing station, etc isn't doctor approved, we have had to think of something else. Now Dad does all of that (plus all of the cooking, most of the pick ups and drop offs at child care, all of the dishes, most of the cleaning and all of the grocery shopping). I read one story to Seren and make sure she has her hair brushed. Sam and my parents split the rest (depending on the day). Poor dude is just going to wear himself out.

Anyway, horizontal parenting is pretty darn ineffective. Here is a conversation from this morning. I am on the couch. Seren is standing in her bare feet.

"Hey, Seren, please come over here and sit on the couch so I can put your socks on."
"NO! I don't want to!"
"Seren, I have to ask you again to come over here please so I can help with socks and shoes."
"No! I sit over HERE!" (across the room)
"Momma can't sit over there."
"Mom! Sit HERE!"

All of the tricks that I normally use...sitting with her, getting her outside and then putting on her shoes, tickling her so she gets in a better mood...none of that works. I can only reach things within an arms' reach. It is so frustrating. I feel like a big, stuck whale.

As for how to explain why I can't pick her up, why I am not going to the farm, why I am not playing soccer in the backyard? I'm at a loss of words. If I say, "Well, I'm growing baby brother", that may cause resentment. I'm started to say that I am a "little bit sick". That seems to make sense to her. She is very sweet- handing me my phone, caring for me, etc. One afternoon, I was in tears over the whole thing and she was very concerned about my tears. She even wiped them off my face. "You ok, mom. You ok."

Oddly, my thoughts aren't necessarily on the unborn baby all of the time- they are what I'm missing now, adventures I was planning on taking with both Sam and Seren. But I guess that is only natural because well, they are HERE. But I'm here too. I'm not in the hospital (knock on wood) and can be outside for lunch with Sam and Seren. So life is good.

And for the first time in nearly two and a half years, I don't feel guilty when I'm sleeping or napping. Amazingly refreshing!


LauraC said...

I am so sorry you have to go through this. I felt much sadness during my bed rest because I felt like I was missing the last alone time with Jon. But I can't even imagine the pain you must feel missing some of these days with Seren. You're still there but I'm sure it's not the same.

And parenting a 2 1/2 year old laying down. Seriously made me laugh out loud!

Hugs to you and I hope this time passes quickly.

Laura S said...

I too was chuckling at the idea of parenting a two year old laying down. What a funny, crazy idea! Hope you have a better day today and enjoy your rest!