Ever since dd was born, now almost one year ago, I've had this expectation that things would get easier -- but in my case, they're just getting more and more difficult. dd is an incredibly smart, active baby, but is also very high needs. It would be fine if it were just a matter of holding her all the time -- I always had this nice picture of my baby strapped to me in her sling as I went about my business. But she's not content to just be held -- she wants stimulation, stimulation and more stimulation -- always doing something different every five minutes.
I quit my successful 15-year major gifts fundraising career to be a SAHM, and I was fully committed to that idea. But I must admit that after my old university recruited me back to do part-time at-home consulting (15 hours/week), the time away from dd has saved my life. On days like today when I don't have a babysitter because I'm not working, it's hard for me to get through the day -- she's up at 5 and is not a napper, so I'm pretty much "on" for 15 hours straight. And I can't do anything else but sit there in the easy chair in the livingroom, feeling like I'm in jail, desperately trying to entertain dd while the hours creep by so slowly. Even though she's eating a ton of solid foods by now, she's constantly nursing when she's with me (even though I doubt she's getting much milk) -- and if I dare try to read a magazine or -- god forbid -- get dinner on the table -- she'll start screaming and fussing.
And the worst thing is that we're stuck at home. She has consistently hated the car since she was born, so the minute I put her in her car seat she starts screaming. Doing errands is a nightmare -- she won't be content in her sling or in the stroller.
In addition, she refuses to go to dh if I'm anywhere in the house. When I actually am able to leave the house on my own for an hour or so, I come back to her screaming and his complaining that she was a terror.
I really do believe that now that she's reaching the 1-year mark, it's time to stop being a slave to her needs, to start teaching her delayed gratification, etc., but I have no idea how to do it. I can't stand the screaming and fussing that ensues when I try to step away from her for a five-minute period. I've read Dr. Sears' discipline book, but I think most of the advice is geared toward older children.
Sorry I've rambled for so long, but I'm really at the end of my rope. I feel like every time I've posted here for the past twelve months I've been saying the same thing -- "I'm at the end of my rope" -- hoping, always, that things will improve. But again, as I said at the beginning of this post, things just seem to be getting worse! I love my dd desperately, and I sense that a lot of this high-needs stuff is really the result, in her case, of an extraordinary personality, but I am just so exhausted -- I'm even contemplating going back to work full-time just so I can get a break! When I left my career, I gave up a promotion to a directorship that would have brought LOTS of financial rewards, as well as a lot of authority. I look at myself now, dazed, tired, watching the clock slowly move, and I wonder -- did I make the right decision? Am I just no good at this motherhood thing?
Does anyone have any advice for me?