Words From the Mom of a Colicky Baby

Last week, I posted this photo on Instagram to celebrate Berkley turning one month old. 

Except, the photo isn’t all rainbows and butterflies like it should be. There’s no smiling baby in this photo. 

Looking back, at the time, I didn’t realize how good we had it with Morley. She was an easy baby - loved her sleep, never made a peep and was happy happy happy. 

With a completely opposite pregnancy this time around, I should have known that these two would be completely opposite babies. I should have seen it coming.

Just when you think you have got this mama thing down pat, you get a wrench thrown in the mix.

But, even if I did see the writing on the wall, I don’t think I could have prepared myself for this. I never truly knew what a colicky baby meant until it started taking over my life.

For those scratching their heads at the word colic, let me explain it to you… it’s an ugly beast. The long bouts of crying for no apparent reason leave you exhausted, frustrated and heartbroken, not being able to do a damn thing about it. 

Words From the Mom of a Colicky Baby

While the above post was originally intended to celebrate baby girl’s one month in the world, something else happened. 

Below the post, came an outpouring of support. Words of encouragement, advice and messages I needed to hear. Words from moms like me. Words from those that had experienced colic in the past, those currently going through it, those that knew someone that had and those that simply just care. 

Here is what the messages said,

“My niece was colicky for 6 months… It never seemed to let up. You nailed it on the head though, it’s extremely exhausting, frustrating and heartbreaking.”

“Sending you both hugs.”

“Sending love. We went through colic too and it was one of the hardest experiences.”

“I can relate to this. All I can say is it will get better. Continue to stay strong mama!”

“Every time doctors said colic, it was ALWAYS an actual reason. Gas was a huge one. So was teething. Then reflux, then a virus, but gas was a huge one. She cried in pain and the doctors said colic. All of them. You adorable sweetheart’s colic could definitely be something else.”

“I hope it gets better soon! We had symptoms of colic too and it turned out to be a food intolerance. She’s a totally different baby now that she is dairy, soy and corn free.”

“My first son was colicky and it is so challenging and disheartening at times when you simply can’t console them. The good news is that it DOES get better. Hang in there mama…”

“Oh no. That’s so hard, especially with no sleep. Hang in there and ask for help when you need it…”

“Have you tried probiotics? Biogaia was a life saver. May seem like it’s not working as it takes a week or two, but omg saved my life the first year. Also, it’s good at preventing colds/flus too.”

“Sending lots of love and sleeping dust your way mama…”

“Oh I remember this stage. Sending good vibes because it can be pretty tough.”

“Hand in there sweetie! Those adorable little girls are so lucky to have a mama like you!”

“I was in it too mama! Just keep going. I felt like it would never get better, but then it does and you are stronger than ever for your little one! It is heartbreaking and so hard to see them go through but you are doing an awesome job, always remember that.”

“I know that there’s nothing I can say to help it pass, or to make it easier. But know that I survived it, there is a light at the end, and what helped me was to reset ALL of my expectations. Hang in there and we love you!”

Absolutely incredible.

So, why am I sharing these words?

I’m sharing these messages because the post made me realize something. It made me realize that I am not alone. There are other moms out there that are exhausted, frustrated and heartbroken over an inconsolable child. There are other moms out there that are struggling to get through the rough patches. And so, by sharing these messages, my hope is that these words of advice and encourage will also help them see the light at the end of the tunnel, just like they did me. 

At the end of the day, we’ll work through it. At the end of the day,  these next few months are only going to be hard on one person, and that’s me. At the end of the day, Berkley is not going to remember the screaming, or the gas, or the fussiness. We’ll work through it. And we’ll be just fine. 

Did you experience colic with your littles? I’d love to hear your stories, tips and tricks. 

My "Oh, Shit" Moment

Earlier this week, we made the executive decision to remove our toddler from full time daycare, while I’m on maternity leave.

In simple terms, that means that I will be home, alone, with a 2 1/2 year old and an infant. All by myself, 5 days a week, 8+ hours a day, until I go back to work next August.

Just me, myself and I, and my two gals.

I have spent hours trying to justify the decision - with my husband (who was 100% on board), with my parents, with his parents and most importantly, with myself. Was it the right thing to do? 

Financially? Absolutely. Daycare isn’t cheap, especially when you’re down to one income and still have loads of other bills to pay. But what about socially? Academically? For my own sanity? Well, that is where I’m struggling…

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a wave of anxiety rush over me, followed by an “oh shit, what have I done?!” moment, as I hit send on the email to the daycare supervisor.

But, what’s done is done. No take backs now. 

Oh, shit. 

As an informal educator by career, I’ve done my fair share of writing curriculum, leading programs, running day camps and managing entire classrooms. My summers growing up were spent babysitting the neighbourhood kids. And while they by no means prepares you for motherhood, my point is, I’m used to working with little ones. 

However, those kids weren’t MY kids. It becomes a much different ball game when they’re YOUR kids. The rules change. (And you can’t give them back at the end of the day…)

Morley has fully embraced her role as a big sister since miss Berkley entered the world mid-August. In the month since little sissy’s arrival, she has become this loving, helpful and independent little girl. However, she has also started to discover the attention is no longer all on her. Some days, it’s a full on whine and cheese party in our place. The drama is real. And now, I’m tasked with keeping her occupied and stimulated all day - finding a balance between giving her the attention she needs, while taking care of both baby and, if time permits, myself. 

So yes, I’m over here panicking a little bit. 

I’m also over here feeling guilty. That goddam mom guilt. The guilt I felt when we initially sent her to daycare over a year and a half ago, is back. In full force. 

You really can’t win, can you?

While she has only been at this specific school since June, she has completely settled into her new role as the now older kid in the toddler room. I feel guilty for removing her from her friends. But, I also feel guilty from removing her from learning. She’s 2 1/2, she will get over the other kids and teachers. But, what about the learning? Will I be able to do what her teachers could do?

The answer is, no. No, I won’t. 

But, can I do it? 

The answer is, yes. Yes I can.

I know I don’t need to be super mom. I know I don’t need to have a laid out lesson plan, themed weeks, Pinterest-perfect crafts or even an organic menu. I also know that it may take me losing my patience a handful of times before we get there, and maybe even putting on an episode or two more of some god awful YouTube video or TV show. But, we will get there. 

We can do it. I can do it.

I do love a good challenge.

Mommy daycare, here we come. 

Are you a stay at home mom? How do you do it? I’d love to hear ALL of your tips and tricks!