May 7, 2010
Dealing With Crybabies
IconDEALING WITH CRYBABIES By Cheryl Gochnauer Since Karen and Carrie are now 12 and 8, you might think I'm out of touchwith mothers of newborns. No way. I have an excellent memory and I want youto know, my glassy-eyed, sleep-deprived, still-in-my-bathrobe-at-5 friend,that you will live through this. Poor Baby. I remember a particularly bleary day when Karen started screaming at 8 a.m.and didn't quit for six hours. SIX hours! About five hours into it, I wasstanding on my front porch, screaming myself (in my bathrobe, of course).Fortunately, all my neighbors worked, so no one was around to call the cops.Then again, I probably would have been grateful to be hauled off to a nice,quiet cell. Baby swings were usually helpful in getting my little ones quieted down.With Karen, I had one of those crank jobbies that would run out of steamjust as she was nodding off. Waaaaah! When Carrie came along, I got smartand bought a battery-operated swing and constantly kept a fresh supply ofAAs on hand. Babies cry, and for as little as they are, they're remarkably good at it.Since they can't talk, crying is their main means of communicating, and itwill help keep your temper in check if you try to view their bawling in thatlight. Approach their outbursts as you would a foreign language, spoken bysomeone you'd give your life for. It takes a relatively short time for Mom to decipher which cry means what.There's the "I'm hungry" cry. There's the "I'm tired" cry. There's theemphatic "I need a new diaper" cry. (Who wouldn't wail at that?) And inCarrie's case, there was the "My sock's on crooked and somebody's gonna pay!" cry. (Even at three months, she was a perfectionist.) If you're a stay-at-home mom, I can point out a silver lining surroundingthe up-all-night cloud: once you collapse in bed at 4 a.m., you don't haveto get up for work at 6 a.m. There were times when I was sure people in the next county could hear myredheaded foghorns. But read my lips: this too shall pass. Your baby willlearn to sleep through the night. You will wear makeup again. Both you andyour baby will learn to communicate in ways other than crying. Meanwhile, make sure you arrange for regular renewal time away from yourchildren. Days on end without a break sap energy and patience, and achronically tired mother has little to give her family. So take Grandma upon her offer to baby-sit; ask your husband to watch the baby while you get asoda with friends; build some mad money into the budget for a sitter so youcan get out a couple of hours a week. That's another thing I remember - how revitalizing a short break can be. Bythe time I walked back in the door, I was refreshed and swept my baby backin my arms, ready for our next adventure together. Give yourself somebreathing room, and there's a good chance you'll feel the same. (Comments? Write , or visit her website at . Her book, " So You Want to Be a Stay-at-Home Mom ," isavailable through Dr. Laura#146;s Reading Corner . Copyright2001 Homebodies.Org, LLC. Permission granted for use on

Posted by Staff at 1:56 AM