Monday, April 18, 2011

the dirty work

IMG_1325It’s always around 3 weeks post partum that things start to get really rough around here.  Just as the meals stop coming in and Jeff goes back to work the baby wakes up and gets all colicky and fussy and sleepless.  At that point I’ve lost any kind of adrenaline that carried me through the first few weeks and am left with a body that’s so darn tired from compounding sleepless nights that I think I might just fall over dead.  Just then is when my mother-in-law always shows up and works her little tail off to help us survive.  She gets the raw end of the deal.  No more sleepy peaceful newborn to drink in, no more excited kids, no more happy mom….just a household of grumpy, sleep deprived, attention neglected people, loads of dirty laundry and an empty fridge.  

Nedra just jumps right in and gets us all into shape.  She fills up the fridge and freezer, empties all the hampers and fills all the drawers, walks the halls during those bewitching hours with a crying baby so that we can eat dinner (that she’s made) together, showers the kids with thoughtful little gifts that keep them occupied and happy for hours, takes them on little dates filling them with enough love and attention that it lasts them a few weeks, lets me get out for air and exercise, makes sure I get to bed early and squeeze in good long naps and coaches me through the emotional mess that’s inside my brain.

She’s done this with each of our children…..really carrying us through some of the most challenging times our family has had to face. 

IMG_1321This is the amazing quilt that she made for Peter.  He only looks worried because it’s windy outside and he can’t figure out how to deal with that much stimulation!IMG_1332IMG_1345Can I be the same kind of mother/mother in law for my kids?  Right now I can’t imagine ever having that kind of strength and energy…..I’m hoping it will come after a lot of years of mothering and maybe a few good nights of sleep.IMG_1346

Thank you Grandma Shumway!


  1. Hooray for your mother-in-law. I 3 weeks post partum is the toughest time too!

  2. Oh man am I ever grateful for the wonderful Nedra! What a gift! Sure wish I could be there to get you one good night's sleep now that all the help is gone...except ever-faithful Jeff of course!

    Six hours last night must have felt like Christmas!

  3. I hope I'm that kind of grandma!

  4. I love this post. I love Nedra! She's so great. I want to do that for my daughters and daughter-in-law.

  5. When I talk to expecting moms, I always say that 3 weeks to 3 months is the hardest time. Just like you said, the baby stops sleeping as much, Mom's adrenaline has run out and the sleep deprivation has caught up. But then, around 3 mos, the baby starts to "get cute" with smiles and coos and a hint of predictability in the eating and sleeping departments. How wonderful to have such a great, helpful MIL. Congratulations on your sweet new blessing!



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