Now that I can finally say that the baby colic is behind us, I have started to reflect that time. How did we get through it? What kind of coping methods I used? Could or should I have done something different?
Things started get harder with us later than in colic cases usually. We had first many good weeks. The twins were two month old when it turned hard. Right after this post. The hardest period lasted until the twins were 4,5 months old. Then it started to get better but we still had many highs and more lows. It took more or less 1,5 months until we got to the “normal” life. They were 6 months old that time. Now I can say that for about a month we have been back to normal situation. It’s still not perfect but it’s good. The baby boy’s stomach hasn’t been hurting anymore.
But back to my coping methods. The other day I realized that for me one key strategy of coping was pretending to be a good mom. I mean little like ‘fake it ’til you make it’ but still different. That saying suggests that you are aiming towards something you want to be but are not. In my case I felt like I used to be a good mom but with the colic baby was slipping away from it. Slipping towards crazy, screaming, insensitive character of a mom.
During whole this colic situation I had only one rule for myself. “The colic is not your children’s fault – make sure they don’t feel that way”. This may sound like an obvious and easy rule but I think that only a mother of a colic baby can really understand how hard it is.
When the baby cries hour after hour and nothing, and I really mean literally nothing, helps you end up walking a circle in your home with the crying baby. At the same time you should feed the toddler, change him the pajama, brush his teeth read him the bedtime story, do all other evening routines and try to calm him down to sleep. And there is this horrible noise. I’m grateful for my husband for standing by me those evenings and really doing his part.
And of course there is also the other baby. Who is also tired. And cranky.
I admit that I was frustrated. Irritated. Tired. And disappointed. Disappointed that our life was like that and I didn’t know how to fix it. I spent nights googling about gastroesophageal reflux, frenulum of tongue, allergies and all that I could think of. During the days I tried out everything that I found from Google and thought was worth trying.
Biggest task with my rule was to always speak to the kids with a gentle voice. That they couldn’t hear my irritation. (Harder that you’d think in my situation!) I wanted to speak nicely to not only my older son and the baby girl but also to the crying baby. Since it was not his fault either. Quite soon I realized that when I talked to them with a soft voice it soothed myself as well. I didn’t feel that irritated anymore.
I also tried to make sure that my older son would get to the playground and one kids’ club that he used to go as much as before the babies came. And that all the other activities and rules would stay as similar to him as they were before. Even if I was extremely tired and it would have been so much easier to stay on our backyard I tried to force myself to the kids’ club.
I pretended to be a good mom.
I did snap sometimes. I’m not perfect (though I wish I was). But I can count those times with one hand. I didn’t participate on my son’s play as much as I would have liked to. I didn’t cook as good meals that I would have liked to. We didn’t go to the kids’ club every time. But quite often we did. In my opinion I did pretty good job pretending even if I sometimes wanted to give the crying baby to our neighbors so that I could get some rest.
I thought, and still do, that looking back that time is hard but had I acted differently towards the kids it would be so much harder. I truly hope that this colic didn’t affect the relationship between my kids and me.
The point of this text was not to glorify how marvelous pretender and fake good mom I am but to tell one coping method in a hard situation.
This might work in many other situations too.
If you pretend to be a good mom, the odds are you probably are one.