Thursday, March 19, 2015

right now



My friend Amy gave me some great parenting advice: whatever stage you're in with your child, add the words right now to the end of the story. As in: my baby is having trouble nursing right now. My little one isn't sleeping through the night right now. My toddler has crazy tantrums right now. And you're smart to add it to the good stuff and the hard stuff. Because all of it's always changing and it helps not to get too attached to labels and results. Turns out this is much easier done in theory. Case in point:

Louis tortures me by hating to take naps...(wait for it)...right now

Yet (MOTHER OF ALL THAT'S HOLY) he's actually day-sleeping right now so I'm on borrowed time as I write this. Being extremely nap-determined today, I bent over his swing for twenty solid minutes and shush shush shushed so fervently I got woozy and almost passed out but IT WORKED, Y'ALL, so here I am trying to hurry a blog post.

It was a rough morning. I've been bringing Louis into bed to nurse around dawn and even though this requires about 27 pillows to make it not uncomfortable, at the very least it lets us remain prone a little while longer and if I'm lucky, we can both doze for a spell. (Surprising parenting tidbit #472: I've gotten really good at nodding off while someone sucks on a nipple. Who knew?) This morning while he was intermittently eating, he was thrashing about, doing lots of punching and kicking and pulling off the boob while his needle-sharp fingernails kept busting out of his pajama's hand covers. God bless the kid, he was scratching me something fierce and kept kicking me square in the C-Section. Giving up on any more sleep, I reluctantly climbed out of bed and took him to nurse in a chair, hoping the change of posture would help. Freaking exhausted, I frustratedly took him in my arms and assumed the position. He stopped wiggling, looked up at me with his twinkly eyes and dimple-smiled for a full five minutes. And just like that, when I come to a breaking point and think I can't do it, I'm bolstered with such overwhelming feelings of love and pride to be this awesome kid's mom. Turns out a burp cloth makes a good kleenex in a pinch.

I'll say it again (and probably keep saying it): I have such newfound respect for moms. Holy shit. I never realized how hard it is. It is nonstop 24/7. Your heart lives outside your body and your body is not your own anymore. It carries and holds and rocks and feeds and shushes and gets punched and kicked and tugged at. And time is not your own anymore either. When Louis's taking a (rare) nap, I have a constant low-grade anxiety about how I should spend the precious time. Shower? Laundry? Bill pay? Or something more spirit-nourishing like writing or meditating or exercising? Also, it could be 15 minutes or 2 hours so it's impossible to budget. Yesterday Louis's grandparents came over to visit and give me a couple hours to myself. By the time they arrived I was desperate for a break (again, zero naps), yet overcome with indecision on how to spend it. I finally decided on a nearby hike and then could barely tear myself away from him when I had the chance. I cried for the entire first half hour feeling like I was gonna miss out, felt blissfully child-free for six whole minutes, and then spent the hurried thirty-minute walk back to my car feeling like I was missing my right arm. I couldn't get home fast enough. Of course he was fine. Me, on the other hand? Oy. I've never been called to be in the moment more. And I'm learning that is truly the only way to have peace. God, help me do it.

Mommy is a little cuckoo right now.
Mommy is figuring it out right now.
Mommy is enjoying addressing herself in the third person right now.

xoxo,
mommy

5 comments:

  1. Oh yes. I remember looking around in awestruck amazement at moms of our era AND moms in centuries past. Unsung hero-moms-everywhere-you-bother-to-look. Imagine life with no running water, not enough food… the mind boggles.

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  2. When you get to Louis's first birthday which seems far away, right now, remember it is really a celebration for YOU and Louis's DAD. Because you will have survived his first year. It is really hard ! But you are doing it and making me laugh when I read your cute funny posts.

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  3. Capricorns are very determined. And stubborn. Keep this in mind as your lil guy grows older.

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  4. It will be OK. It's hard, so hard--but holding that little snuggly guy will be one of your best ever memories. I'm a mother of 4, grandmother of 11 now. The wee ones don't sleep too well but they learn eventually and your life will come back to you. I promise.

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