Wednesday, May 19, 2010

"Your life will change, you know."

Man, if I had a dollar for every time I heard that while pregnant with this child, I could have quit my job and been a Stay at Home Mom. And I totally agree.

But what people don't tell you (or maybe they forget because life gets busier along the way) is that it changes in such amazingly good ways that you cannot fathom until your child is born. Or maybe you can't even fathom it until your baby is a little older and a little less needy. When he crawls over to your husband, pulls up to stand in front of him, and opens his little mouth like a bird waiting for Daddy to share his breakfast.

I am one of the lucky moms: I have tons of trustworthy family in the area that practically are begging to babysit, yet my husband and I feel like we get so little time with Little Man due to two full time jobs that our problem is letting him out of our sight enough to satisfy said family. People ask me all the time when they will get to babysit, and I think about the Strawberry Festival I want to take him to that weekend before giving an answer. Still, every now and then I get a surge of "rat-race" emotions and I just wish I could have a night off (this usually comes on a Tuesday afternoon when there is no one volunteering to babysit).

Twice since he has been born (nearly nine months ago) I have thought about life without baby in a somewhat rosy way. The most recent was when a co-worker bought lunch and mentioned that her husband was out of town, so she would be going home to leftover take-out, her lapdog, and a bottle of wine. What freedom, I thought. I forget what it's like to go home and have the house to yourself, enjoying Indian food (which my hubby can't stand) and a chick flick all by myself. Staying up until 2AM because I had no intention of waking up until after 9. When I was pregnant, I was afraid of what would happen when I didn't have any of those nights to myself anymore. Could I live like that? I tend to be a person who likes to have some "alone time" at least twice a week. My husband and I already fought about the times when he wanted me with him and I wanted to be selfish, soaking in the tub for an hour or two with a book.

Well, I drove home from work slightly jealous until I got to daycare. And my little boy beamed at me with such joy and pride that any feelings of "me time" just slipped away and I instantly slipped back into full-on MOM mode. As I played with him for the tiny hour I could, fed him his dinner, and nursed him to sleep around 8:30, I couldn't help but feel as though I was the luckiest woman on earth. And I laughed a little at myself. Because, honestly, a glass of wine and take-out could never compare to the feeling I get when I'm rocking quietly with a little being that likes to reach back and stroke my hand where it's cupping his little body next to mine.

Monday, May 10, 2010

All Part of Growing Up...

I have to make an admission. I have been a cyber bully. .::sigh::.

Not in the same way as the teenagers who torment their classmates so much to drive them into depression and worse, but in that kind of silly way that a grown-ass woman should not be taking part in.

Part of my quest in life is to grow: to grow in my rediscovered Christianity, as a mother, and as an adult. I can admit when I've made a mistake. In this particular case, I do not think my actions have hurt anyone, but the point is that they could have. And it's kind of a shame that I have acted this way.

I'm a small, small part of a well known online community of message boards. At any given moment there could be anywhere from fifty to five hundred of us online: mothers of all ages, shapes, experiences from all around the world. And sometimes we talk about what we're there for: our beautiful children. But a lot of times we turn there out of boredom, and that's when things can turn sour. Usually it involves someone making fun of someone else, or decrying another mom's parenting choices. I have taken part occasionally in this behaviour, and I'm not proud.

I think what the internet and it's various forms of free expression (facebook, twitter, blogs, message boards) invite is that feeling that we can say anything we want. And sometimes we feel the need to be more brutally honest than tact and common sense allow us to be in real life, so we forget that somewhere at another computer sits another new mom just as happy and stressed and overwhelmed and emotional as we are.

So I'm trying to turn a new leaf. Sure, I'll probably roll my eyes in my head when I read something that I find asinine. I'll just try keeping the non-constructive comments to myself the same way I would if I were standing there face to face. Sometimes we all need a good reminder.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Soo.....Mothers Day. About that...

I've been thinking a lot about Mother's Day this week, since so many people have reminded me (as if I could forget) that this is my first one. Something I guess I don't get is the whole "mom's day off" concept. Maybe six years down the line when I'm driving a minivan with a booster and a carseat to soccer practice and ballet class and life seems like it couldn't possibly be more busy or stressful, I will understand, but for now, I just don't.

Because I don't want a day off! I just feel like the whole point of Mother's Day is for me to celebrate the life I helped create and the bond that I share with my son. I have spent a good deal of my day caring for him: feeding him, spreading a blanket out in his room so he could hang around diaper free and climb stuff, urging him to follow me crawling around the house as I folded laundry and washed his dishes, giving him part of my lunch to eat/play with, sharing in his bathtime, more naked time with him shaking his head and grinning at me, now down for another nap. Why would I need time off from that?

I looked at my husband earlier this week and said incredulously, "can you believe we thought we may be bored after our kid was born?" We get home from work and just do nothing, but everything. Just sitting in the living room playing with little man and fur princess is enough to fill up the all too short hour of our time before feeding, bathing, and bedtime begin. Jacob is getting to the age where I can give him a tupperware bowl and wooden spoon and he will amuse himself happily while I do some kitchen work, as long as I'm watching him.

My favorite part of watching him grow right now is his independence that still mixes with the need for mama's safety. When he crawls down the hall and every few feet stops and turns to make sure I'm still there, still watching, just melts me. (Almost as much as I melt when he crawls towards me saying "MaMaMaMaMah".)

So, for Mother's Day, no day off for me. I want to soak up every spare second I can with my son, and give him as many cuddles, hugs, and kisses as he will allow.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Life is short, but oh so sweet!

Today was Senior Day at church. I don't know if every church does this, but it's kind of a day where the elders of the church take over the service. They plan the service, the songs, invite a speaker, do the children's sermon, etc. The whole church service is run by a group of Seniors.

Ours sang funny songs for their specials, about their hair being white and their eyesight going bad, that got some laughs and livened us up. They also sang about being ready to go Home and meet the Saviour. It got me thinking about Jacob, and how short life is already! (Imagine, one day his children are going to think about the 80's the way I think about the 30's!)

Everyone tells you before you have kids that life will seem to fly even faster, and they are totally right. It seems as if every time I have started to get tired of the "stage" he's in (sleep deprivation and constant nursing, then not being able to put him down all day, now the separation anxiety) he has flown right through it into something else, making me want to scream "STOP! Stop growing so darn fast!" This weekend, I had to lower his crib after going in to his room for the second time to find him standing and holding on to the waist-high crib rail. So now, I can no longer lean down into his crib and kiss his sweet little head goodnight. A moment that I have taken for granted the last six months is now gone.

I also tried to spend a few extra minutes with him by rocking him after nursing him tonight, which turned into a meltdown. My sweet little baby that cries when I go around a corner of the room is too big to be rocked when he's tired. He wants the routine of being placed gently in his crib drowsy so that he can take his Mickey blanket, flip onto his tummy, turtle his butt up, and put himself to sleep. .::sigh::. It's a good problem to have, but maybe we did too good of a job teaching him to self-soothe, because now I look back over the last 8 months and a week and wonder if it would even take two hands to count the number of times I rocked my son to sleep?

Life is just flying past at warp speed. Two and a half months ago, my guy was tripod-sitting for a few seconds before tumbling he's pulling up and trying to test himself by letting go of me when he's standing up. He's babbling "da-da", "ba-ba", and "ma-ma" almost constantly, and I'm starting to believe he even knows which one I am. Where did my little baby go? And will I cry every time he reaches one of these huge milestones the way I am as I'm typing this? Every stage is so beautiful and so fleeting that I have to just remind myself to cherish it, to find ways to fit more in and yet stop to enjoy my son's life.

I vow to never again utter the words "it's been a long day", because now that little man is half way between half a year and his first birthday, I know that our days are far too short.