I’ve been thinking lately about the passage of time, particularly how it passes since becoming a parent, and Sheila’s post, grateful, is right in line with my best thoughts on the subject. How’s that for unity from 500 miles apart?!
“It won’t always be like this. That’s what got me through.”
“But that doesn’t necessarily help, does it?”
“No, it doesn’t help at the moment.”
When you’ve been through a harder than expected 4th trimester, and you feel that finally your 2nd infant, and therefor your family, may finally be adjusting to normalcy (or a new normal), and instead end up taking him, often screaming,to 12 medical appointments in 7 weeks; or when all winter you’ve passed illness around the house in a continuous loop; or when you’re on bedrest, it is true (usually) that things will get better. And, sometimes, for some people, it helps to know this right in the thick of it all. It’s hope, really. And hope is essential to emotional health. (Actually, hope is far more important than just an individual’s mental health, but that’s a huge topic that I can’t cover today. Maybe tomorrow ;))
But I have found that when after those 12 medical appointments, your son will still not sleep well, and is still clearly bothered by something, and when you’ve still got a pain in your b*tt from some persistent-no-matter-what-you-try digestive issues; when I hear “it won’t always be like this”, I don’t really care. It doesn’t help me. Because right now, it is “like this”. I need help right now, and I need to know that I can do something about it right now. Doing something about it may be as simple as grabbing some chocolate, turning on Restoration Home (my current favorite), and walking in place for exercise while the kids nap. More importantly, it only helps if I let it help. If I confess and whine to my husband about what I did during naptime: “bad” amounts of chocolate and sitting the entire time instead of exercising (for instance) I’ve robbed myself of any part of it that would have helped. Misplaced guilt is poison to relaxation and contentment.
August, 2015: Now that we have 2, with the youngest being almost a year old, I am beginning to see patterns in our life. And let me tell ya, sister, they’ve been a long time coming. (And I don’t even hold the record for the most number of moves in the smallest number of years.) But a regular and constant yearning for life to “get back to normal” has been the only norm for nearly 4 years. So the perspective I’m finally gaining, and some routines that I think I see emerging, are as welcome as a lifetime supply of a box of chocolate with a bottle of red wine. Maybe it’s because he’s nursing less often…won’t the freedom of weening be that much more amazing? Yes!
December, 2015: What was I thinking?! What “routines” had begun to emerge back in August???! I don’t remember. Little man is indeed a year old, walking, talking, and generally changing every 5 minutes. I still haven’t bothered to potty train our little lady, so I guess you could call diaper changes a routine. But as soon as we begin that project, whatever phase we are in now will be upset for who knows how long.
January, 2016: How much longer can I put off potty training? … We need to eat all the rest of the huge bucket of Christmas cookies right now so that I can stop eating so many sweets all the time. Now that we quit our gym membership, I am tired of the freedom we have in the mornings because we end up sitting around without purpose but also without the craziness of having to spend 40 minutes just trying to get out the door, and then I yell at the little innocent kiddos when they get their cloths dirty. …and other random thoughts about what to do with ourselves this new year…
Actually, we are in a very good spot right now. One morning a week, we have friends over. Another morning or two, we go out to see friends. We can stay in and bake on Mondays. I even have a cleaning calendar!!! That’s new and different (Both the cleaning and the calendar parts. Are new.).
3:43 p.m., January 8, 2016: How much longer can I put off getting the kids out from their “naps”? Answer: not much longer. What’s for dinner? Answer: either leftovers or something having to do with pork loin…except it’s not even marinated yet so never mind.
Summary: This post began many months ago when little boy was 9 months old as an encouragement to those of us who occasionally feel trapped and frantic over the pace we keep as we raise little ones. I was finally beginning to think that I could begin to think about breathing. And I did. And then other strange things happened. But it was, and still is, encouraging to look back on earlier times and realize that we survived fairly well, after all. And sometimes, I even miss those times.
3:47 p.m., January 8, 2016: The thump of sippy cups and dolls’ heads hitting the floor from launches from cribs has ceased…but I think I finally need to get the kids…there’s nothing left to launch…
Fair thee well, friends!