Conflicted

15 Jan

It often occurs to me that motherhood seems to be an ongoing series of conflicted feelings.

It’s so amazing to me to be able to witness this little bundle of potential and to be able to watch him discover new things every day. He’s learning so fast and I feel like I’m missing some of it, even though I’m with him 99% of the time. I find myself urging time along if only to find out what he might be like tomorrow, what new thing he’ll do next week, what kind of personality will emerge as he becomes more alert. Then I catch myself and think, no, no, I want time to stop! I miss the boy he was yesterday, the little baby he was last week. Little things he did the first month are already disappearing and it’s all going so fast. Sometimes the drudgery of these early months get to me–the endless feedings and diaper changes and monotony starts to wear one down a bit. Then I think that I only have him like this for such a short period of time and so I try to absorb every bit of it. Instead of being cranky that it’s 3 AM, I try to focus on him during that time and how he usually barely opens his eyes as he drinks his bottle and his little body is all relaxed against me. I revel in his diaper changes, which sounds weird but he’s taken to talking and smiling during them and doesn’t find them traumatic any more. I want to remember how he gets cranky when he’s tired and wants to go to sleep but starts cooing and smiling as soon as he’s swaddled, as if he’s making a last ditch effort to try to stay up and knows that charming us is the best possible route to making that happen. I want him to be older and more independent so I can know that little boy but at the same time I want him to stay a baby forever and keep him with me just a little longer.

I look forward to going back to work but at the same time I don’t want to. I can’t imagine not being with him during the day–how am I going to manage being away from him four days a week? I’m comforted by the fact that Andy will have him a good bit during the week and our need for childcare is pretty slim. I’m also pleased that he’ll have such great childcare with Sharron and how lucky we are to have her for this. Again, conflicted.

I try to stand back when others are around him and let them do things their way with him. Although (of course) I mostly think I know best when it comes to handling, feeding, and comforting him, I want him to know that he can receive comfort and support from a lot of other people than just Andy and myself. So if someone is holding him and he cries, I try not to offer suggestions that they do it just the way I would and instead let them work with him. And he does fine with everyone. It helps that he’s just a purely sweet baby. About the only thing that I don’t mess with at this point is this schedule he’s been on. It’s been working great and providing everyone with adequate sleep in addition to allowing Andy and I some downtime at the end of the day after Eli goes to bed around 8ish.

All in all, I am one happy lady. And also things have been pretty D-U-L-L around here (which is a good thing) so here’s why the post on what’s been going through my head rather than just the usual Eli update. By the way, he’s doing fine. He’s been a crankster today but he’s been all sweetness and light and long naps and great nighttime sleep all week. Everybody gets a bad mood day now and then so it’s all good.

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3 Responses to “Conflicted”

  1. wendy spies January 15, 2009 at 7:12 pm #

    wow! you articulated the feelings well. i know exactly how you feel and honestly, now that the guster is ~2.75 i can say i still feel that way every day! i want to know that he will grow up and be this great person, but i also want him to stay a cuddly baby forever. i imagine it never ends. i felt the same way about pregnancy – how cool to have a human inside of you, but so glad to move on. i think this conflict is part of the fuel that drives more children! 😉

  2. Lolli & Pop January 16, 2009 at 7:14 am #

    Now you’ve answered your question that you asked at Thanksgiving. Why did we have a second child? You’ve answered it so much better than I could. Love Mom

  3. Carrie January 17, 2009 at 9:22 pm #

    Very well said. I think if we didn’t wonder about tomorrow nothing would ever motivate us today. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re wishing today away. It just feels like that sometimes.

    Now if you could just answer the question of why we’re having a third! Nevermind. I think we all know the answer to that.

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