As my first Mother’s Day comes to a close I can only laugh at how much of a “mom” I feel I am at this moment. I’ve only been a mom for three short months, but I had quite a bit of experience before that and today I feel as though I felt every emotion that is talked about in regards to moms. I started the day needing to go to work this morning. That means I have to set my alarm a little earlier. Even though the baby was staying home with her daddy I still need to plan for a few snuggles and to either pump or feed her. I felt tired when I woke up. Ricklan was up at four last night to eat and took a lot of extra coaxing to get back down. Somewhere around 5:30 or so (I try not to look at the clock) I crawled back into bed…but as I said before, sleep is not a switch and it takes time even for a super tired mom. So I woke tired, probably the most common word used when talking about motherhood. Then I pumped while baby girl kept sleeping, showered and got dressed and kissed her just as she was waking up and I handed her to her daddy. I felt empowered. I was working. I was making money to help support my family and I was doing it well. I had no spit up on my clothes, I had make-up on my face and I was ON TIME. It felt good. Empowered is a word I’ve heard moms discuss before. Even those who don’t work, as in at a place they have to go at a certain time and they receive a paycheck…they feel empowered when they volunteer, plan a pot luck, a fundraiser, a get together for other moms or any other task that doesn’t directly involve your baby.
Then there was work. I celebrated moms of all kinds. Young, old, many children or just the kinds with fur. I waited on tables and saw happiness while families spent time together and shared gifts and flowers. Most wished me a Happy Mother’s Day and I happily added that it was my first one. This resulted in some questions about the age of my baby and how things were going at home and sometimes, pictures. I felt an overwhelming since of pride. What a beautiful baby girl I made (don’t we all just think that) and telling people about her constant happiness reminded me I was doing a good job. Pride. It swelled.
Then as the day went on and my hubby even stopped in with the baby to give me a card another feeling came. Shame is too strong of a word…and sadness isn’t quite right. Longing maybe? Like a piece of me was just missing. He stopped in with my munchkin and we were so busy. There was no time for small talk and only a quick kiss and enough time to get one smile out of my baby before they headed back out the door. A little piece of my heart went with them and I just wanted to take off my apron and follow them. Longing. I think that’s right. It’s what all those moms talk about who have to spend any time away for any reason. It’s good to do it, you feel good going…but it’s so hard at the same time. Like your heart is in two different places at once. Today mine just walked right out the door and it was hard to finish my shift.
After I got home the house was quiet. Messy is a term I will use lightly. The baby hasn’t been as easy going as normal this week and Andy is having an extra hard time with her which means he has zero time to devote energy to anything BUT the baby. That’s ok with me, I totally get it and would rather it that way but frustration crept up just the same. Why can I manage to do things while he is gone and yet I come home from working and have to start picking up after the two of them? Formula is left out, dirty outfits all in random places, a possible diaper left somewhere it shouldn’t be…frustrated.
But as I turned the corner into my living room and saw my hubby in the chair holding our precious baby in his arms while they were both fast asleep my frustration immediately turned to satisfaction. He never quits. He doesn’t give up. And the baby has been giving him a run for his money this week and he still is doing everything in his power to make her happy at all times. He’s a catch.
We headed to my moms for dinner and brought the dogs with us. A little family outing to a place I could wear sweatpants is exactly how I would want to spend any day, let alone Mother’s Day. I got to hang out with my two best friends, my mom and dad, and talk about some of the tough times we’ve had with the baby this week. I felt encouraged. My mom has always been amazing with children and it’s good to hear her advice and come up with a game plan.
When we got home the baby had a tough time eating and I actually had to tap out for a minute and pass her off. Andy took her and was able to do better and had fresh patience. I was grateful for that. She doesn’t ask for much and just because her mom is tired and had a long day doesn’t mean she should suffer. I was grateful to have someone to pass her to. Someone ready and willing to take on the crying baby.
Then after bath when we were snuggling up in the chair just her and I, the only feeling that washed over me was love. She drives me crazy sometimes when she has one of those days where she doesn’t want to be put down, but she is just my little buddy and I can’t help but fall in love with her a little more every day.
Tonight I put her down in her crib. We’ve been spending more time in there and she just seemed like she couldn’t get comfortable in the rock and play tonight. She went in without a peep and at this point (two hours in) she is still snoozing away. As I stood over her crib I dared to take a picture (always risky with the flash in the dark)…but I knew I wanted to mark this moment. It was another moment that doesn’t quite have a name for the emotion. Pride she was sleeping, sadness she’s growing so fast, relief that she’s finally asleep…they were all there.
Obviously my emotions didn’t go quite as orderly as I just tried to write them, let’s face it, we’re women and our emotions change by the minute. Like when I was passing her off during her fussy time tonight, if I was going to be more fair and accurate I would have said…I was so angry that she wouldn’t just eat when I knew she was starving, I was so tired from a long weekend of one hundred different things, I was so frustrated I couldn’t get her to understand this was best for her, I was so sad that I am her mom and I couldn’t calm her down, I was so mad at myself for being frustrated with a little baby who just is uncomfortable and a little over tired….all within the span of about three minutes. So yes…our emotions are all over the map…but as I reflect on the day…and glance over at the monitor to watch a still sleeping baby in her big girl crib…I think the point is to just feel all of the emotions…but focus on only the good ones. It’s ok to be frustrated, angry, sad, mad and tired. We all are. But try to remember the happy, pride, grateful, empowered and content spirit that you also felt. The moments we have in this world go by to quick. Ask anyone who has lost a mom what they wouldn’t give to spend one more minute with them, especially on this day. Ask anyone who has lost a child what they wouldn’t give to hold even a screaming one for just another night. Ask anyone who longs for a partner who could walk this life with them but instead is walking alone…just look around and you will see that the good emotions you have are the ones you need to hang onto. I feel like that’s what really makes anyone a ‘mother’…not if you have kids or not, or if you are a man or a woman, not if you didn’t have a good example of a mother or if your mother was taken too soon…what makes anyone a “mother” is the spirit of positivity, gratefulness and encouragement and trying to spread that to anyone you meet. They say a mother’s love is like no other…imagine what this world would be like if we all tried to forgive like a mom, help like a mom…love like a mom. I think it’d be pretty awesome.