Sunday, May 04, 2008

You Spin Me Right 'Round, Baby, Right 'Round

I've composed so many blog entries in my head since my last post. The fact of the matter is that I am still having incredible time management problems. The Husband is trying to get me to go to bed earlier every night, and he's right: a better-rested mommy is a better mommy. At least in my case. But after the Papoosekin goes to bed is the only time I have to myself, so it's so hard. I know every mama must struggle with this. She won't play on her own. And she doesn't just fuss when I try to leave her to play on the floor for five minutes. It's a full-on screamfest. And maybe I could train her out of some of that, or some will improve with age, but my gut says a lot of it is just her personality. She just seems to want to be right in the middle of whatever I'm doing. All the time. This is great in some ways, but it makes it hard to get things done around the house, like, oh, I don't know, breakfast.

Anyway, she's already making a transition toward longer naps. We've had one as long as two hours, which contrasts nicely with the three half-hour naps per day we've been living with. She celebrated her six-month birthday yesterday by dropping the third nap after one hour nap and one hour-and-a-half nap. This seems to have proved to be a thoroughly exhausting endeavor that set her right back on three mini-naps today, with possibly a fourth one to come, but hey, it's a process.

There's a part of me that wants to completely let go in a post about how hard things have been around here. How I'm not, apparently, one of those moms, like Ouiser, who was born to do this. You hear about all those moms for whom, yeah, it's hard, and they certainly have their bad days, but the whole baby-raising thing turns out to be this amazing period of growth and burgeoning strength and finding reserves of patience and nurturing and blah, blah, blah. That hasn't been the way it is for me.

I treasure every day that I get to spend taking care of the Liliputian. I do a pretty good job of living in the moment while I care for her. But then the Husband comes home, reality comes crashing in, and the to-dos pile upon me until I feel like I'm suffocating. I feel like an inadequate, suffocating, incompetent, ten-pounds-overweight blob. Then she smiles at me and I forget everything. Then dinner burns and I burst into tears.

A touch of post-partum depression? Could be. I plan to explore the possibility with my doctor. Normal hormonal fluctuations of a nursing mother? Very likely, and unfortunately nothing with an end in sight for another six months. Simple sleep deprivation? Oh, almost definitely. I need to take better care of myself, I know. And I need to get to the gym. And eat better. Cut back on sugar. I need, I need, I need...

Then I have weekends like this one, where we spent Saturday morning at the local parade (Old Timer's Festival, see Ouiser's blog here), and I had the best time ever. Outside, under the beautiful blue sky, 70-degree weather, total sense of community, sitting with Ouiser's family, including her aunt, cousin, father-in-law, husband, and daughter, watching the Miss Old Timer float, the high school marching bands, the float of the family of the woman with 41 great-grandchildren, eating authentic southern sausage and biscuits for a dollar, the smell of barbecued chicken in the air (again, see Ouiser's post on that one!).

My baby is sooooo agonizingly close to crawling. In fact, Mr. Ouiser swears up and down he saw her do so last night, but the Husband and I haven't seen it yet. She's basically sitting up with some minimal balance support every minute or so. She's babbling! Lots of "ba" and "da" and "bva."

So I have a pretty great life. And I'd love to explain in great depth about how and why I lose sight of that, but, frankly, I don't have the time. And that's a shame. Because I think about other mothers who may feel the same way, friends who aren't mothers yet but may experience similar feelings when they are and need to know it's okay, and friends who may not even see motherhood anywhere on their horizons but wonder why I don't write or call more... I want you all to understand, but don't have it in me to make you. Maybe someday. In the meantime, let's all have a look at my beautiful daughter...
...who can hold her own bottle now (kind of)...

...who smiles a bazillion times a day at the mere sight of me...
...who was more interested in the people standing behind us than in the parade itself...
...and who lives for weekends and the hour from six to seven every evening when she gets to see her papa.

Six months. I never thought we'd make it. It's been such a major time of reflection for me. I hope I can get a chance to share it with y'all soon (like how I slipped that bit of southern influence in there? I'm blending.)

4 comments:

Ouiser said...

i think you're a great mama. and i am certain...100% certain, in fact...that ljs thinks that you're the shizzle of all shizzles when it comes to mamas.

die Frau said...

Oh honey, I bet you're doing much better than you think. You were always too hard on yourself--remember you are doing your best and that's better than most! And if you think for one second that I won't call you crying about my crappy time management skills when I've got eight thousand piles of laundry, bills, and papers to grade while a dog barks on one side of me and a baby wails on the other and dinner burns on the stove, you're just silly. :-) I love you so much and that's why I leave my messages to let you know that I'm thinking of you and I know you're busy and just trying to "get it all done". Take a breath, take five minutes, and know that you're a wonderful and terrific person. And it's still ok not to make your own curtains--use that as a metaphor for life, all right? You're the best!

Sarah said...

In addition to second-ing the other comments, I'm in awe of the photos. They all look like they were professionally taken! Such great lighting and expressions - bravo!!

Marissa said...

Remember what Maya Angelou said when we saw her ages ago in Binghamton? So many women have done this before us and "they all survived with passion, compassion, humor, and style." So shall you! I'm bathing you in golden light!

xoxo