This season, as a good enough parent, I’m turing my focus inward towards what the little ones need and wants. I’m finding rituals and activities that bring me joy and calm and we are looking forward to peaceful celebrations with friends and family.
The other day, your dad and I were reflecting on how much our life has changed since you were born six-and-a-half years ago. And the change feels bigger than the typical, “you have a baby and everything is different” type of change. You see, you were born with a beautifully strong personality and, from day one, you communicated very clearly with us about what was OK with you and what wasn’t going to work. We tried not to listen at first, because we figured we knew best, and because we were led astray by cultural messages imploring us not to listen to you or to our instincts about what you needed.
There is sometimes a loneliness that goes with motherhood. Until I became a mother I really didn’t understand this. I didn’t understand the shift that I would experience going from a coupled adult to a mother. Now I know. I am still surprised though at the moments when motherhood feels most lonely.
This past weekend I set about sharing my postpartum plans with my partner and parents. The conversations were great opportunities to discuss our expectations, reflect on what worked last time and problem-solve some sticky areas. As the time for postpartum planning winds down I find myself feeling nervous and excited about what the postpartum period will bring, and I am trying to settle into this waiting period with peace and anticipation.
Time is really flying now as I am 37 weeks pregnant. Our second child could join us at any time. People often ask me if I am ready and my response always starts with a pause. I feel so much more ready to have this baby than I was to have the first, although I thought I was ready to have her. At the same time I know what is behind door number two. I know it will be several months of having a baby attached to me for the better part of most days. I know it will probably be a year of frustration with how infants sleep (even though I know not to expect her to sleep like a grownup). I know it will be a series of moments in which I think about all the things I should get done and feel frustrated that I can’t seem to get anything done.Yes, I know what having a newborn is like, but what I don’t know is what having a newborn and a toddler is like.
You ask me to read to you, and I have to pause every few minutes to soothe the tired baby.
You gasp in excitement as I come downstairs with him in the morning, barely able to contain yourself as you hug and kiss him.