I wrote this a year ago today, because it was on my heart and I felt the urge to write it down. I wrote it as a blog post, because I already had this blog in mind then, months before I got it up and running. It’s encouraging to me to revisit what I wrote when Aria was not quite 3-months-old, and realize that, if anything, it’s become more resonant over time.
This is going to start out pretty darn whiny-sounding, so bear with me, pretty please? I’m just trying to set the scene, and I think any mamas out there will understand just where I’m coming from.
This has been a long week. The first couple of days were very busy, and I had later nights than usual. Aria hit her three month growth spurt, I think, because she suddenly started eating twice as much at each feeding, and was fussy in between. This is Thursday. Tuesday and Wednesday, she slept only 2-3 hours during the day, eating and being generally discontented the rest of the time. The notable exceptions were our daily walks, which calm her right down, sometimes even putting her to sleep for the time we are moving. (This 70-degrees-in-March thing – I could get used to this!) Tuesday I started to develop a cold. At first I thought it was allergies (did I mention it’s in the 70s in March?), but I was SO miserable yesterday, and by the time I went (tried to go) to bed last night, it was very obvious I had myself a full-blown, snotty-nose, sinus headache, sore throat, cold. Did you know that Sudafed can dry up your milk supply? And that I’m allergic to Phenylephrine? This is just not “my week”.
Blessedly, since she hadn’t been sleeping much, Aria conked out at 7pm. I fed her at 9pm before I went to bed, and then never heard another peep until 5am. But guess what time I fell asleep? 1:30am. For those of you who struggle with math even more than I do (and if that is you, please get help – you need it), that is 3½ hours of sleep between the day that felt like it would never end and when Aria needed me again. I am dead tired. I feel rotten. I’m afraid to breathe anywhere near my baby, because the last thing I want is for her to get sick. I haven’t been able to keep up with a single thing this week. And you know what? I don’t mind.
In fact, when Aria woke me at 4:55am, I was happy, because I wanted to go take care of her. The biggest surprise to me about motherhood thus far is not any of the hard stuff. I knew about all that going in. I did have some little duh-type revelations earlier on, such as, “Wow, I actually can’t do what I want when I want anymore, ever!” and “Huh, we can’t even make a ‘quick’ grocery run…” But those were things I knew and just had to absorb when they became reality. I knew there would be a lot of sleeplessness (and trust me, I’ve had my nights when I did not appreciate being awakened!). I knew I would be with this little one almost all the time, around the clock, because no one else in the world can provide for her what I can. But that’s just the thing – no one else in the world can provide for her what I can! How cool is that?
These past couple weeks have been a revelation to me. I LOVE being a mommy. You know how some people talk about how much they love their job, that they just know they are doing what they were made to do? Well, I’ve always enjoyed the things I’ve done, but I never felt that settled feeling of being right where I was supposed to be. Now I do.
What’s been surprising to me about motherhood is how much I love it. I knew I would love my children, but I thought I would feel little resentments, even now at the beginning. You know – I thought it would be upsetting that I can’t just do what I want every so often. I thought it would bother me that I can’t get everything else done and get around to what I want to do. I am not a patient person. But with Aria, I am. I just am. I don’t have to work at it (much). In fact, within a couple of weeks of Aria’s birth, I was thinking about giving her a sibling. Now, if that is not amazing, I don’t know what is, because it took 37½ hours of labor, mostly epidural-free, complete with hours upon hours of back labor and then 4+ hours of pushing (blessedly I had an epidural by then!) to give birth to Aria. I would think that would scare me, but it doesn’t. Hey, if I did it once, I can do it again! (Lord, please don’t let me have to do it again!!)
I’m in no way naïve. I’ve just started this motherhood gig, and Aria’s basically immobile and dependent, and has absolutely no words with which to talk back to me (that I can understand, at least). I know there will be days (weeks? months?) where I find the good attitude doesn’t come so easily. There are likely going to be times when I just plain don’t like her very much. But I am 100% certain I am right where God wants me to be, and I am looking forward to every stage of learning to love and teach my daughter about the good things of God. I’m loving these days of showing my daughter, through the grace of God, what a blessing it is to be her mommy.