This new baby has been quite the journey for me. For 17 years all of my days and nights were spent in a season of early motherhood. Yes, my children grew and I had older ones too, but because I always had a baby and toddlers, I was also constantly in that very small children, sleep-deprived state. After five years of 'moving on' and thinking that early stage was over for me, I was not excited about returning to it. My personal philosophy has always been 'do diapers as long as you need to but once you're out, NEVER return'! I think I have felt that way just because being a mother of a newborn and toddlers is so exhausting---always!! There is no way around it.
On Sunday, I had a realization. I had this experience. I was in the nursery. A mother was in there with her just barely 18 month old. He was not interested in being in nursery. He was very sad, but managed as long as he was on his mother's lap. Well, she was ready to go to class. So she plopped him in my lap, while he screamed for her and off she went. He cried for most of an hour, not loud and horrible, but little things would set him off again. He sat with me most of the time. After about an hour, my other nursery worker said, we had better take him to his mother. I agreed. As I watched and participated in the process, I realized that there was a time when I was that mother. Not that she did anything wrong, because I do not think she did. But in that moment, I realized that I am not that mother anymore. I have grown. I was no longer 'wishing away' the little years. I was no longer looking for and waiting for ME time. I was committed and completely invested in this journey of motherhood.
It is a really good thing too. This little baby is just that---a little baby. He is much younger than all of my other babies at this age, if that makes any sense. At 9 months old, he still will not hold his own bottle, will not fall asleep by himself, nurses 7-8 times during the day and 2-3 times at night. Even though he is crawling and can crawl up stairs, he hasn't realized that he can sit up in bed or stand in the crib so he just lays there and screams. Now that he pulls himself up to stand next to the couch or furniture, he doesn't know he can get down. So when he is done standing, he yells for someone to come and help him back to the floor. He is totally capable of doing those things, he just doesn't know that he can yet.
What if I were the mother I was at the beginning---impatient with the process and always looking for ME time?? I would not be the mother THIS child needs. My previous experiences have prepared me for the here and now. He needs me the way I am, not the way I was. I am ready today to be his mother.
Each and every child is a gift---a divine gift of love. Each is a precious gift from God. My ability to have more is a divine gift and responsibility. It is a blessing and a privilege. A few months of physical inconvenience, of trial and stress so another soul can have a lifetime of experience? Why wouldn't I make the sacrifice if I am able? Why wouldn't I?
Today I am the right mother for THIS child....tomorrow I may be ready for someone else....
As a side note, I have been cleaning off an old computer. Take a look at some of my favorites: 'THEN and NOW'
|Photo by Olan Mills THEN|
|Sport, Scuff, Spanky, & Slim THEN|
|Scuff and friend NOW|
|Sport--not quite NOW|
|Speedy--not quite NOW|
|Little Sun THEN|
|Sun, Shorty, Smiley, (NOW) & Spike (THEN)|