Friday, May 11, 2012
Severen is 19 weeks old today! He still has 20 weeks to go before he has lived outside my belly as long as he lived inside, but he has made a lot of progress and changed our lives a lot in this short amount of time. I found a list of things that I wrote when he was just under 2 months old and, as I read it, I realized "Oh my gosh. This is getting easier." People tell you this will happen with babies and you want to believe them, but sometime it just feels so hard you can't imagine anything else. Well, here is some proof in favor of the "it gets easier/better/more rewarding" argument - some before-and-after mom-land notes for you.
1. One of the biggest challenges is how to manage my time. And by "my time" I mean the time when Severen is napping or with his dad. If I have an hour and a half while Severen is sleeping, do I use that time to do something for the family (laundry, cleaning, dinner prep, bills, etc.) or to do something for me (yoga, working on the shop, reading, etc.)? It's not an obvious answer, most of the time, and no matter what I choose I usually end up feeling guilty. Tricky, very tricky.
12 weeks later . . . Yep, this is still hard. But three things have helped make it better. One, I take him with me on errands. Two, he takes more predictable naps. And three, I have seriously adjusted my expectations for what can be accomplished in a day. There are some nights when we eat cheese and crackers for dinner. There are some (ok, lots) of days when the only laundry that gets done is Severen's. There are giant dust bunnies under my bed. Ehh.
2. I am amazed at how challenging breast feeding has been. I should have known that any activity that has trained specialists (i.e. lactation consultants) who make themselves available via 24-hour hotlines is not for wimps. Still, I figured doing the natural thing would be pretty self explanatory. Nuh uh. I'll be honest, I thought about giving up many times. My mom says that Severen and I are two parts of an engine. Well, after a few break downs and several tune ups I think we are back on the road again. We've nursed over 600 times now. Wow.
12 weeks later . . . Well, we've easily nursed close to 2000 times at this point. We are in the "reward" phase - all the hard work and not so good stuff we dealt with early on is paying off. People told me we would get here and we have. It is a natural part of my day/night and a relaxing time for both of us. Nursing is something I am really, really going to miss. I will never forget it.
3. As much as I miss having Soren around during the days he has to be at work, it is really awesome to have him come home in the evening and see Severen with fresh eyes. Hearing him say, "Oh he is so beautiful!" sort of pushes the re-set button for me after a long day of diaper changing and baby soothing.
12 weeks later . . . This is still true. I love watching the son-Dad reunion that happens at our house every afternoon/evening. It is mighty sweet.
4. I feel sort of bad saying it, but part of me wants Severen to grow up really fast. Why? Because I feel like as he becomes more and more himself that I will have a chance to go back to being "me." Some days (OK most days) I feel like he and I are one person. We move together, we sleep at the same times, we eat the same things . . . I guess that is what happens when the needs of another person dictate the actions of your day. I feel a little lost in motherhood right now.
12 weeks later . . . I am feeling less lost. Most of that is due to my metal/physical healing from labor and delivery and my adjustment to a vastly different routine. I also had to get over a lot of insecurity related to being a full-time mom (I'm still working on that . . . that's a post for another time). Also, Severen IS growing up really fast. I guess I got my wish. He is getting more independent and capable every day.
5. I am thirty-one and I am not an expert on anything. I don't have a field of study that I have mastered and I have a habit of hopping from one profession to the next, which makes it hard to build on skills. But I have the feeling that I am going to be an expert on Severen. I spend so much time with him and I just know what he needs. I wonder if I will always be to tuned-in to him or if this is just a baby thing. It is powerful, beautiful and terrifying.
12 weeks later . . . For the first time in my life, I feel really, really good at something. Something important. Thanks for that, Severen.