Right now I resemble a Mombie. The half asleep, yesterday’s mascara sporting, only-a-little-bit-of-spit-up-on-it shirt wearing, new momma. I grab the baby monitor and cross my fingers hard if I venture into the shower without adult reinforcements in the house. I choose between the leggings with the coffee spilled on them, or the leggings with the breast milk dripped on them. I don’t attempt my regular jeans yet because it’s too much effort when I know the leggings will fit. I live in a fog. My head is in the clouds and my hormones are right on up there too. Most nights I am asleep before my head hits the pillow.
Sound familiar? Are you there right now too?
The days are long. So. Long. It’s hard to remember what you were sitting down for. Or the last time you sat down other than to feed a baby. What did I get up for? Oh, my own lunch. No, to send an email. No, to clean up that sticky spot on the kitchen floor that has been bugging me. Well, I’m up now, guess I’ll start with the sticky spot so I can wash my hands after and be prepared to make lunch.
And those kinds of thoughts are the thoughts that make you feel like a genius! You just thought of the simplest plan of attack! Yeah, momma!
The nights are long. You’re looking at the clock and swearing you were up 10 minutes ago, when it was actually 2 hours and 10 minutes ago. The creepy piggy bank in the nursery watches your every move. You know he would know what time you actually woke up the last time. You throw a burp rag over the piggy’s face so you don’t have to deal with him anymore. Smug pig.
Sometimes you think you could stare at your baby all day long. Which part is the most perfect? The tiny fingers or the little baby hair curls? Does baby look like Daddy or me today? Do you love it most when they heave big sighs or when they make little sleep smiles? You can’t decide. You wonder who they will grow up to be. Will they be fiercely independent or will they live with you until they are 30? They sleep-smile and that’s when you decide they can live with you as long as they want.
You wish you could come out from your tired state and carry on a deep and thought provoking conversation once again. Remember the days of coffee shop dates and late night dinners with friends? Now you would love to be functional past 10:00! Remembering the words you’re searching for would also be nice. The deepest thoughts you have are usually about children’s cartoon character’s lives. (Mostly you wonder how Caillou’s parents haven’t shipped him off to boarding school yet!)
The days you’re waiting for do come though.
That day you wish you weren’t so reliant on the paci. The day comes where he doesn’t need the paci anymore.
The day you wish your daughter could feed herself so you don’t have to get up at night anymore. That day comes. Soon she will be able to pour her own cereal.
The day comes when you don’t have to dress them anymore.
Or brush their teeth.
Or kiss their owies.
But the days come where they tell you they love you. They speak in full sentences and communicate their needs without throwing tantrums. You can trust them to behave at their friend’s houses. They use their manners. You don’t get worried when they are quiet. They have big dreams and ideas and they love to tell you about them.
It’s a trade off. Sometimes it stings and you’d give anything to turn back into a Mombie, just to experience your baby needing you for a night feeding just one more time. It’s okay to mourn those days gone by where the last time you put a band aid on was the last time you would have to do it. It’s okay to miss moving them to their beds because they fell asleep in the car. It’s okay to want them to kiss you with sticky strawberry jelly faces just once more.
At the same time, it’s okay to be proud that they can buckle themselves. It’s okay to be relieved that they can turn on their own TV show on Saturday morning without waking you up. It’s normal to be happy when they are diaper-free and successful! Those rewards are huge! They can help around the house, and they are considerate of others!
I imagine my baby as a grown up and what a huge job that is. Am I about to raise someone to be an adult? Can I still kiss him on the forehead? 🙂 Will this be someone’s husband? Someone’s Dad? Will he graduate college and be financially independent one day? He’s probably going to have a full time career and I hope it is fulfilling. We are going to teach him to love Jesus. How is he going to live that out? I’m already prepared to be so proud of him.
If I didn’t introduce him to solids, he couldn’t eat and wouldn’t have a need to pour his own cereal. If I didn’t help him, he couldn’t brush his own teeth. If I didn’t teach him to love and to say it, and if I didn’t show it to him myself, he couldn’t tell me he loved me too.
Those days will come, momma. Days where we get full-length showers and don’t cry at Pepsi commercials. Days with hot meals and being on time again. Days with clean clothes and a decent memory. They will come again.
So for now, keep doing tummy time so that some day they can hold their head up high. Keep wiping their tears so that someday they can be compassionate to someone else. Keep giving them your little finger so someday they reach for your hand.