Family Life · Heather

Being a Mother

Last night, I was going to go to bed at about 9:30. And then MM woke up–she had gone to bed at about 8:15, but she thought that was just a nap and wanted to play. It was either play or cry, and Dillon took her for an hour, and then I took her until midnight, when she finally got tired again. I’m fine with doing that, but I just wish she would warn me, because I get really cranky when I’m falling asleep and I have to get up again. We ended up on the floor of her nursery, playing with her toys. Her favorite toy is her small toy box–she’ll take all the toys out, inspecting them one by one, tipping the box so she can reach them.

Being a mother is harder than I expected: MM has resisted routines for most of her life. Or maybe I’m the one who has resisted them. Either way, settling into a routine has just never happened for us. Random problems arise that I don’t know how to deal with–constipation, not going to sleep, how to introduce solids and how much to feed her, grabbing for everything, not enjoying sitting through church, etc.

But then again, it’s better than expected too. She just grabbed on to my pants and pulled herself into standing. She’s almost crawling (though you can almost be crawling for a long time). She’ll be in crawling position and put her feet on the ground as if she’s trying to stand, which is impossible to do from crawling position since there’s no leverage. She laughed and laughed with me the other day, both of us giggling so hard.

It’s a gigantic roller coaster ride of really high ups and low downs, and yet I’m glad I’m on it. I have my bad moments, but good moments too.

Yesterday, Dillon had to work, and I made a list of things I wanted to talk to him about when he got home. so after eating some meatloaf, we just talked and talked and planned and budgeted and ate chocolates (those were supposed to be for Christmas) for the rest of the day. I needed that talk with my husband. I need him, really, because I can’t do this life alone. I can’t be a parent alone (well, I guess I could, but not very well). He makes it possible for me to be a mom.

Being a stay-at-home mom is not “just” being a mom. I think it would be easier to ship my baby off for a while. I may not be busy, technically, but this little one needs constant care and attention. She needs a mom almost 24/7. She needs someone to worry over her and feed her and put her to sleep. She needs someone to keep track of her, to hold her when she’s cranky, to bathe her, nurse her, feed her, love her.

That’s my job. It’s not too intellectually hard (though sometimes I’m not sure what to do), or physically hard (except the lack of sleep sometimes), but it is crazy emotional hard to keep doing it, all the time, with only a few breaks.

But I love it so, so much. I don’t have any desire to work–in fact, I want more of this, eventually–more kids, more dedication to being their mom. I mean, MM loves me so much, and trusts me, and wants my attention all the time. I make her smile. I make her laugh. Her forgiveness for mistakes is immediate. She is so adorable so much of the times and I love seeing her grow and helping her learn. I love her so, so much.

I’ll only get this time of my life for a few short years–they grow up quickly. If I have four kids, two years apart (that’s somewhat random), that’s like 24 years of them being home. Only around 12 years until they all are in school full-time. And if I live until I’m 80, that’s only 30% of my life when I get to have my kids as kids. Not very much at all.

So I can stay up until midnight playing with a baby who really should be asleep. It’s really, really worth it.

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