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Adjustments


By sox - Posted on 12 September 2006

I've been feeling a bit blue lately, and I've been pondering why. It could be the lack of sleep or the hormones that are probably still running rampant in my body. I think it's partly those things, but I think a larger part is the fact that it's taking me longer than I thought it would to adjust to being a mother. And I think that frustrates me, makes me feel guilty and makes me feel less of a mother.

Most of my friends had kids before me, so I've had lots of little glimpses of how my life would change. But I knew that I'd never really know what motherhood would be like until I actually became a mother. I was somewhat prepared for the lack of sleep and the lack of confidence, but I wasn't very well prepared for the huge shift in my focus, from me and my relationship with Greg to this little boy. And I wasn't at all prepared for the feelings of missing my old life. I don't miss it all the time, but I thought by now I'd be all settled into being a mother, and it would just feel natural. Tiring, but natural.

It makes me wonder about having another child. Both Greg and I had always envisioned having two kids. We both have siblings and enjoy them, and it seems like a very good plan in theory. And I see my friends who have older kids and it's great to see the siblings interact. But I don't know how I'd get through the first few years!

And I'm feeling all this despite the fact that I have a pretty darn happy little guy, and a very involved husband. How would I cope if child number two wasn't as easy as Sprout?

I do know that it hasn't been six months of feeling blue. I've had plenty of happy days, and Greg, Sprout and I have had some fabulous family days together. I just want to get to a point where I stop comparing my current life to my old one. Where I can focus on the present and enjoy this first year off that I have with Sprout, and think about the joys the future has in store for Greg and I. Seeing Sprout grow up, spending time as a family, and yes, getting some time in there for just me.

To be completely honest, I think that part of the challenge is the pressure we feel that every moment as a parent should be lovely - so when reality happens and certain moments are crappy, then there is inevitable disappointment.... and I am not just talking about the projectile vomiting crying infant moments, I am also talking about the quiet moments when a parent is with their child, and nothing is wrong but the parent stills feel sad/grumpy/lonely/tired. I know I romanticize my memories, and parenthood as a concept, so when I have a crappy moment, it just makes it that much crappier that I feel that I shouldn't be having it. Does that make sense, or did I just talk in circles?

One quote I like says that "happiness is the feeling you are having when you want to keep having it" - simple, but true.

...and K's right...the fun has hardly begun! You will eventually reach the stage when they are far more independant, and far more interactive. That's when you really start to know this new person in your life and the good times, interesting times, far outweigh the hard work of the day-to-day routine. And it really is hard work! Laundry that never ends, cleaning, cooking, feeding, changing, and of course the interrupted nights. It's a 24 hour job, but it won't be like this for much longer. I guess I can't say you won't be doing all the mundane stuff in the years to come, but you will be getting more out of the experience. There's a good reason why a lot of women go out to work though, and I think it's mostly because the mundane isn't enough for most of us. Also, I must say my favourite memories of my first year with Liam, are those of going for crazy loooong walks all over town with him in the stoller. We'd pack up snacks, and clothes for all we might encounter, and I'd start walking towards the water, downtown, the village...wherever I felt like, often with a play at a park along the way. We'd always come home feeling really good! I say we, because I think Liam liked to get out and see the world as much as I did.

And if you want another way to kick the blues...there's always this:

http://www.babyblues.com/Testing/index.php?formname=getstrip&GoToDay=01/08/96

Thanks for reminding me Michelle about the kinds of adventures I used to go on with E. Those adventures stopped shortly after she started walking (since she would no longer tolerate the stroller for very long), but they were wonderful and I loved them.

Thanks for the words of encouragement...I appreciate it!

I certainly still have moments where I think back to my life without a child and think how much time I had. Because now time seems in such short supply.

But just wait until Sprout starts giving you more in the way of a connection. Sure he does cute things now, but for me it was when E started talking and communicating to me, letting me know what she was thinking and feeling, that I really started to enjoy motherhood. Now I simply can't imagine a life without E, nor can I imagine missing out on the experience of being a mom and sharing my life in a way that is simply different than the way I share it with my husband.

I'm guessing that you will stop making comparisons the further away you get from your childless life and the more time you spend as a parent. But I'm also pretty sure that Sprout will continue to give you reasons to forget.

...you are doing a fabulous job!!!

I still think about my "old" life, and then I think that people always pine for the good ol' days, forgetting that things weren't always better back then. You only remember the good times so the past always looks better.

For me, I recognize that "life" can't be defined by any one moment..it is the collection of moments one has. I look forward to what the next day will bring.

I am sure in a little while you will look back and think, "man, those were the good ol' days"!!