I’m exactly 72 days into parenting. 10 weeks and some change. At this particular moment I’m sitting at Whole Foods, large latte and muffin beside me, while a dear friend is with my little prince. I’m rested, showered and happy to be out. And —finally, reflecting on motherhood. Lesson number 1: reflection goes out the window when you’re a new mom. Who has the time to reflect? Life is a daily grind and a constant shuffle of strategic attempts to keep your baby fed, sleeping and dry. Success is momentary: I got the baby to sleep (bonus points if it’s in one of the actual sleeping designations versus in my arms); he seems full, he had a good poop, a good burp, good toots … the fanfare over bodily functions is no small thing! Success also comes in the form of a shower, getting out of the house, a lovely stroller ride where my little one doesn’t scream his head off and a successful stroll around the house or Target with Eliot in the ergo. I don’t even feel reflective enough to say, “it’s the little things” because it IS the little things—they are BIG things, and every triumph is in earnest these days.
That said, today I’m reflecting. I’m reflecting and eating a piece of cake masked as a muffin (german chocolate muffin, seriously Whole Foods?) because really I’m celebrating my most recent success, which is a sleep schedule. For 8 consecutive days I’ve put Baby E down at 8 PM and he’s slept, minus two brief feedings, until 8 AM. I know enough to know not to get too attached to the good or the bad during these changing baby days but still [for now] … if I’m dealing with a good sleeper, this is a game changer. (I can’t help the optimism; it’s in my DNA!) When Eliot (and I would think this goes for ALL babies) gets good naps and good sleep at night, the world is a better place. Cue the chirping birds.
A few words about Eliot: He’s such a delight. He’s giving away smiles in spades these days and mostly just looks at me and the world around him with these big, curious dirt-brown eyes … like he knows something the rest of us don’t. He loves taking baths with me—loves being submerged in the water; he’s pretty chill with most people and often calms down when we go outside—the great equalizer, much like his mama. I can get lost with him most days in the cocoon of our home, listening to The Wiggles and reciting the nursery rhymes and rhythms I’m learning in baby yoga, provoking smiles and coos. Yesterday at BYOB (bring your own baby) Yoga another mom looked at us both and said, “He’s starting to look so much like you!” I just smiled, thinking of my little adopted embryo doppelgänger. What a little miracle, all of it.
It’s not all baby bliss. I get board. I get lonely. Occasionally I get blue. I’m impatient and cranky on days where the whining doesn’t seem to let up. But the mainstay of my mood has (thankfully) been one of optimism and gratitude. The love is real. And oh so sweet.
I’m heading back to work next week. Leaving my little cabbage with his “manny” (male nanny) starting Monday. His manny, who happens to live across the street, truly loves my little guy, which is the main comfort for a going-back-to-work mama. I’ll be working in three hour increments so in a way I’m dipping my toes into a world outside of baby. Still coming home to nurse. And before I know it he’ll be a quarter of a year old, then a year old, then in high school … make it stop!
If I have any true reflection from the past 72 days it is this: Parenting is a LOT of work. Babies are all need right out of the shoot, and unapologetically so. The crying jags are real; the witching hours (for us 5 PM-7 PM) are real, and the hormonal sways are real. But when I can totally surrender —generally what baby wants, baby gets —and maintain my sense of humor when plans are thwarted or baby makes a sport out of crying, the sweet moments are the sweetest of my life. And tomorrow is always a new day.
That’s all I got. (Literally. My time is up. Have to go relieve my friend and feed the baby!)
7 thoughts on “Parenting reflections on day 72”
thank you! (yeah, saying I’m late in my responses is a bit of an understatement, I know, haha). i just linked to your blog and that tomato soup!!! oh my!!
Been there. Our little 13403 boys are now 7 months and 17 months. Congratulations on your beautiful little boy!
Shanee, if I recall, this is the donor that I initially tried? It’s all such a blur now! And I realize you left this comment 1 1/2 YEARS ago, but I’m just now seeing it, haha. It’s so surreal to think that I was unsuccessful using your same donor. I would love to see your kids, or hear about them. Do you have a blog?
Hi Angela, I’ve thought of you several times as of late. My daughter had a preemie on Dec. 7 and it’s been so exhausting for us all – and so full of joy! I came back here to see how your journey with Elliot was and see that you’re too busy to post. No surprise there. Take care.
Mikki, congrats and I can well imagine what this season must be like for you all! I’m glad your daughter has you around to help and lean on! We are well and, as you guessed, keeping up with a toddler (19 months now) leaves me no time for blogging, although lately I’ve been missing the writing and reflecting. Maybe sooner than later I’ll pick it up again … there’s so much to say, really, about my gorgeous and funny little man … but when I start to drift off and write it out in my mind my son is usually eating dog food or something and I have to snap back to the present moment! I hope you are well and your practice is thriving!!
also, you inspired me to blog again … i just wrote a mostly-lame post, but it’s a start. so thank you! 🙂