Saturday, July 21, 2012

Confessions of a Stay-at-home Mom - Vol. 2


I wrote the following [bolded] text on June 13th, 2012...

Yesterday morning, before Brooks woke up, Adam and I were in our bed oohing and awing over our sweet, smiling Ava. Adam looked at the clock on his dresser and knew he needed to get up and get ready.  I hopped up first to go brush my teeth while he held Ava for another minute...then he brought her into the bathroom and proceeded to hand her to me.  And what did I do?

I said, "Just a minute."

I just wanted a few more minutes of me-time...but I also knew Adam had spent extra time with us in bed and needed to get to work, so I couldn't argue. And as I reluctantly took her into my tired arms I said, "Well you just imagine having another human pretty much connected to your body 23 hours of the day." Yep, those words came out of my mouth. I love my daughter to the moon, so why would I say such a thing?? Well, she's the type of babe that not only likes to be held, but needs to be held, almost all the time.  Adam and I joke about Ava being our little Jekyll and Hyde...one minute you'll see her smiling in her Bumbo seat and it takes all your self-control not to just eat her and her chubby thighs for breakfast; then the next minute she'll pop out her bottom lip and proceed to cry (which sometimes ends in screams with decibels that are probably not good for the human ear) and can only be consoled by being held, nursed, and/or walked around until she falls asleep. And when we try to lay her down once she's asleep, even in a deep sleep, she wakes up. So she either sleeps in my Baby Bjorn during the day, so I can get things done around the house, or is in my arms...night time too.  I'll be the first to admit that I once said, "We'll never co-sleep." Welp, that went out the window. I have found I absolutely love having her tiny body, and sweet baby-smell, next to me all night...it's just that this Mama is beginning to not sleep very well.

Okay, back to my little story about this morning...Adam was getting ready, I took Ava over to the rocking chair to nurse her, and proceeded to get on my phone. I read a blog post that made me smile, yet also stung my mama-heart that had just been so selfish. In the post, this quote was shared:

INTERRUPTIONS
"When you are exasperated by interruptions, try to remember that their very frequency may indicate the value of your life. Only people who are full of help and strength are burdened by other persons' needs. The interruptions which we chafe at are the credentials of our indispensability. The greatest condemnation that anybody could incur -and it is a danger to guard against - is to be so independent, so unhelpful, that nobody ever interrupts us, and we are left comfortably alone."
-Anonymous, from The Anglican Digest

What a beautiful perspective. A reminder I definitely needed today. I've been experiencing these interruptions for over 3 years now. Pregnancy counts in my book, even though I loved just about every minute of my pregnancies, for real. Okay, I'm a walking contradiction.  I pray to God that I'll cherish every bit, the good and the bad, of my children's time being babies...even when they're both needing me at the same time and I'm at the end of my rope and it takes all of my self control not to lock myself in the bathroom for just 5 minutes of me-time.
{ I took this photo on June 13th also }

 I almost forgot about this post I had started just over a month ago.
And as I write this second part, both of my babes are asleep, Brooks in his crib and Ava in her bassinet(!).  That time of Ava being connected to my hip was really just a couple of months...but it sure seemed longer at the time. You definitely learn about yourself when you become a parent, because I have learned I need my space, and that me-time is pretty vital for my sanity. But knowing that  I was giving of myself while wearing her so that she felt secure and loved according to her needs, made it all worth it.

This whole mom-gig is hard. Really hard. I felt like I got the baby-thing down with Brooks...so I was all ready for baby #2! But Ava has turned out to be a totally different species (I'm not just talking the plumbing;) so I've had to start from scratch. And this toddler-business...I'm pretty sure that little side-kick-Brooks of mine has made me laugh on a daily-basis more than anyone. :) Yet, I've also cried countless tears because of him...not that he's made me cry, but because I have felt so overwhelmed with the task of raising a thoughtful, level-headed (oh the meltdowns!), productive, adventurous (I think Brooks has been experiencing some anxiety lately), sharing, obedient (sometimes I think he understands "yes" to be "no", and "no" to be "yes"), and loving boy. Communicating with him is difficult, I know he's way behind in the standard of what a boy his age should be able to say, and that just exaserbates everything.  Thank goodness for a sweet husband who listens to me and literally wipes my tears when I need to just let it all out.

But like that quote said, remembering that when I feel exasperated by interruptions, I need to try to remember that their very frequency may indicate the value of my life.  And in that case, my life is of GREAT value. ;) And before I know it, the tugging at my shirt, the grocery store meltdowns, the middle-of-the-night feedings, and the endless loads of laundry full of tiny clothes will be memories. So for now, I'm going to do my best to be the mother of these children God wants me to be. Not a perfect mother, but a mother who's trying her best.

And I think I'll share a bowl of ice-cream with Brooks when he wakes up from his nap. Because, why not? :)


15 comments:

Sunshine Promises said...

Hay,

Thank you so much for posting this very real and raw post. Every other stay at home mom out there knows EXACTLY what you are talking about.

One of the reasons that being a mother is so rewarding is that it requires everything single part of you. That's something that you can't fully understand until you live it. As a mother, you have to reach deeper and endure longer than you ever have before. And sometimes that can be exhausting.

For what it's worth, I think you are doing an amazing job. Ava and Brooks are blessed to call you Mommy.

Love you, sis . . .

Bri!!! said...

I think this is hands down my favorite post of yours. It is so sweet and so real. Loved it. I got teary reading it, and thank you for sharing.

There was a quote on pinterest that has had me thinking so much lately.

"Your children will become who you are; so be who you want them to be"

In some ways that quote terrifies me in some aspects. I have such a long way to go. Children put up a mirror that helps us to see who we are good and bad.

The part that touched me the most is the end when you said you are trying your best. That is all we can really do. Our babies will know we adored them even though we feel like we are failing miserably in some aspects.

Thanks for this sweet girl.

Bri!!! said...

just commenting again so I can get the follow up comments;-).

Emma said...

You are such a sweet mother. And I definitely feel your pain... It is so so hard, yet so so rewarding. Loved that quote, thanks so much for sharing :):)

Ashley {hudson's happenings} said...

What a wonderfully honest and amazing post, from one of my favorite friends...and one of the best mothers that I have the privilege of observing from afar. I think every Mama out there can relate to so many of your words! Things can be really hard, then things can be so delightful that you just might burst from happiness, and in a matter of minutes, things can be really hard again...that is the life we are living, and we are entrusted to do the most important job in the world (which just also happens to be one of the most trying jobs!): raising these little humans. Whew. How about we just give ourselves a big pat on the back. And a big "Atta Girl!". Because we never know what the next day will bring...but we know that whatever it is, we CAN do it...we CAN have almost superhuman strength when it comes to the LOVE and PATIENCE we show these little babes of ours.

Hang in there, Haley...you are doing a wonderful job. And it's like you said: "you are doing your BEST" and THAT is what matters most. Lots of love to you, girl! xoxoxo

Gaby said...

I'm not a mom yet (soon hopefully...) but I so appreciate reading those posts that feel so real. Posts that show the good, and the bad. I feel confident though in saying that you're doing great! x

Erica said...

Such a sweet pic with those babies fast asleep in your arms. What a lovely moment to capture.

And, wow, can you juggle two kids or what?!! You're a pro!

Chelsea said...

i swear i could have written this entire post myself. this is SO me too at the moment.

Oh mother hood!

*That picture is too adorable though of you and the kids!

Eva Marie said...

Everything you said I feel on a daily basis.. its the sweet with the I need a break for a few moments.. and than you yearn to just be with them at all times..its crazy this parenting things..

Ava sounds like my Liv was.. "spirited" I like to call it.. it was hard.. not that all babies aren't "hard" at some point but Liv gave me a go of it.. so I feel yeah.

big hugs your an awesome mama

Chelsee said...

This post explains my current life to a tee. A two-year old with okay communication and a new baby girl that is completely different than the first. It's amazing how much you forget about your first baby and how much isn't the same from the first too. Thank you for this great reminder! The quote is exactly what I needed to hear to remind me that God has given me these children at this moment and I need to savor that (even if that does mean ice cream after a boy's sweet nap.) Good luck to you!

Aly said...

Thank you so much for posting this. Sometimes I feel like it is just me who goes through this. I have a 2 year old son and a one year old daughter, and they keep me on my toes. I had a grocery store meltdown moment today. I was "that" mom in the grocery, trying to keep my son from putting all the candy from the check out lane in our cart. I then carried his screaming flailing body out to the car while trying to steady a cart full of groceries and my worried 1 year old. It was crazy at the moment, but now I can laugh, thinking of how tight his grip was on those fruit mentos.
I'm so glad I found your blog!!!
Aly
http://alyandtheboos.blogspot.com

SARAH said...

Whew, you mamas are a brave, strong bunch. We not-mamas have a lot to learn from you.

Tara and Ricky said...

Thanks for that post Haley! I needed it today:)

Our Story said...

This made me tear up. Thanks so much for posting this! It's so nice to know that I am not alone in experiencing these moments as a mom. Your honesty is beautiful and it has blessed my life in more ways than I can say. Thanks so much for sharing, I love reading your blog! :) ps. I am from Vancouver too - I have no idea how we never met!

kylie said...

haley,

you amaze me. i hope you know you are my mommy super hero example. it's so true. you look gorgeous every single day and are always so sweet and kind and saying the most adorable things. your love for motherhood and your family is oozing from your blog. that is why i keep coming back to read your posts. you are wonderful and your kids are just so great.

xo
ky

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