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April 11, 2013

Losing Control . . . As If I Ever Had It

This week I thought my life as a mother was spiraling out of control—out of my control, that is. With a mild stomach bug-ish thing and a twenty-poundish baby who’d decided to push back bedtime, get picky about naps, and be held, standing up, for the time it took him to fall asleep, I was just about losing it. The time John and I had gotten used to spending with each other in the evenings seemed a thing of the past.


I know that life with a little, little one means a whole lot of phases, and that they change when the baby needs them to, not when I think it would be convenient. Still, it is tough to find comfort in that when you’re in the middle of a phase you haven’t figured out how to deal with yet.


And that’s the harder part, I think—the figuring out. Every family needs to make sacrifices for one another, and once I know what that sacrifice is and understand why it’s important, I’ll do it (I might complain some, but I’ll do it). The time it takes to see the situation for what it is, before I can adjust expectations and routines to satisfy it, that’s the part that drives me nuts.


Thankfully, today at least, we seem to be on the other side of our most recent speed bump. Last night, John suggested we get the mobiles out for Henry. So far, they’re a hit—plus Jacob can crank one of them on his own, so I’m off the hook for that tedious task. This morning, I woke Henry up to go to Mass. Afterward, we took a long enough walk with him in the carrier—where he fit better than he ever has before—to have him sleep soundly for another hour once we got home. Now the boys are both in bed for naps at the same time, and I don’t feel like I’ll have to claw my way through the afternoon again. Dramatic? That’s what it feels like sometimes.


There are ups and there are downs in this motherhood thing. Sometimes it seems like there are more downs than ups. That’s probably not the case in reality, just what it seems like in the moment.


With every phase comes a challenge or six, but every phase also means our boys are becoming more and more of who they are meant to be. Henry is entering a new stage of babyhood this week. It means I need to adjust and be a mom, in the harder sense of the word. It also means I get to see him reach out for toys to play with, listen to him coo and screech at us with a big gummy smile, and watch him get a little stronger, a little more like a little boy each day.


The fact that I thought I was losing control this week is just downright silly. When did I have control to begin with? When do I think I’ll ever really have control? Never and never.


But when can I choose to make the best of the moment? To give myself permission to take the time to figure out what my kids need, even if it means I mess up a few times? Now and now.

  1. John says:

    Great post! Glad the mobiles are working well 😉 !

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