For 7 months now, I’ve had the opportunity to stay at home with my first child. I know many people don’t get this opportunity and wish that they did. I know that it is a blessing but let me get honest- it hasn’t always felt that way and I haven’t always treated it that way. Cue the mom guilt.
The first couple months I was just learning how to navigate taking care of this tiny human who was solely dependent on me. So feedings, diaper changes, and trying to figure out why he was fussing was all I did. I was consumed by him. I loved it. But eventually, the new wore off and it got hard. I started feeling like I needed to breath and I couldn’t. I was tired, it was repetitive and trying to go anywhere outside of the house was difficult because a baby is basically like having a ticking time bomb in your purse.
I felt like I eventually “figured out” how to take care of him so then I began to try and fit me into the equation too. Slowly that became my goal. Which is a good goal to have. I fully agree with the sentiment of “you can’t fill others on an empty tank.” But once I started to add me to the equation, I became obsessed with it. It was no longer taking care of him and making sure I was full enough to do it. It became about “doing me” while fitting the baby in, instead. The roles reversed right in front of my eyes without recognizing it.
How can I do my devotion time with the Lord this morning (with a baby)?, how can I work out today (with a baby)?, how can work my business today (with a baby)?, how can I take a shower today (with a baby)?, how can I go where I want to go today (with a baby)?, and the list goes on. ME, ME, ME! I, I, I!
I’d feed him as soon as he would wake up, sit him in something and get right to what I “needed” to do. I couldn’t wait til the next nap so I didn’t have to worry about moving him from one place to the next when he started to cry when I was in the middle of something. I made my check list and he wasn’t in it.
GUYS! I was missing it. I was missing the WHOLE THING…
After feeding him I was missing the snuggles. After the snuggles I was missing the giggles. After the giggles I was missing the play time. Don’t get me wrong, I did take the opportunity every day to get a little giggle time in when I’d change him. And make him laugh in the high chair. But I wasn’t just soaking in what was going to pass me by in the blink of an eye.
Here I was, the same girl that cried in the hospital because I didn’t want the moment to be over. The same girl that cried every time someone told me the time was going to go by so fast. The same girl that held him all day long on the couch just staring at him the first few weeks.
But because I was drowning in motherhood the first two months, I went from one extreme to the next and forgot all the things that everyone told me about not blinking. In the back of my mind I knew it but I was on a mission to get back to me again and no one was gonna stop me.
then I looked at him the other day and remembered the tiny baby that couldn’t lift his head. The baby I swore I’d cherish every second with. The boy who slept right next to me in the bassinett 4 months ago. And I realized how far he’s come. Right in front of my eyes. And I couldn’t look up the last few months because I wanted to look in- selfishly.
So today, I fed him. I held him after. I tickled him. I played with him. I held him again.
I held out on nap time to just stare in his big eyes just a little longer.
I thought I “needed” certain things to be happy.
But what I need is to give it all to him while he wants all of me. Because one day, sooner then I realize, I won’t be his only muse. Til then, I put it all down to LOOK UP.