June 11, 2014

On Motherhood

It's been a day, and it's not even 5 o'clock yet.

My baby is almost 10 weeks old and in that time I've come to realize that motherhood isn't all I thought it would be.

At the start of my day I drug my self to the kitchen to empty the dishwasher, only to find a bunch of unwashed dishes. Oh, let me tell you, we did turn on the dishwasher last night and remember to put soap in it.

Guess I'll be hand washing that crockpot.

Naemi woke up an hour later than "usual". That word is in quotations because we've gone through so much transition over the last 2 months that I'm not sure if anything is my life right now is consistent enough to be "usual".

I sang her a song, changed her diaper, played a little and then just as we sat down to nurse, she had a blowout. The majority of it leaked out a leg hole.

Crap, it got on the Boppy pillow. I'll have to hand scrub it since the cover is still in the wash from the last explosion.

I changed her and we finished nursing. Fifteen minutes later when we were having more playtime before her nap, she spit up. A lot. All I could think of was how much she's been spitting up lately.

Is something in my diet giving her reflux? What will I eat if I have to give up dairy?? Or could it be peanuts? I did eat a lot of trail mix yesterday. And a peanut butter sandwich. What if it was all that ice cream I had the other night? How long does it take for food to get passed on to breastmilk? I'm probably not being a good mom by eating cereal every morning. I mean, I eat the healthier stuff and put fruit in it, but it's probably still just non-organic processed crap. I should grow my own blueberries.

Once Naemi was asleep I got to work on tonight's dinner. Thank goodness I started it in the morning so it'd be ready by tonight.

First I let the potato water boil all over the stove. Then I burned my finger on the pot. Ouch. And as I was mashing the potatoes up in a too-small bowl, I notice a rather large piece of wrapper from the butter amidst the mush.

Good thing we're not having company tonight.

When I finally made it to lunch time, at the same moment I heard my sleeping baby start to wail in the next room over, I spilled peanut butter all over the counter.

I thought this was the "no stir" kind?! How is there that much oil in this stuff?? I should have just taken a nap instead of eating lunch. Or done more unpacking. This place is such a wreck.

I ran to the back room, licking peanut butter off my hands along the way, and comforted my little girl back to sleep.

Did she wake up because she's not tired anymore? Am I doing her more harm than good by responding to her every little cry? Did I remember to turn down the air enough so she doesn't overheat? I probably did a bad job swaddling her, and that's why she keeps waking up. Maybe I didn't play with her enough before putting her down. I should get some toys for her. Good moms give their babies high-contast colored toys to play with so they stay ahead developmentally. I'll go to Target later.

I'm sitting here now, reflecting over my day so far, and I can't help but hear the voice of God through it all.

I hear him telling me that it's okay, that I'm not a failure at this thing called motherhood, and that somehow, someday Naemi won't remember all the things I did "wrong".

She won't remember that I didn't get a perfect, piping hot dinner on the table (at least not before 9pm) or that she spent more days that not in just a diaper and a bib because the time and energy for the laundry alone wasn't worth it after all the spit up, drool, and diaper messes. She won't care that the house wasn't picked up or that she slept in a pack-n-play until 3 months of age. It won't matter to her that I didn't wash my hair or change my spit-up-laiden shirt for days.

What she'll remember is being loved. When she's older and comes to me or Dave with a skinned knee, a broken heart, or shattered dreams, it'll be because she can trust us. Because she knows we care for her.

The memories of these early days may not stay with her, but she'll carry with her the foundation we laid of love. The love that we showed her from spending time with her when we could be doing our own thing, changing her diaper again after it was just changed, patiently feeding her, staying up with her when she didn't feel well, cuddling her when she was tired, taking the time to teach her about life and the world around her.

Motherhood isn't all I thought it would be. It isn't glamorous or clean or restful, and it certainly is not easy. But it's good. Loving on another person (much like in marriage) makes for so much richer of a life than I ever imagined. Getting up in the middle of the night to tend to Naemi's needs, even more so after a particularly exhausting day, is an extraordinary blessing.

What I'm trying to get at is that this little person is worth so much more than any of the "stuff"that parents concern themselves with-- cloth or disposable diapers, bottle or breastfed, co-sleep or not, Babywise or attachment parenting… the list goes on (don't get me wrong-- those things do have some value).

And in the end, when I feel like a failure as a mom and wife for the mess of a day I've had, I can rest in knowing that I did my best to love her.


  1. My favorite line:
    "I should grow my own blueberries."

    I think you are an awesome mommy...and I haven't even seen you mommy-ing :)

  2. ^LOL!!! I was so laughing at that too... "I should grow my own blueberries". OMG Judy that is so you and so why I love you so much and we are best friends. You are so perfect. You really are. And you try so hard at everything you do - your heart is always at 100%. You need to give yourself more credit; you're a new mother and moving into a new place, all at once. If that isn't overwhelming, I don't know what is. I heard a quote the other day that I really loved: if you want to be the perfect mother, don't have children.

    I love you