Sunday, April 25, 2010

Weekly Column: Everything Changes

One of the hardest parts for me about new motherhood was the lack of control. I knew what I needed the baby to do in order for us both to be happy and well rested, but actually getting her to DO it, was another story. Can you imagine the nerve of my baby – having a mind of her own?!

Even worse though, was the way I’d feel like we’d gotten into the hang of things, only for them to change again. The baby was finally taking naps in her own crib? She’d start teething and naps would become miserable. The baby was sleeping through the night? She’d hit a growth spurt and need a midnight snack. The baby was easing into solid foods? She’d get sick and refuse anything but liquid gold. The starts and stops of parenting were so confusing that I was sure we’d never settle into a comfort zone. How would I ever learn how to do this if the rules kept changing?

But I did learn, as we all do. We have to stop waiting for the moment when we’re finally in control, and instead, allow ourselves simply to see what each new day brings. The best we can do in mothering our babies is to keep in mind that the shape of the land is constantly shifting, and to hold on tight, enjoying even ground whenever it comes.

For us, even ground is still not a place on which we rest for long, but it’s becoming a more frequent layover as my girls have grown out of babyhood. The stops and starts aren’t so swift anymore; the lay of the land is becoming more plain to us. We can embrace change optimistically.

I just hope I can say the same when we reach junior high.

7 comments:

  1. i agree. at least you are acknowledging that there is really is no control over so much our kids do...etc. this drives me nuts and its very hard to admit and accept.

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  2. I LOVE this. It's soooo true. My 10 month old is going through those bumps right now. It's so hard to never know what to expect!! Thanks for posting this!

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  3. Great thoughts as always, Sarah!

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  4. And so it is in our home, too. I'm coming to realize with number two that I need to embrace both the even ground and the bumps. I think I'll miss both when they morph into new ground.
    So about Jr. High ... lol. :)

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  5. This is so well said: "We have to stop waiting for the moment when we’re finally in control, and instead, allow ourselves simply to see what each new day brings." Oh, the things motherhood has to teach us!

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  6. This is so true, Sarah! Things are definately in constant motion...the trick is staying fluid so you can go with the flow...which is way easier said than done.

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  7. Control...I can relate! Our children were with family today and my husband asked me why I was tense--I could only reply, "Because I'm not in control of my children and it's driving me crazy!" Just saying it aloud to him gave me a perspective of how control-freakish I sounded!
    Yes--I need to embrace change optimistically! Thanks for the reminder!

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Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?