Friday, 21 March 2014

Despair & Wonder

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I want to go on record as saying  that my son is a pretty cool little guy.

I realize you may not get this impression based on what I write here.  I admit the trying moments are much easier to write about than the good ones.  A common problem I'm sure.

There is a lot of despair involved with parenting.  (I say, with my 10.5 months of experience. Ha!)  There is also a lot of amazement and wonder.

one of the first photos of us together, despair & wonder rolled into one

Partially at our ability to keep him alive and safe and partially at his development into his own little self.  Watching him marvel at a blade of grass, discovering the fridge magnets, or his pure joy at emptying a drawer of hats and scarves is immensely enjoyable.  Savouring & documenting first mud stains and busted lips and bruised knees seems ridiculous and necessary.

And yet, I pause so infrequently to appreciate the journey this little man is going through.  While I complain it is all about him, a lot of the time it is all about me.  He doesn't need us to stay home so he can nap in the cot, Mummy needs him to nap in the cot because he'll sleep longer and she'll get a longer break.  But the reality is a 40 minute buggy nap while mummy sits in the sun reading a magazine is actually more restorative than an hour cot nap while mummy runs around the house like a mad woman so she can rest unfettered by the guilt of household chores for all of 10 minutes.

I can barely remember what my life was before this guy.  The horrid nights of crying on the bath mat are fading as well.  I long for a time when I won't be exhausted and can be a person on my own again.  But then I realize this won't happen.  He is permanently with me.  On the few occasions I leave the house without him he is still with me.  I see other mums and give them a smile that says, 'I feel you,' and they look at me like a crazy person because they don't see my invisible son.  They don't see that I am a mum too.

Sometimes I look at him and can't believe I am his mum.  That I am the person that can soothe him when he falls, that he actually wants to be with me all the time.  Me.  The woman who would rather not have to deal with children is obsessed with a child.

I live for nap time and take it personally when he only sleeps for 40 minutes.  But the look on his face when I walk into his room...I mean.  It's like he's won the lottery.  He doesn't know I'm selfish and require an extraordinary amount of 'me time' and that 40 minutes isn't going to keep mummy from going crazy.  All he knows is that his mummy has appeared and it's like Christmas to him. If he knew what Christmas meant.

It doesn't quite make up for the exhaustion at present, but I can see a glimmer of a future in which it will all seem worth it.

...back to your originally scheduled programming of parenting despair and mishaps.


  1. I am still giving moms in the market that smile. And my children are grown. The exhaustion is awful. The smiles are glorious. <3

  2. My husband and I can relate to this Ariel! There are days that I want to turn in my "parent card" and run away as far as possible. But then he flashes me a smile, laughs, or sings along to Mickey Mouse and I melt. Sleeping has never been easy for us or him. I think he rather just be up learning and taking in all that his little world has to offer. I just wish every now and then he felt the need to rest! :)

  3. I'm reading this just as Elsie has finally fallen asleep for her nap - your words ring 100% true as I had hoped to run around the house like a mad woman doing chores. However she has fallen asleep ON ME so maybe I will just stay here and read my magazine! It is Saturday after all! Xxx

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