Friday, April 27, 2012

Being Mom, Take Two

Your eyes are glassy, blinking slowly as you nurse. I sit here, watching you and run my fingers through your wispy, brown hair. It's growing; I stroke the new layer that clings close to your forehead, and with each stroke, your eyelids briefly close. Your hand rests on my chest: a connecting touch, a point of shared energy. It's midday, and you haven't napped at all. Your gums are stressed, feeling the push of three teeth trying to make their way through. I've tried to put you in bed once, you immediately noticed the change in position, and you cried. So here we are again, in our rocking chair, our favorite spot.

I think back on all of the times I've rocked and rocked and rocked. I think about the sleepless nights, long days. I see me, a much younger, much more impatient mother, feeling frustrated. Being mom, a second time, has brought so many changes. Sure there are the simple lessons learned-- don't overheat the baby food, don't put the Q-tip in the ear too far, a baby doesn't really need all of the items you think they do...

But beyond that, I feel like I've learned or am learning about what is truly important. About time. About connecting. About patience (most of the time... This will always be a challenge!). About seeing their needs and meeting them there, rather than being attached to my agenda and desires. I'm content to sit in this rocking chair for two hours when she is teething and just needs to feel secure while she sleeps. I'm seeing how parenting the boys is changing as they grow. How they need me in a slightly different way than they have before.

I'm accepting myself, my mothering right where it is. I trust that I am always learning, and I am practicing being open to what comes my way. I am learning that I do not need to aspire to perfection- that will always set myself up for failure! Instead, I can aspire to be the best mom that I can be, right here, right now, recognizing and being open to what my children need.

I think back to when the boys were small, and I sometimes feel like I failed them somehow. I question myself- was I too impatient, too frustrated, too selfish? Did I give them what they needed? Did I connect with them enough? Did I wish away time?

But the bottom line is I did the best I could for where I was. They are happy and healthy boys. They are well-adjusted. They are awesome kids, and I'm proud of how they are growing up.

I'm proud of how I'm growing up, too. I'm working on my next set of 40 day goals, and I'm pretty sure one is going to focus on no more apologies! At least not for things that I can't change about myself and the past. I want to keep focusing on being present and also living authentically. Finding out more about who I am and what drives me and then setting intentions to live that truth. And not worrying about being judged (mostly being judged by myself!) I think it will be a great process!

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