And Then There Were Four

We're creating this blog because it's the cool thing to do when people are having a baby. Just kidding, really we already have a hard enough time keeping up with everyone we want to, and our lives are about to get even more wonderfully busy. We can't wait - and we want you guys to be able to share in it too, so we both plan on reporting on it. Read at your own risk, and hopefully you'll enjoy it!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Down a Notch

I've blogged before about how parenting is a very sanctifying thing. In that process of sanctification, there are definitely a lot of events that are humbling and will take you down off of any imaginary pedestal you've been on and bring you down a notch or two....or ten. Moral of the story- if you think you have it all together and you're content being on top of the world or on top of your game, don't become a parent. Wonderful....but humbling. A few recent examples

- I always smell. Not like my DKNY Apple perfume like I used to, not like the Dove cucumber soap in my shower...I smell like spit up, baby poop and Dreft laundry detergent. No matter how hard I scrub or how many times I shower, several times throughout the day, I can smell myself and recognize at least one of the above scents wafting off of me. I think it's permanently embedded into my skin...the scent of motherhood.

- My house will forever be in shambles. I have babysitters and visitors coming and going who must think I'm an awful mother. I am first to admit, I've never been one for having a clean and spotless house, but since Benjamin was born, any efforts at good housekeeping have gone out the window. I do clean when I have time- but between work, baby, husband, dog, laundy, trying to feed us all, and sleep....there's just not enough time in the day to get it all done. Ben's stuff has taken over our house and is EVERYWHERE. There is not enough space to put it all away and it seems as though every time I put it away...we need to pull it out again. Someday I will have a clean house again- but not now. I was proud of myself for cleaning the kitchen yesterday....actually cleaning/scrubbing/disinfecting the whole kitchen, the floor and Brina's food and water dishes. I consider that a victory for the day.

-When you have a child that doesn't sleep, somehow it feels like it's all your fault and you are an awful parent. My friend, Val, recently discovered a way to get her daughter to sleep without screaming...just rubbing her back. So simple. I feel like there is a secret that I am not privy to as to why Benjamin doesn't sleep. It's like he's taunting me- "Mommy....if you just did X, I would sleep through the night." Humbling to think maybe he just needs something that I'm not smart enough to figure out. Last night we had a party in Ben's crib at 3:00 a.m. He was awake for 2 hours wanting to play. I tried everything to get him back to sleep but the kid just didn't want to do it. Instead he turned all my efforts into a game or something to laugh at. The mobile which normally puts him to sleep turned into a disco ball. The cribsheet which has sports balls on it (basketball, baseball, football) turned into a fascinating game of mock pick up sticks. Nursing was an excellent opportunity to chew and relieve the pain in the gums. Diaper changing was a prime time to re-paint the walls a light yellowish tone. Last night was a disaster and very very humbling.

- Sleep deprivation leads one to do stupid things. Had I been in my right frame of mind I wouldn't have ruined 7 pounds of brisket meat the other night. And I would have remembered that I had cornbread in the oven instead of letting it bake until it burned and my house reeked of burned bread.

- If all of that wasn't enough....the ultimate humiliation comes in the form of a purse sized bag sitting in my family room that plugs into the wall. Breast pumps=humbling. Breastfeeding is wonderful and a great time of bonding etc. but pumps make you feel like a dairy cow. Moooo. Nothing in the world more embarrassing.....oh wait.....except when the mailman is delivering your mail and sees you using it through your glass front door. Awesome. In my defense, the door was closed far enough that he wouldn't have been able to see, but Brina got excited when he was walking up the steps and nudged it open to sit and watch the daily ritual of the mail delivery and there I was....about 5 feet away, hooked up to the contraption pumping away. Poor mailman.

To end on a positive's all worth it. Don't let this post scare you away from being a parent because it's totally worth it. And it's good....reality, humility, sanctifying.


Anonymous said...

Ok...I've never noticed you smell (though I know what you mean). Your house is literally never messy when I come over. You are breast feeding TWO KIDS! Gah! You should be proud of yourself not embarrassed (though the mailman thing was PRETTY funny). And Ben is the most darling and wonderful baby besides my own. He is a delight to be around. He challenges my little Clare, who though she sleeps through the night lacks the social confidence that Ben has naturally. I know it's discouraging but you're doing a great job. Tell yourself," I'm a good mom. I'm a good mom. I'm a good mom."

Cause you are.

Lindsay said...

I may or may not have just choked on my cereal when I was reading the bit about the pump. You make me laugh, friend.