The First Year.

November 23, 2011 at 9:45 pm 3 comments

 

It’s not even that I have been procrastinating, I just haven’t really had time.  The start of the first year, our lives changed dramatically, and the same goes for the start of the second year.  What a whirlwind.  I got to a point tonight where I started to feel severely overwhelmed.  I can keep my shit together, for the most part.  We’re nearing the end of back to work week 3, and it is sort of sinking in that, yup, this is how it will be for the next little while.  It is hard and draining and emotionally overwhelming.  Being AT work itself is not horrible.  My office has a window and that helps exponentially.  I think about my my boy, my love, and my pooch constantly, but the work itself?  Fine.  I am not knee deep in it yet though.  Maybe ask me in a month?

The after work part is the hardest.  At about 3pm I start to feel completely tapped out and drained.  So by the time we pick up the boy from daycare (which is going swimmingly!) and then get home, unload, put away stuff from the day, I am spent.  And that’s before supper.  I’m trying to go to bed at a decent hour, and I have to, because as of 3 days ago I made a decision to start waking up at 5am so I can be at the gym for 5:30.   But I’m still absolutely drained of energy by the end of the day.  The thought of cleaning, the thought of doing dishes, the thought of any extra responsibility tires me.  I know it will take getting used to and I am really trying to be positive.  It’s just hard.  The year I had with my boy is the year I got used to, and now it has changed again.  The post-partum adjustment period was crazy.  I remember March being a rough month.  In hindsight, it was pretty bad.   I was in a bad place and didn’t bother to seek out support aside from my immediate peeps.  Not good.  So my point, is that it took me awhile.  I thought I was awesome with change but apparently it takes me a little bit.  The only thing I can think to do, is to remind myself that this is okay.  It’s okay if I need time.

The issue I am struggling with the most is that the bulk of my energy is going to work.  I don’t think this is a bad thing, obviously.  I like my work, I enjoy what I do, and I’m passionate about it.  I put in my all when I am at work, but I have made a promise to myself that I am not carrying it home with me.  I cannot do that.  It would not be fair to me, but mostly, it would not be fair to my family.  I already am struggling with the fact that at the end of the day, when I’m spent, my fuse is shortened, my patience thinner.  I am not being the best mother that I can be.   I am not being the best partner I can be.  I am probably not being the best friend I can be either.  I know what my potential is (sorta – sometimes my modesty gets in the way) and it saddens me that I am not living up to it.  I don’t think my standards are high, it is simply a matter of routine, and getting into it.  Figuring out how to jive with this new life thing.

So technically that is part of the second year and since this is supposed to be a reflection… onward!

My first year of motherhood, eh?  I don’t even really feel like I can completely capture it appropriately with words, but I’m going to give it a shot.

For starters, the moment I birthed my boy, my life was forever transformed.  And at that point, I didn’t even realize how much that statement was going to be truer than true.  From the getgo, I fell immediately in love with this most precious little being.  (We officially 100% completely bonded on all applicable levels, not immediately, not even the next day, but I remember the moment I thought oh THIS is bonding, I thought that I was bonded before but no, THIS is it.  Before?  That was survival).  My body, our bodies, created life.  This simple fact blows my mind to this very day.  It’s not even unnatural, obviously, it’s happening by the second, worldwide.  But it’s beautiful and unreal.  It is captivating.

We began to embark on a journey of sorts.  It started out rocky.  We still hit rocky patches.  But mostly, it’s smooth.  And journeys are sort of boring when they become too consistent, right?   I am grateful and overjoyed that my boy keeps me on my toes, every second of every minute of every hour of every day.  I am not even exaggerating.  He is a busy, busy little soul, and an explorer at heart.  I am so excited to watch where his soul, his explorer capabilities take him.   Every day he makes me smile, every day he makes me laugh.  What gets me through every single work day, is knowing that at the end of it, I get to run up to the door (sometimes if I’m nice I let Kyle go), open the door handle, and see the most beautiful little face, waiting for me, reaching for me.  It warms my heart.  Honestly, sometimes so much I fear the risk of overheating.

It blows my mind the amount of stuff children learn and do in the first year of their life.  That is IN-TENSE.  Smile. Laugh. Roll over. Hold things. Sit up. Crawl. Stand up. Walk (sometimes).  Play.  Learn.  Talk.  Eat.  Drink.  Develop the strongest relationship with his pup.  ;)  The other day I was asking my little angel to give his mama a kiss, and he, without breaking his look away from the passerbys in the grocery store of course, opened up his mouth, leaned in to me, and planted the sloppiest wettest most awesome kiss ever.   It fascinates me (but not really, because I already know that children are obviously so smart, they are human friggin’ beings!) that he knows how to do this, and just picked up on it like so.   And that is only one example.  Kid blows my mind.

And as for my own personal journey from being a woman, to being a woman with a child, a mother, this little boy has changed me in ways that even I will not be able to pinpoint.  All I know is, I feel in some ways like a completely different woman, but in some (a lot) of ways, exactly the same.  There are things I get now, that I had no concept of before, mostly because I didn’t feel the need to have a concept of.  There are things I am passionate about now that were over my head before.  My ability to be assertive has increased tenfold, and along with that, I have softened up by even more.  Everything is touching, everything is special and sentimental.  A friend said to me, it’s because we have given birth, and so we feel like we have given birth to everything, and I couldn’t have said it better.  I feel like I am on a path that I was not on before.  I have hopes and dreams and passions that I want to fulfill.  The concept of health means more to me than it ever did.  I really feel like I have never worked this hard to be healthy in my life, aside maybe from when I was pregnant, because I truly felt at my healthiest then.  It is one thing to put healthy, wholesome things in our body, and to regulate how we manage our muscles and our bones.  But this here mind, this here heart, this shit needs to be in tip-top shape.  I have recognized ways in which I am not being the best person I can be.  It’s not even that I have some ridiculously high standards for myself, because I really don’t think I do.  In fact, I think that I am living my life in an even simpler way than before, if that is even possible.

I have never had as little money as I do right now, but I have never felt this happy.  Or this excited about what tomorrow, or next week, or next year, might bring.  I have never felt so connected to a little being before.  I still cannot believe I am a mother and I have a son.  I have never felt this intimate with my spouse.  There’s this super intense level of intimacy, bonding, and energy field that has developed – or maybe not so much developed as expanded – between the two of us, and how we interact with one another, and with other important people in our lives.  I have never had as many ridiculous 3am sleep-deprived arguments in my life, but I have never had as much positive growth and soul-searching either.  My life, our lives, have changed exponentially.  I can’t put it into words but as you can see – if you’ve made it this far – I have tried.  I might have different ways of doing things, or varying ideas and beliefs than before (or perhaps they are simply just interpreted as so or are just being voiced now by the new assertive me ;).  But different does not have to mean bad or negative.  I am not scared of change or growth, and I don’t want you to be either.  Look where it’s got us so far?

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Entry filed under: Birth, Breastfeeding, Health & Fitness, Mamabear. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Sweet Lil Dimples Baby Shop. I am woman.

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Nicole F.  |  November 27, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    You’ve put what so many of us working moms are feeling so eloquently in words… you are right there are days that you do not feel like you are giving your energy to your own children that you are not being the best mom that you can be… it’s tough. I remember the day that Ava and I were playing and she was the mom — she dropped me off at daycare so that I could go be with my “school kids…” Heartbreaking…

    I am not sure if I will ever get over the complex of being a working mom. For some like me, however, I need work to fulfill me personally, for others, it is more of an economic reality. Our children will understand, it will simply become their way of life. I have never felt so blessed to have such a supportive husband, and I think that as you say, this just becomes a “new kind of normal.” Nonetheless, a year and a half later, I still get overwhelmed by trying to make supper, I still feel guilty about turning on the TV so that I can make supper, I still get stressed about the dust and the laundry, and I simply can’t let that all go, it is just a part of who I am… We all say we need to find balance, but I’m starting to wonder if there really is such a thing?

    Take Care.
    NF

    Reply
    • 2. tristadawn  |  December 12, 2011 at 8:36 am

      hey Nic! i hear ya.. it is so so so complex. more than can be explained. and more than I imagined or prepared myself for… if you can even do that. I am really struggling and it does not feel it is getting easier. I have started counselling… much needed actually! not from only these feelings but it is something I could have benefited from awhile ago.
      and it totally is harder on us than our babes… I think and hope anyway! xo

      Reply
  • 3. Lilly  |  December 7, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    It has been my experience that I think the problem with being a working mom is that women who are childless act like we don’t think about how much time we spend with our child (ren). After working a normal shift, I have to come home to making sure my son and I have eaten a nutritious meal, bathed, homework is all done, and make sure Tien has colored in his reading chart’s star every day. I hear the, “wow, it’s a long day for him to be in school and aftercare” or “wow, maybe you should try and work on the sight words a little more.” Being a single mom, let alone a working single mom, is hard work. I can only imagine that it is still tough being a mom with a supportive partner. I just wish people would be a little more kinder to working moms and save their smart comments about how “I ought” to parent or do homework or whatever else. Every day, I think about my son’s well being and make sure that I can provide him with a life that meets his needs and mine too. Yes maybe I am sacrificing time I wish I could spend with him more accessibly but I am one woman with two hands and one heart, one brain and a goal of making sure we have what we need in life. So, if my clean clothes pile is a little out of the normal this week, I will still know it is going to be there on Saturday when I am off to fold it all nice and tidy or hang them up. Oh the joys of motherhood!

    Reply

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