When you fall in love for the first time, or have your heart broken for the first time, all those novels and songs about love suddenly speak to you and you can relate to them on a very real level. It's the same when you have a baby. You come to understand why people risk their lives for their children. Why they work hard to provide for them. How they can accept hours of crying, loads of dirty diapers, and sleepless nights without getting bitter. I heard about these things before, but now I am living them.
It's funny, when I'm changing an exploding diaper that is filling the room with an unbelievably foul smell and I realize, I don't even mind. I'm too busy laughing with Raffi, congratulating him on a full diaper, feeling glad that his diaper rash has cleared up. It's like that with all of the uncomfortable things that come along with having a baby. I just don't mind that much. Rafael's wide excited smile...his face when he is deep asleep...his relieved sighs when he's been crying and is finally at my breast...his incredibly soft doughy thighs that I pinch delicately...it all makes up for it in so many ways.
It's almost 1 AM as I'm writing this, and I can tell you why. Even though I love being a mother so much, and I love Rafael so much, I have discovered that I need time every day to be alone with myself. Ramon and I retire to the couch after Raffi has gone to sleep, and after we've been entertained for a while with a movie or television, and have talked and laughed a bit, he goes to sleep, too. That's when the ME TIME begins. I stay on the couch with my laptop and browse pinterest, answer emails, work in photoshop, visit blogs, and write in my own.
Am I missing out on precious sleep in doing so? Yes. But this time for myself to zone out and not take care of anything or anyone else is precious, too.
My father came to visit the other day. He said, "You know, I need time to myself in the evening. When everyone else has gone to sleep, I stay up and just relax." I laughed: "Now I know who I have it from."
There is constantly something to learn and adapt to as a parent, because your child is constantly growing and changing. The minute I think there is a dependable rhythm, things change. The real challenge is to recognize when things have changed, and not try to stick to something that isn't working anymore.
Have you ever noticed that 'Bah Bah Black Sheep,' 'The Alphabet Song,' and 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' all have the same melody? Just something odd I noticed while humming Rafael to sleep.
ETA: I took these with my phone this morning! My favorite thing lately is when Raffi touches my face when I lean over him or lay next to him. The other day I fell asleep while I was nursing him, and the gentle stroke of his fingers on my cheek woke me up. Heavenly.
P.S. Yes, that is my husband's messy dresser in the background. Which brings me to:
When reading blogs that other mothers have, I have to be very careful about not comparing myself. 'Myself' meaning my post-pregnancy body compared to theirs, my blog posting frequency compared to theirs, the tidy-ness of my home compared to theirs. I realized that this morning, while taking photos of Rafael playing on the living room floor. I had just vacuumed, the sun was shining, he was cheerful, and the photos turned out beautifully. It hit me suddenly that, if I were to post these, you would never guess that the floor was filthy ten minutes before...that it was overcast the rest of the day...that he started crying a few minutes afterwards...and that I have been sick with the stomach flu for the past four days.
Isn't that good to know?
None of us bloggers, mommies or otherwise, are quite as interesting, tidy, or perfect as our blogs might have you think.
Well....at least I'm not.