Henry is in the middle of what appears to be a three hour (ish) nap. I considered waking him because he’s due to eat (what am I, nuts?), but I decided to blog instead. Now he’s guaranteed to wake up–does the trick every time. Until that fateful moment occurs, I’m going to shed a little light on how I’ve been feeling this past week. Henry is almost ten weeks old, and together, we’ve weathered a lot since he joined us in April. This week (and the week before) were no exception, but I hope that they’re not setting the tone for the days ahead.
I’ll say this first. I. am. exhausted. Not so much physically–but mentally, emotionally and spiritually I’m just drained. It’s not hard to feel semi-rested physically when I only sit, stand, rock, walk and hold a baby all day, and when I’ve gotten better at “sleeping when the baby sleeps.” It’s terribly hard to fill up on the other three though, when I’m constantly focused on Henry’s every need. Much to our chagrin, he did not come with a manual–and as of late there’s been a LOT of trouble-shooting to be done. I feel like I know my son better than anyone else, and I still don’t know him in all of the ways he needs me to these days. I’m sure I’ll feel less this way with future children, but I’m just Henry’s mom for now, and I want to make it all OK, to fix it, to have the answers and to make life a little easier on all of us.
Babies don’t come with a defined set terms and conditions.
Or maybe they do. Love them, feed them, change them, burp them, love them some more. Bathe them, rock them, sing and read to them, stroll them around for awhile, lather, rinse, repeat. I’m not so bad at the feeding/changing/burping/bathing part. I thoroughly enjoy the singing/reading/strolling/rocking parts, and the love part is the easiest of all. So why is it that I can’t sort out life with a tiny little person any better than I’m managing to now?
I know, I know. This too shall pass. And when I’m up in the middle of the night, or feeding for the fifteenth time in one day, I’m absolutely and completely not alone. I just want to want to do this all over again at some point (two or three or four times, maybe), and right now, I can’t see past the next feeding or tonight’s sleep schedule. This week has been HARD. Really hard. And we’re just going to have to put it behind us and move on. There’s a little lesson in every single day.
What’s good about all of this change and adjustment and stress and vulnerability? More than ever, I’m reminded that I have to, I need to pray, pray, pray. And to celebrate the simple things. Simple, like the fact that Henry and I ran a few errands today (gas station, cloth diaper store, Target, Starbucks (necessary, albeit decaf))…and that he only screamed once through the checkout at Target…and that we both made it home in one piece with a month’s worth of paper goods for the house, dog food, new diapers to try and a frappuccino–all without anyone or anything melting in the 90 degree heat. Whew. That IS a step in the right direction!
Tonight when we’re back to feeding and rocking and lulling and soothing, I’m going to keep trying to focus on the only terms and conditions I know to be failsafe in this case:
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thess. 5.16-18 (ESV)
And I’m going to keep praying this:
“Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.” Psalm 90.14
so glad i’m not dependent on my own strength,