“So… how are you holding up?”
My father-in-law asked me this yesterday, as we were driving to do some shopping. He was here for two weeks, helping us out after Eden’s birth. He was extremely great – did pretty much all the cooking and cleaning for two weeks! Very, very helpful.
Yesterday when he asked me this question, I figured he already knew the answer. He had been watching me the previous day and knew that I wasn’t doing very well.
Sunday I had an absolute and total Mommy meltdown.
Honestly, I had been getting through the past week with the thought that “every day gets better.” I was telling myself that over and over again. I’m able to figure Eden out a little better everyday. She is becoming more and more routinized… sleeping better… eating a little less often…
This is what I was telling myself, anyway.
Then, Sunday I stopped believing it. She had a pretty bad night and day, where she cried and cried. It probably wasn’t that much, honestly, but it was just unbearable for me. I even started hearing her cry when she wasn’t really crying. Seriously. I thought Jason was going to have to check me in to the nut house.
I stopped believing that every day gets better and started to get frustrated that I couldn’t have a “normal” baby.
I know it’s ugly. I’m just being honest here.
(And, she probably is normal. What do I know about babies??)
I realize it’s still early, as she’ll only be a month old tomorrow, but certain aspects of her temperament already indicate that she may not be an “easy” baby. I see moms carting their children all over creation, and their babies just sleep peacefully through, as if nothing was happening.
So far, Eden doesn’t like the car-seat or the stroller. Poo-monkeys.
There are other things that are challenging, and I’m not sure if they are normal or not, but it doesn’t really matter.
I have one baby, and whatever her personality or temperament is, it is.
I can’t do anything to change it. I simply have to accept it and help shepherd her into the woman that God intended her to be. Though in that process right now, she is changing me more than I am changing her.
I have a feeling that’s intentional.
She is teaching me humility – I am clearly not, nor will I ever be, a super-mom. I am ok with acknowledging to myself and others that it has been a struggle. It hasn’t been perfect; I haven’t been perfect. I can be honest with others about that and accept it.
She is teaching me acceptance – there are things in life over which I have no control and am powerless to change. I can either choose to accept these things and work with God in what He’s laid out for me or struggle in vain against them.
She is teaching me patience – I don’t really need to go into detail here. It’s kinda the obvious lesson of parenthood.
There are many more things I could list that I’m learning about God, love, need… all sorts of important and refining lessons which I’m sure will come up on the blog again.
For now, though, I’ll share what I learned in one of the 10,000 psychology classes that I took in college. The theory is that evolution made babies cute for a reason. They have certain features – like big, beautiful eyes and chubby cheeks – that are meant to evoke the sympathy, love and protection from the adults around them.
This is to make up for all their other issues which evoke completely opposite emotions in the adults around them.
Basically… from an evolutionary standpoint, babies are cute so we won’t kick them when they cry and frustrate us.
Because, you know, that would be pretty bad for the survival of the species.