Friday, October 12, 2012

My Happy Child

Motherhood started out rough for me. I was still recovering from the shock of finding out my X's secret life, going through the criminal court process, the divorce process, having a baby with colic and the financial hardship of all of it. My therapist got an earful every week! The stress and sleep deprivation made it hard to really enjoy even the good moments. I wish I could say that motherhood was magical in so many ways. That I felt this deep spiritual awakening... I just didn't.

When I held my child for the first time I was happy and I felt at peace. The first few days really were magical... then I went home from the hospital. The hospital was this magical bubble that kept the reality of my situation from sinking in. I had help in the nurses, the cooks, the lactation consultant and even a cleaning crew. When I went back to my parents’ house most of my help was gone and I had to face dealing with my divorce. I want to say right now that my parents really did help me a lot, but they were also still dealing with everything AND some of my parenting decisions were hard for them to swallow. Basically I think I scared my mom for life when I had trouble breast feeding and supplemented with formula. So things were not always relaxing.

Nugget was a gassy baby that stopped sleeping longer than two hours at a time at the age of 4 months and did not start again until she was almost a year old. She didn't sleep through the night on a consistent basis until closer to 18 months. Anyway if you have read my blog for a while you may know all of this already! Sorry if this is a big repeat.

The point of all this backstory is to show how far we have come. Nugget sleeps 9-10 hours a night every night and will lie quietly in bed with me while I wake up. EVERY SINGLE MORNING I open my eyes and see her beautiful blue eyes looking back at me. She then says, a little too loudly because the child only has one volume level, "Hi Mommy!" This ladies and gentlemen is the magic. She is always smiling and happy. She sings for no reason. She tells me she loves me and proudly tells strangers in the grocery store that I am her mommy. All of those emotions I expected to feel instantly at her birth have grown slowly over time. The love was always there along with the urge to protect her... but the all-encompassing need to be with her seemed to sneak up on me.

This child amazes me. The fact that after all we have been through and knowing how disappointed I was with my performance as a mother for the first year...

-Breastfeeding for 6 months: FAIL
-Making my own baby food: FAIL
-Not letting her sleep in my bed past 6 months: FAIL
-Keeping the house clean: FAIL
-Being infinitely patient: FAIL

-Not using the TV for a distraction: FAIL...despite all my perceived "failures" my child loves me and is enjoying her life. My attempt to be positive may have actually worked. We are having so much fun together and I know there is almost no way I could be happier right now

Someday I do wish to have another child. Someday I would love to meet and amazing man and marry him. However THIS day I am happy. My love for my daughter is more than enough to content me.


K said...

Just know that not b-feeding doesn't make you a bad mother. I struggled and choose to give girlie formula. I also didn't make my own baby food. She also watches TV when I need to get work done. My house is rarely ever clean too.

I think you are doing great! Remember all those people who judge also live their life with someone else, and we are strong independent women doing it on our own!!

Michelle said...

Started your blog yesterday and I'm caught up now!!! Just want to tell you that you ARE an amazing woman! You are doing a fantastic job raising C!!