I am writing this while my daughter sleeps on me, draped over my lap in total satisfaction. Most of this post will be typed one-handed because she desires to feel my touch and is happiest when she has that sense of security only I can give to her. Some people may think it’s a little much to take what will probably be two hours to complete a writing task over separating from my baby long enough to get it done. I disagree.
Back in the day, I probably would have spouted off something obnoxious on how it’s “best” for babies to learn how to be alone. That’s a very ironic thought to me … babies being alone. Actually, it’s a sad thought, and I definitely do not agree with my former reasoning. I thought I would be a loving mom while also understanding my personal boundaries as an individual, and I would teach my daughter how to live within the confines of my schedule, my wants and my needs. I would sleep well, eat when I was hungry, look decent/human/clean and still have a pretty normal life. LOL. Just punch me in the mouth. I had no idea how different I would be as a mama to my little baby bird, Bellamy. Thank goodness grace was given to me, and I adopted a totally different perspective of being a mom.
It’s not that I do not want to teach her to have a sense of independence or how to develop coping mechanisms for when she finds herself in an uncomfortable situation, but she is an infant—and anything separate from me is somewhat uncomfortable for her. I don’t think she is meant to know of those things yet or has any idea she is outside of my body at all! I am liberated by my desires to love her well and create as deep of a bond as possible with her. I devote every day to her, countless hours, feedings and cuddle sessions. Twist my arm. I may go crazy a handful of times a week from being in babyland, but a quick pep talk and cup of coffee usually snaps me back into reality. If that fails me, her baby babble and gummy smiles melt me into a puddle every time.
What’s also interesting is my inability to relax the same way. At the end of long days, when I finally get her to sleep and I have time to myself, I find it difficult to sit on the couch and enjoy the alone time. I literally laughed out loud the first time I realized I couldn’t abandon my thoughts and turn off my ears long enough to read two pages out of my book. It was hard! No one warns you about that one! I am changed, and it’s not something I can switch on and off when I want to “mom” or not. Even when she is in the care of my mom or in-laws, half of myself stays with her. I couldn’t get far enough away to ever feel separate from her at this point, and I don’t want to anyway!
Sometimes I feel I receive concern from being her one and only right now, but isn’t that such a great thing? It’s not that there isn’t any room for anyone else, but there is a certain level of comfort reserved for the two of us. Although it’s still a choice to give all myself each day to her, it’s a much easier choice! It gets easier every day. It’s not a simple thing to parent, but it definitely feels right to pour everything I’ve got into her as much as possible. I need to take breaks and “be me” from time to time, but I realize I have such a short window to be the one who cracks the smile across her face when I walk into the room. I hope that time doesn’t run out anytime soon. You can sleep in my lap any day, anytime my little love! One thousand days wouldn’t be enough.