Monday, September 19, 2011

a little bit more

david has begun to grow into some of the things i made before he was even conceived! it's interesting to look back prebaby and even prepregnancy and realize how different things are now than they were then. as i told my sister, being a mom is the hardest and easiest thing i have ever done. she accused me of being inarticulate, but i think that's the best i can do for now.

as david has been growing and changing, so have i. it seems that every day is a renegotiation of what it means to be me. one of the hottest mommy topics seems to be the balance of work, motherhood, family, and self, and i am finding myself facing these challenges more intensely as of late. and really, it may be more accurate to say that i am working on the integration of all of these rather than each one individually. i think by themselves, each thing is fine, but for some reason or another i am struggling with an increasingly overwhelming feeling that things are going to begin to unravel. and it's cyclical, but building.

so often i feel as if i am the only one. i know i am not, but when you spend most of your time with yourself, in your own world, in your own mind and body, it is easy to forget that you are not the only one who questions herself. i am not the only one who makes mistakes. i am not the only one learning as they go. so in the spirit of honesty, here is something i'm not feeling great about and a smidgen of the thoughts that go along....

i kept david in the sun and crowd and noise so that we could be in a parade on saturday. i thought the weather would be cooler and more overcast  and was very unprepared for the heat and sunshine. also, and perhaps more importantly, i wanted to go with the flow (like all the other folk sans baby) and felt uncomfortable disrupting the rest of the gang. so while i was able to keep my baby safe and fed, was he as comfortable as he should have been? was the experience worth the heat and noise? did i choose to keep other people comfortable at the expense of taking the best care of david? i like being the cool mom that's able to be out and about and i'm angry?, disappointed?, sad?, scared? that on this occasion my anxiety level rose to the point that i still haven't quite recovered.

so what is the lesson here? i'm not ready to make any hard and fast rules about what i will and won't do, especially given the fact that every day is new and different. david is never, never the same thing twice. but i think i need to be more conscious of the costs and benefits of my pursuits. the only way that i seem to be able to bring down my anxiety and this feeling of impending doom is by reminding myself that i can make different choices. i can adjust. i can move from one feeding to the next to the next.

and i can knit, sometimes.


  1. I'm impressed that you went to the parade. And on the disney vacation and on a plane when David was 2 months old. And that you re-taught sarah to knit. All these things I just would have (and did) say "no" to. This post reminds me of one of the only things I remember from my masters program: Metacognition. It's basically thinking about your thinking while you're thinking it. Like you said, catch it, process and move on. You're so wonderful and I love you!

  2. Helen, you amaze me. Naturally, I have no words of wisdom here, but I am proud of you and think that you are doing a fantastic job. The only thing I can think to say is, always listen to your instincts and never doubt your intuition. Love you and miss you!

  3. oh, plus, David is sooooo cute in that photo! I want to hold him so bad!!! :/

  4. I should have . . . I could have . . . If only I had . . . I have had more of these thoughts in the last five and a hlaf months then I have had my entire life! I try to live by the mantra, when I'm not feeling guilty about what I should have and could have done, that we're going to screw them up no matter what we do so all we can do is keep them safe and surround them with love and try not to be so hard on ourselves (easier said than done!). And when all else fails, remember coke in bottles and having to wean your two year old onto someone else!