Wednesday, March 11, 2009

on NOT holding things lightly

Whenever someone is starting a trying to conceive journey, my advice to them is to hold their dreams lightly.

Why do we always advise the one thing we cannot do?

One would think that in the several years of trying to get pregnant when I learned how painful it was to hold tight to hope month after month only to have that hope break hard like waves against a rocky shore month after month... one would think that I would have learned to let go... to hold the emotional terrain of life lightly.

Think again.

Caroline has had a rough stretch with very disrupted sleeping, lots of upset crying times. It has been exhausting. All three of us are sleep deprived. Rather than simply breathing through it, I was beginning to get worn down by it. I was beginning to only be able to answer the question "How's Caroline?" with "Great, but INTENSE." (And then I was feeling like a lousy mom for not having all sorts of gushy things to say about my baby.) I was allowing this rough stretch to convince me that the next 18 years are going to be filled with only exhausting challenge (of course they will, but that is not ALL that they will be).

But for the last 24 hours or so (at least when she's been under my care) she has been quite content. She has slept beautifully- taking naps and sleeping better (though not great) at night. She has had squeely laughing moments and big smiles, curious raised eye brows and funny faces. She has been delightful. And I am conscious that I am holding just as tightly to this more graced period as I was to the rough one before. I want to announce to the world "She's BETTER! She's happy and calm again!" I'm contemplating facebook updates... But... then I remember how glorious she was Sunday morning (after a rough stretch before) and how miserable she was Sunday afternoon into evening. And then I remember that she has had great sleeping stretches before, only to be followed by hard ones.

It would be much kinder on my mind and body if I could just let every moment be, if I could accept but not cling to these moments. However she is in any moment is how she is in that moment. And however she is, she is deeply beloved. Even when we're exhausted, she's deeply beloved. Even when we don't know what to do, she's deeply beloved. In every moment. And every moment passes... which is sometimes sad and sometimes glorious. But it is what it is.

When I grow up I want to learn to hold things lightly.


esperanza said...

Well said, and a reminder I much needed today...

What helped me, unfortunately, was the many days in the NICU. Not a prescription for everyone!

Nevertheless, thank you for the wisdom.

Heidi said...

My friend Randi wanted to write a book called The Asceticism of Motherhood. I may have mentioned that to you before. It's a physical, spiritual, trial! Hang in there through the stress, physical and emotional. Being a mom is rough. Being a baby is rough. It's not your fault or Caroline's.

Wendy said...

so, so true! i think we all need to remember this more!!
what timing-right after i published my first somewhat-gushy post, i logged on to read your last one....

i'm going to take a leap and recommend a book that has helped our family immensely. it is really, truly not for everybody, and on the opposite end of the parenting spectrum than the dr. sears books. it is called "on becoming babywise" by ezzo and bucknam, and was recommended to me by a friend when i was an exhausted, pregnant mom of an 18 month old that was still waking at night. i don't recommend it to everyone, but it has helped me to become a better-rested, more patient and more confident mom, when not every aspect of mothering comes naturally for all of us. if it's not for you, i completely understand, but if you can take away anything from it that will help, then great! it helped us through the very tough first weeks of joshy's life when he was colicky and has helped us all get more treasured SLEEP!

thank you for the "award"! it had me thinking all day long about all the things i love-what a positive way to spend the day-i need to do that much more often-thank you! and although i probably won't get to the official post of the 7 and 7, you get the award right back for being a blogging inspiration to me! thank you!

i am gathering up a few things to send down to baby c-i have a few footed outfits and several warm weather outfits that she can hopefully use (we have an overabundance!) i will get it out to you soon! i love that caroline and grace have their blue eyes and long fingers in common! (although gracie's are looking very green today, all of a sudden!)

just talked to my dad-debbie is out of surgery,and is resting comfortably. hopefully her recovery will go smoothly and quickly!

hugs to the three of you!

Shalom said...

Amen. And Amen. Thinking of you.