Learning From My Littles
From their needs and wants, I have come to learn about sacrifice, about love, about beauty, and about appreciation. I have learned triumph and humility with their accomplishments and with their struggles. I have learned fear and sadness and wonder and amazement as I have re-learned to see the world from a new, smaller point of view.
As they are constantly learning, so am I, and in the past few weeks the lesson plan has focused greatly on one lesson I struggle with most, patience.
Patience is not a virtue that comes easy to me. I am a multi-tasker by nature, and I am at my best when I have at least two or three things on the go. Its not unusual to find me ( and pretty much every mother out there) having three or four balls in the air at once. Work, laundry, tonight's dinner, and an impromptu art lesson all happening simultaneously is not an unusual Wednesday morning. I spend my days moving from one must do to the next, always aware of what still needs to be done.
I have made a promise with my myself to be more present for my kids, and I think I am mostly keeping with it. I am making a point to stop throughout my days and just be with my kids, and I am finding myself much happier and satisfied for it. Scheduling these little breaks into my day the same way I schedule lunch, I am able to carve out moments for just me and my babies.
Kids don't care about schedules though, and that is where I am finding a need to cultivate some patience. I wrote a few weeks ago about my reluctance to sleep train my youngest. I was on the fence already, but then he had a seizure, and then two more, and in that moment a lot of things changed.
There is no chance now that I would leave my baby to cry, even just for a few minutes. And so we have continued along the route of nursing to sleep. I know I am probably setting myself up for a world of frustration in the future, but right now, me and milkies are what my baby need to fall asleep, and I am giving it to him.
Three, four, sometimes five times a day, and just as many times at night, I am forced to be still. To lie with my son as he takes comfort and nourishment from my body, from warm milk and even warmer snuggles. There is no way for me to multitask, I cant work, I cant do laundry, I cant cook, I am just there, with him, holding him, as he makes the journey towards sleep. Sometimes it takes two minutes, sometimes it takes twenty. And sometimes, he only needs two minutes, but I still stay for twenty, and when I finally leave him to sleep, its with a reluctance to get back to my multi-tasking.
I am finding a happiness in the stillness, a simplicity in doing just this one thing. As he lays still beside me, I can see how quickly hes growing. I can take the time to stroke his crazy hair into submission. As we lay in silence beside each other I can see the little boy he will become, and the tiny baby he used to be.
It makes me wonder why I was so quick to give this up with my girls, why I was so quick to teach them how to go to sleep on their own.
But I know the answer to that, there is so much that needs to be done in a day, and those minutes are hard to come by. As much as I love snuggling my girls, I needed to clean up their messes and make their meals, and do their laundry, and maybe, just maybe I could find ten minutes to sit with a cup of coffee.
I guess that's another lesson I have learned, being a mom means constantly evolving to be the person your family needs to you to be. It means always changing to meet the demands that are thrown at you, and never assuming that you have any idea what you're doing. What works for you today, may not work for you tomorrow, and the mom-ing you do this week may be completely different than the mom-ing you do next week.
All you can do is strap yourself in, try to enjoy the ride, and appreciate all the lessons these little people have to teach us.