So, I mentioned in passing when discussing my I will 2014 list, that my word for this year is
Before Wiggle was born, I had this vision in my head of how maternity leave was going to go. I had 12 weeks off - more time off than I'd had since I started working at 15. It was SO MUCH TIME, I thought.
I was going to get a lot done. Finish our taxes, organize the storage area. Start a garden. I figured after the three weeks of recovery and focusing on breastfeeding, I'd just get to all this stuff and bring Wiggle along.
And I had a plan for breastfeeding too. I was going to breastfeed for six months, because that is what research recommended for best health. And with all that crazy time taken up, with NOTHING TO DO but sit there and breastfeed, I was going to read. Pop baby on, nurse and read.
And then Wiggle was born.
And I was totally overwhelmed. I didn't get anything done on that list. But I kind of still had the multitasking, breastfeeding and reading plan going.
Breastfeeding was a bit of a chore because Wiggle was very gassy. And gassy baby = unhappy baby. We had problems with latching because of an early cold. But I was determined. And I read. And I got overwhelmed that I wasn't getting to all the things I'd had on my maternity leave mental checklist.
And then at around six weeks, I realized two things.
1) I had to go back to work in four weeks. And more than anything in the world, I wanted to stay home and just be with Wiggle.
2) Wiggle at six weeks was so different than he was when he was born. And that time was gone and I couldn't get it back.
I realized that I had missed out on so much with my lists and planning. My hurry up and get this thing done to move on to the next thing. My reading while breastfeeding because breastfeeding was just a task that needed doing, instead of realizing it was a chance to just slow down and BE with Wiggle. That just being with him was enough.
I started to just look at Wiggle. Amaze at all the wonder that he was (not that I didn't already, but now I really did it). To look and realize and feel just how much he has to learn each and every day. Babies are amazing.
Just before going back to work, I sent a gift to a cousin for their first baby.
I was writing a card and was arrogant enough to decide I knew enough in my eight weeks of parenthood to offer up some advice. I thought about it and suddenly, what I'd learned so far became clear:
1. Sleep when you can
2. Be present in the moment
3. Let go of expectations
It was then that I realized, really realized that the only item on the list that really mattered was taking care of, and being with, Wiggle. That Wiggle is amazing. He is learning so much every day. He approaches each day with joy and wonder and curiousity. Babies have no ill intent. It is so amazing, that I feel kind of honored to get to watch it. And I don't want to waste these moments, thinking about the next ones.
Wiggle is so different than he was when he was born. He'll be eight months old next week and he can hold himself up on the side of a tub! Eight months ago, he slept in whatever position we put him in.
I'm a list maker, I'm an executer, I'm a "check, what's next?" girl.
And that is great in it's place. But I don't want to miss enjoying this moment because I'm too busy planning for the next one. Right now, I want to watch, participate and enjoy. These moments with Wiggle will never come again. I want to be present so I can delight in his delights, feast on his happiness, share his discoveries, celebrate his accomplishments, witness his joys, hold him when he hurts, nurture his risks, care for his needs.
Right now, I just need to be present.