Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Revolving Door of Motherhood

I admit wholeheartedly that I had a very hard time adjusting to motherhood. Hell, I'm still adjusting and I'm toting around a full-fledged toddler with another one on the way.

I have always loved children, but it's easy to love kids when they go home with someone else at the end of the day. But when you have your own, it opens up a regular Pandora's box full of issues that never ONCE crossed your mind. Vaccinations? Illnesses? Poop? Babysitters?Circumcision? Potty Training? The list goes on. But for me, the hardest part so far has been dealing with the constant changes that occur within my daughter and disrupt common order and peace-harmony-love in my household.

It's life twisted game. Once they finally conquer a milestone, another one waits on the other side. And it's always worse. Like "yay, she's sleeping through the night but now she won't eat a damn thing."


It is only now that I feel any level of comfort when it comes to the major areas of my child's life, and even so, things continue to change even faster than I can comprehend. The only difference is that I can't blame those things on teething.

Just when you get to a point where she's sleeping, eating, pooping, and playing in some type of regular pattern, something else goes totally South.

Let's face it. Routine and predictability breed comfort and comfort breeds happiness. Change can be scary for even the most adventurous of folks. Moving to a new place, taking a new job, and even eating at a new restaurant can wreak havoc amongst even the most sane of adults. So, when I became a mother and realized that my daughter would sleep through the night for 2
weeks, and then she would be teething and back I was, sleeping in the rocking chair with her attached to my boob, I freaked out. Or when she would be eating anything and everything until another tooth would cut, and back I was, feeding her frozen peas and grapes, I would

Louder than she ever could.

I was so attached to my little achievements -- those little moments of sanity and order -- that when they were turned upside down on a very frequent basis, I was up in arms, pulling my hair out, and wondering why the hell I was given a child.

I'd read 14 baby books, engage in way too many Google searches, and sit for hours on the message boards hoping someone would have the answer.

But no one ever did.

I finally realized that I'm dealing with a rapidly growing little human who is learning new and exciting skills each day. And no book or Google search can take away the change and disorder that comes with having a kid.

So, I rejoice in those little moments of restfulness and ease that come my way, and then try to remember, when they are seemingly erased in a matter of minutes, that the door of motherhood is always revolving. And while that may be a pain in my ass right now at least I know it's
moving and it won't be stopped in the land of tantrum-sassy-time-out-nap-fighting for long. And, I'll be able to walk through that door again to see what adventures (hopefully independent poops in the potty) lie on the other side.

*Kristen is a stay-at-home-mother to a toddler and another one on the way. She's currently trying to maintain her sanity while living at her in-laws. Yes. It's pretty bad. Come visit Kate there today. And stay for the craziness. Click here to learn more about The Blog Exchange.*


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait? You mean when my six-year-olds are jerks it isn't from teething? Oh....

Forget the books. Trust your gut. You've got the right attitude.

11:02 PM

Anonymous chelle said...

phew you tackles how toddlers change!??! I would have been too busy crying or poking myself in the eye to type! Parenting is definitely not a stagnate element!

10:11 AM

Blogger PunditMom said...

As a mom to a now seven-year-old daughter, I have put some of those two-year-old moments out of my mind! There were times I thought I would lose my sanity because I couldn't figure out the motherhood thing and all the changes that each day brought. I'd like to say I'm closer to achieving a calm household -- for some reason I still entertain the delusion that my days should be calm and orderly, even with a first-grader who still clammers for my lap. Sigh. Thanks for reminding us to enjoy the little moments!

12:13 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are right. There is a lot of peace in letting go and enjoying the little things. It's hard to remind yourself of that when they're flipping out, but then they stick their lower lip out, give you a kiss and it makes it all worthwhile.

12:23 PM

Blogger Stacy said...

OK. Your blog took me aback today. I thought Kate was you and when she started talking about her son I was like, "WTF! She had her baby! Did I miss that post?"

Duh. Dumb ol' me. Blog exchange.

Happy New Year!

2:23 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear you loud and clear, sister! (But those Google searches ease the uneasiness just a pinch...for a few god-forsaken moments, don't they?)

2:26 PM

Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

I'm exhausted just thinking about all of it. No wait, I'm exhausted from living it. But I suppose our lives would be horribly boring and predictable without them.

9:27 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, if it's not one thing it's another. Now that I have two kids I've expanded it to "if it's not one kid crying, it's the other" :) Seriously, it's not that bad, but there have been a couple days where the only thing I have accomplished is staying sane. Here's a piece of unsolicited advice that my friend who's a nurse told me: when kids are working on a new skill, their eating (and thus popping tends) and sleeping tends to get thrown off. Oddly enough, this advice has brought me a lot of comfort.

9:29 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never did find a good book to help me, and have been just winging it. So far so good!

Kids Furniture Mama

10:24 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

They are such slippery little suckers aren't they, these kids?! I have both a deep-seated dread and a healthy excitement about the next 18 years.

10:52 PM

Anonymous Kim said...

Motherhood and childhood is a total rollercoaster ride. Despite the kinks it put into my pre-baby organized life, I totally love it. You're right that the key is remembering that when one phase is difficult, this too shall pass.

Love your writing, as always. Thanks for commenting on my post at The Fat Lady Sings.

Happy New Year!

11:50 AM

Blogger Heather said...

Kids ARE constantly changing aren't they? Even within seconds..."Oh, you want the blue one?" (Hand the blue one over as the child collapses in tears.) "NOOOOOOO! I wanted the red one!"

Or wait...maybe that's me that does that.

10:26 PM

Anonymous Jenn said...

hear hear! Google and books only come up with too much information or none at all. Thanks for reminding me that these little critters are allowed (should!) have whims, bad days, good days and everything in between.

1:02 AM


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