There was a moment in my first labor when my doula looked me in the eye and said, as if she could read my mind, “Trust me, the baby has to come out. You won’t be in labor forever.” I started crying. Hearing her words gave me perspective. It was exactly what I needed in that moment. It reminded me of only a few days earlier when I found myself thinking I would be pregnant forever. And she did eventually come out. I wasn’t pregnant forever.
So here I am almost 6 years later, with my second child whose struggle to sleep last night has left me with the terror that it will be this way forever. Spinning out thinking that I’ll never know a full night's rest again and I’ll wither away a sad and tired woman. As I’m driving to work trying to strategize how to fix this, my crazy mom voice jumped on the mic and said “Oh fuck! This is my new forever”.
That’s all I needed, that’s now my trigger. That thought is what now, 5 ½ years deep and still a rookie, I have as my saving grace. I let those words run through my whole body and like a montage in a bad rom-com, all those weak tired moments from the past come flooding in. They remind me that this too shall pass. Smiling, I reminded myself that this is just my right now and the only place I need to be, is right now. It can still be stressful, it can still be exhausting, it can still be really fucking annoying, but it won’t and doesn't have to be forever. Right now, as we all know, is a very difficult place to be at times. As a human in the world, not just as parents, but for all of us.
I know that I struggle with staying in the right now and allowing it to be just that without the mission of fixing or solving. Last night while I was trying to put my five year old to bed, hearing the screams of my baby made me increasingly irritable. I snapped and was quick and rude to my daughter who was just being 5. Then as we were snuggling into bed she whispered, “Mommy, I’m never going to leave you. I won’t go to college unless there is a college near you. I’m going to snuggle you till I’m Grammy’s age”. Oh, that levels you. Those moments, when they are so amazing and remind you to focus on the now. There I was stressing, worrying about my new forever with my 2 year old and missing the right now with my 5 year old. Because, I know this devotion my daughters have for me now is not my forever. This overwhelming love and admiration will manifest into embarrassment and distaste come puberty. The dark days of parenting are just as fleeting as the ones that melt our hearts. So even though at times it feels impossible and unrealistic, I’m working really hard to let in that crack of light to change the colors of my right now.
WHAT THEY SLEEP WITH…