My pal and parenting mentor Hanna told me that parenting really underscores your personal failings and your personal abilities. Hooo Haaa. Very right. My failings are really in bold these days.
I can spend many many hours paying attention, and playing and encouraging and keeping the boy from ovens, sockets, fireplaces, corners, toilets, pointy things. I distract while swiftly changing a nappy on a standing, crawling and squirming boy. I even assist on *some* of the poopy ones. (One of the many reasons I love Mark. ) I can read and cuddle and soothe and tickle. I plan the meals he will eat. And those that his parents may even enjoy too. I marvel over his chewing and drinking and feeding his small self many food items while not losing my shit that so much of it is being thrown overboard the high chair tray or at me. I nurse. I prepare the many items needed for our outings to music class, swimming, a walk in the park or a lunch date. I restock. I launder. I go up and down the stairs. I walk the hills. I monitor mood shift and eye rubbing for the near imperceptible but imperative signs that a nap is needed ... within the next 10 minutes or Never. I coo and stroke and hum and mmmmm and head rub to sleep. Sometimes up to 45 minutes. Three times a day.
It is no great surprise that on the Saturdays that I have declared "mine" I have a hard time relinquishing control of all of the above. Mark knows how and what to do yet I watch and listen to myself snarkily reminding of naps, what happens "now" and interpreting all situations like he isn't here every day. (um, he is. He knows.) I cringe when I hear myself. It is like those people who won't call in sick to work when they are sick because they are "too needed". Phooey. The boy will be more than fine with his pop. He will enjoy the different style of parenting his company.
It is a bit of a racket, this motherhood trap we can get in. I want to be more than a mom/ I AM more than a mom. And yet I find it so easy to gets sucked into the very minutae of the routine of caring for a baby. It literally does my head in.
And it is also no great shakes that here on my day off, I am a bit unsure what to do with myself. Part of me cries to go OUT. On my OWN. See movies! Drink coffee in public quietly and READ! Window shop! Paint my toes! See Friends! Exercise! Explore! Get a hobby! SLEEP! All the things I crave when I am in full motherhood mode and my attention and psychic energies are all used up. Yet when the day gets here, I Just. Want. To. Stop. Doing. Ahhhhh. Commence staring into space and emptying head of all attention to
What I am learning is that I need perspective. Over and Over. I need to loosen the white knuckle grip. I need to relax. Much More. I need to practice being a different kind of parent ... the laid back kind. I need to be a mother and so much more. I need to work on the much more part. I need to give myself permission to get it wrong sometimes. I need to be less grumpy and more grateful. I need to trust my co-parent. I need to find a new balance between Caring and Attentive Mother and Crazy and Controlling Meanie.
And I need time to think.