Friday, October 19, 2012

Musings of Motherhood

A few thoughts after experiencing three (and a half) months of motherhood....

  • Never in any job or project I've undertaken have I been so completely exhausted at day's end. These days,  I am physically and emotionally wiped out. I feel...spent. As though there is nothing left of me to give. I am giving myself entirely to my daughter between 8ish in the morning when she wakes up until 10ish at night (when we both go to bed). I am "on the job" every moment I'm awake. There is nothing like it!
  • Of course, I always appreciated my mom. I've written Mother's Day cards full of sentiment and gratitude...but I get it now. I "get" why we celebrate motherhood. I have an entirely new perspective of what my mother did (does!) for me. There is still much to learn, and I know my eyes will continue to be opened as to the magnitude of how wonderful she is as I discover more about what it really means to be a loving mom.
  • The work I do at home can feel pretty small, compared to the happenings in the rest of the world. I'm trying to remember how important it is to keep our little world turning. Clean laundry, paid bills, tidy kitchen, tasty supper, happy and healthy's meaningful work, and it's mine.
  • I am so grateful for the new spiritual awareness and focus that I am experiencing.  It is our deep desire to raise Emerson in a godly manner, teaching her to fear the Lord, and I have a new recognition of my need for wisdom and Christ's strength. I am increasingly aware of my dependence on God to guide my day and guard Emerson.  I have a better understanding of unconditional love, and far greater appreciation for sacrifice. My prayers each night over Emerson's crib as she sleeps are some of the most fervent, honest and genuine words I have ever spoken to my Father, and I'm thankful.
  • I'm lonesome for time with special friends. I want to spend time with friends close-by, and catch-up with friends far away. I want to chat, sip coffee, & connect. I love spending my days with Emerson, but I miss the company of friends.
  • There is an interesting balance between feeling as though I'm "losing myself" in motherhood, and finding myself, as well. "Mom" is what I've always wanted to be, and I wouldn't trade it for anything, but recognizing the changes in myself that this new role requires is interesting and unique.
  • I glanced in the mirror during Emerson's bath the other night. There was spit-up all over the front of my t-shirt, and spaghetti sauce stains on my shoulder (...a result of my haphazardly eating ravioli so as not to drip on baby). My hair was falling down from the messy bun on top of my head, and my make-up had long since rubbed off (though I am proud that I had been wearing some in the first place). I saw in the mirror what very much looked like a "mom uniform", and I was strangely pleased. We'd had a happy day. I'd worked hard. And in seeing that reflection, I knew I'd done my job.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


I love anniversaries. Wedding and romantic anniversaries, of course, but also the recognition of dates in my life that were somehow meaningful. In my mind, taking note of the notable days in our past provides a sense of where we were & where we are & where we're going, and provides some connection between the days and months that keep going by. It's important for me to recognize these occasions. Without doing so, the days can turn into years...seemingly endless until time has too quickly passed to realize it.

(I've written about a few of my meaningful anniversaries here and here and here...and here.)

Admittedly, writing about this anniversary borders on the line of over-sharing, but since I've made it clear how important it is to me to recognize milestone dates, I'll proceed.

Emerson was likely conceived on this date last year.

I know...rather personal. Although, conceivably (ha), anyone that knows anything about the timeline of pregnancy and her estimated due date could have figured that out.

Anyway, whether or not the exact date is accurate, it's fun for me to think about. If you believe that life begins at conception (as I do), then this occasion is a special one. On this date (or thereabouts) one year ago, God created Emerson. Her life began before I knew it had; she was fearfully and wonderfully made!

Something worth celebrating, indeed.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Emerson: Three Months

October 1, 2012

  • By my at-home measurement (no dr. appt. this month), you weigh just over 14 pounds.
  • You're wearing cloth diapers! They were a success from day one. You seem pretty comfortable!
  • Thanks to the cloth diapers and the extra cushion in your bottom, most of your 0-3 month clothes don't fit anymore. For the most part, 3-6 month clothes fit, but you'll be wearing 6-9 month sizes sooner rather than later, it appears. It's fun transitioning into your fall wardrobe!
  • Nightly baths are still such a good time, and you tell us quite clearly when you're ready for it each night. Your delight in bathing is becoming more and more evident. You relax into your position in the tub immediately, you love grabbing and sucking on the soapy washcloth, and you're quite pleased when Daddy pours the cup of water on your tummy. You've stopped crying at the end of bath time, and we're all able to enjoy the wind-down routine a bit more now. While we put on your pajamas, I usually sing "Five Little Frogs" or "Rubber Ducky" to you. The length of the songs is just about as much time as I need to get you diapered and pajama-ed, and it seems to usually keep you entertained long enough to do so.
  • We nurse in the living room after bath and pj's, and it seems to be getting easier and easier for you to wind down and put yourself to sleep after you eat. We usually lay on the couch for a while before putting you in your crib between 9:00 and 10:00 p.m. (Any earlier and you tend to wake-up as soon as we lay you down.)
  • No more swaddle for you, big girl! You sleep in a "sleep sack" now, and it's so precious to see you all stretched out, arms above your head. Such a peaceful sleeper.
  • You are sleeping through the night! Waking up at 6:00 a.m. for a quick feeding is the exception rather than the norm, and more often than not, it's between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m. when you begin to stir and are ready to start your day. 
  • You wake up with a smile just about every day, and leaning over your crib each morning to your happy greeting is my favorite part of the day. 
  • That smile! It lights up your face and is oh, so contagious. What a joy! 
  • Your hands are your favorite toy, and you love to slobber and slurp on them. 
  • You study your environments intently, and are generally serious until you're familiar with where you are and who you are with.
  • We know when you're happy! And, when you're not. You continue to seem so content most of the time, happy to be where the action is. But, you're discovering how to communicate different emotions, and you are able to demonstrate your dissatisfaction with a situation quite clearly. 
  • You have much less hair now than you did when you were born, and the hair that's left is much lighter than it was. It comes off in your bath and there's a little circle of dark brown hair in your crib where you lay your head. When it grows back, will you be blond like Mommy and Daddy were, we wonder?
  • Your tummy-time stamina has increased considerably. Your longest stretches of 10 minutes or so happen just about every morning. Watching Sesame Street keeps you interested while you exercise. 
  • You are definitely recognizing familiar faces, and usually give a smile to those you know. 
  • We've had lots of "conversations" this month, as you've begun to find your voice. Lots of back and forth "oh's" and raspberries. You are a communicator, with lots to say. We have such fun things to talk about in days to come! 
  • Your babbles have a low tone, and we wonder if you'll have a deep voice. 
  • You love to sit-up, and your head control is wonderful. You begin to tighten your abs and arch your back when you're ready to be pulled-up, and are so proud when you've done it. 

There are new things to learn about you each day! 
Watching you grow and seeing your personality develop is a true gift. 
Emerson, I am so thankful that I get to be your mom.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

This Too Shall Pass

I've always appreciated the phrase "this too shall pass". My best friend wrote that sentence on a note card attached to a "get well" gift when I had my wisdom teeth removed years ago, and I placed the note in my medicine drawer where it's been ever since. (Having the need to open the medicine drawer usually means that I could benefit from the reminder that my ailment is temporary; it's been an encouragement more than once!)

Motherhood has brought this phrase to mind a few times. Now more than ever, its meaning seems so relatable in my life.

There were days in those first few weeks with Emerson where it truly felt as though sleep was a thing of my past; that my nights were going to be forever spent in that recliner. But, that hardship passed. And that's a good thing.

Then again, Emerson won't be in her swaddle ever again. She doesn't find ceiling fans quite so interesting anymore, and these days she doesn't have to lay on my chest in order to fall asleep. She's growing, and some of the defining behavior patterns that we've come to expect are changing. That's also a good thing...but it's bittersweet, too. Her days as an infant are short...they too shall pass. And, I know I'll miss this chapter.

"This too shall pass." For better or worse, it does ring so, so true, doesn't it?

Days are short. Time is precious. we're building...shall pass. I don't reflect on that in such a way as to despair in life's brevity. Instead, I'm considering it a reminder to cherish the joy in living right now

The rough moments will pass.
The precious ones will, too.