Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Feeling Thoughtful

A couple of weeks ago, I met someone new.  This someone happened to be 9 months pregnant, and as we talked about pregnancy and new babies and such she asked me, "Would you have done anything different, thinking back on those first months?"

I paused, thinking how great the question was but also slightly taken aback, surprised that I hadn't thought about that in awhile.  I answered, "I don't think so.  I'm very much of a 'stop and smell the roses' kind of gal, and I'm glad I've taken the time to just enjoy her so much."

It's true.  I am almost always very aware of how fleeting many precious parts of life can be, and I truly do try to soak it all in.  Lately, I'm stepping back a bit and noticing with awe that our baby girl is eight months old.  Not that I wasn't aware that she was 8 months old, but that it's been an entire eight months.  The length of a school year.  I honestly feel like she is still so brand-new to me, that I'm still brand-new at being a mom, and in the movement of the every day I sort of lost track of how much time has really gone by.

For many years now, I've been old enough to stop and say, "Wow! I can't believe how time has flown!" But never, ever in my life has that been more true that now.  I look at this big (well, okay, relatively...she's pretty petite!) baby and still see and smell and hear that wet, matted newborn hair, the puffy eyes, the tiny squeaks and gurgles.  

Will it always be that way?  I'm thinking so.

I am so deeply, utterly and truly glad that we made the tough choice for me to be home this year.  Financially, it's been rough.  Tears have been shed, anxiety has overwhelmed, times have passed where I had no idea how we'd pay for something.  Beans have filled in at suppers and portions sometimes smaller.  But over and over again God has provided for us abundantly, more than we could have asked or imagined.  I'm looking over a room full of toys as I type, and my little one is asleep in a warm bed with a full belly and life is good.  I am so glad that I've been able to soak in and enjoy every moment as much as I could, that we can cuddle in bed every morning, that we can share meals and sing and talk and play and that I've been able to witness her new little milestones. 

If I were to change anything about the early months, it's that I wish I had gone easier on myself.  Being prone to anxiety anyway, I do think I had a little PPD in the form of anxiety.  Often I would want nothing more than to cuddle my baby close, and I usually chose to do that, but I would still feel anxious and guilty and even incapacitated over all that needed to be accomplished around my home and how tricky it was to get it done with a pretty clingy baby while recovering from a surgery and having a hard time with breastfeeding.  That accomplishing can still be an issue, because I have a few too many pulls on my time right now.

I also wish that I had been a little more prepared for the loneliness and sometimes boredom that comes along when you're alone all day with someone who doesn't talk.  While I'm pretty good about keeping the TV off during the day, I think that all of the sleeping the baby did early on and my need to rest recovering from illness made for too much computer screen time.  That screen time can be tricky to balance when I've got pictures to edit, e-mails to answer, a part-time job to do, and a blog to write.

Finally, I wish I had done a bit more video-taking than just picture-taking.  My instinct is to grab the photo camera rather than the video camera.  Just something little, but something I think about at times!  I'm working on that, too.  Or at least I will be when I find that silly little camera!

Life is precious, and time is short.  I'm learning to love every moment of it, and this little one makes at least her part of it easy.

1 comment:

  1. Such a great reflection, Taylor. I could echo your words on many counts--how the time flies by, how grateful I am to be home with my little girl, how I wish I had spent less time in front of the computer screen, and how I need to take out that video camera more. Thanks for writing little posts like these...they help me get back in touch with my emotions on these topics that I daily live in, but forget to reflect on. Hope you're doing well and enjoying the onset of summer!


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