Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Notes of a new mommy

Before I became a Mommy, few people told me how much fun it's going to be. Most talked about how difficult it is, how I can say goodbye to sleeping at night, and how I'm never going to have a quiet moment for myself again.

Of course, with the arrival of our Shira, I said goodbye to life as I knew it before. It would have been ridiculous to think I will still have as much free time as before, or that we will be able to set a structured schedule, or that many quiet evenings won't be interrupted by a crying baby. Life changes once you have a baby, and it's better to just relax and enjoy the journey.

It means slowing down. When I lean back in an armchair, nursing my dear child, I might not be doing all the things I planned, but I'm relaxing like never before. I look at our baby and admire how beautiful and precious she is. I'm enjoying a big glass of water and/or a healthy snack. I can pray, listen to soothing music, read a good book, and even write a bit of poetry if my right hand is free.

Little ones change so fast. In their first days of life, they mostly eat and sleep, but in just a few weeks their eyes begin to shine with bright curiosity, and you are rewarded by their first smile. Often, when we approach Shira's bed, she gives us one of her best big smiles the moment she sees us and kicks and coos and stretches out her little hands, expressing her utmost delight. Isn't it wonderful when a little person expresses such enthusiasm about seeing you, even when you just got out of your bed and are puffy-eyed and still wearing your pajamas?

At first, Shira had largely two "modes" of sound: silence and crying. But before we knew it, she started to experiment with her little voice, and now we can enjoy the delightful sounds of baby babble. The changes of each day are so subtle, so unnoticed, but together they add up fast. And before you know it, those babies sit up, crawl, walk, talk, learn to ride a bicycle, read, and swim… and you ask yourself, where does the time go?

Shira is now at an age when most babies are already in someone's else's care during most of the day. People call me with job offers and ask what I plan to do "next". But I cannot imagine giving up most of the precious fleeting days of my child's infancy. And not just because I think it's my duty to be there for her. I'm simply enjoying the time spent with my dear daughter, and I know I'll never come to regret it.
I look forward to even more fun as Shira starts to explore the world around her more actively. How wonderful it is to look around and see the world through a child's eyes!

We used to live as families. People spent the bulk of their time learning, growing and working together. Now gathering around the table for a family meal is becoming extinct, and even during vacation, many people have no idea what to do with their children. Siblings were each other's playmates, even if they weren't very close in age. Now, a child who is in the third grade cannot be friends with someone from the second grade. Our life used to be a whole, and now it's separated into little cubicles.

If you don't have children, have you tried to become friends with an eight-year-old? Try it, and you'll be uplifted. Children are sharp and enthusiastic, make countless interesting observations and think fascinating thoughts.

So take a child's little hand and go out. The rustle of leaves and patterns of light and shadow become fascinating. The work of ants can be watched for hours. Anything can be a joy, a delight, a most wonderful discovery. Life with children is an adventure, and I'm so grateful for the privilege of being a Mommy and making the most of it.

22 comments:

~Julie~Georgia~USA~ said...

Anna,
Another beautiful post. My daughters are now 15 and 13 and I wonder where the time has flown. Our children grow so very quickly. At times I ache for those little babies again, but I must remind myself not to be sad today looking back to what was yesterday. They have grown into lovely young ladies and we are very proud of them. When I read your posts, it brings back such sweet memories. You seem to have such a wonderful perspective on your life. It is encouraging and inspiring to read your posts ~ especially when people all around me seem to be caught up in "the rat race." There are many people running around doing perhaps "good" things, but they are missing out on the BEST things!!!

Thanks for taking the time to share your lovely thoughts with us.
~Julie~

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a beautiful observation about the journey we take with our children as they grow. I agree wholeheartedly! Blessings, Leah

Inca said...

Like you, I was able to stay home after my baby was born. And, that is what makes all the difference.

When you have to go back to work and leave your little one/s, it is very stressful. The stress level in your life goes up a tremendous amount, and all pay for it: the mom, the baby, the rest of the family.

Unfortunately, there is a common belief "out there" today that a mom should be able to handle work and motherhood easily. Some really don't 'get' the value of staying home. Some honestly cannot do so, with the situations they were dealt.

Ways of Zion said...

Thank you...brilliant post!

jAne said...

Another lovely post, AnnaT. :o)

Rhonda in Chile said...

Beautifully put!

Blessings from Rhonda, mother of a 13 year old, 10 year old, and 5 month old baby girl

Civilla said...

I don't know why other mothers have to discourage would-be and new mothers by saying, "Just wait...you'll see how awful it is!" People did that to me, too. It made me really angry.

50s Housewife said...

Wonderful post! As a mom of two grown sons (and three children still at home) I can tell you how fleeting their childhood is. Savor it and enjoy each moment, even the difficult ones. They are so worth it. :)

Betsy said...

Amen! Every woman who is about to have a baby, listen to this! Be warned, you will have lots of people tell you how horrible and difficult your life will be. Smile and change the subject as fast as you can. Then when your baby comes, love every fussy minute of the precious life you have. Appreciate that when your child is old enough to sleep all night, clean themselves up, pull their weight in chores, and move out of your home so you are "uninterrupted" the child will no longer be the small, precious, helpless, sweet and tiny little bundle in your arms anymore, and you will long for these days again!

Did anyone else get these comments when they were pregnant and similar comments about how miserable marriage is when she was engaged? Just curious!

Tereza said...

and I'm so glad you are learning this with your first already!!! Wow..that will save you many headaches!! that's so awesome!

Di said...

Hi Anna, I'm so glad you feel this way - I do too! I love being a mum and spending time with my gorgeous daughter. Keep on enjoying the babyhood, I think its the best kept secret!

Terry @ Breathing Grace said...

This was a lovely post, Anna, and very true. While there are definitely challenging moments as a mother, there are infinite joys as well.

I am watching with fascination as my 11 month old is building up the courage to try and walk. She holds on to the furniture wherever she goes. She prefers to be on her feet, but if she wants to get somewhere in a good hurry, she'll relent and crawl, cause it's still faster at this point. But when she reaches her destination, she immediately gets back to her feet, even standing on her own a bit. That's fun stuff!

tales_from_the_crib said...

Once again a beautiful post. I spent the better part of yesterday morning wandering about the park following the whims of my toddler with my baby in a stroller. Although we did not make very good time or stay on the paths, we did run a bit, get a skinned knee and watched two slugs crossing the path. We also played with the flowering vines climbing a wall and interrupted a photo shoot. We sat on a low bench and had an apple while watching the storm clouds roll across the sky. Somehow, nothing important got accomplished, but it was a lovely hour or so.

Lara Gisela said...

Beautiful post Anna!

Kristin-Homemaker@Heart said...

very beautifuly written. Thanks for sharing!!! You are so right.
Have a wonderful day!

Kari said...

Well said!! I love the simple joys that make my two-year-old smile. She loves playing with her shadow, and I don't even notice mine anymore. Every time she hears a bus go by, she excitedly exclaims, "That was another bus, Mommy"! - and I barely even notice the noise. This unbridled joy and curiosity make my days at home with the kids so much fun!

Anonymous said...

I have to tell you that being a mom is a joy, even for those of us who work too. I love and cherish every moment I get to spend with my baby!

Tammy said...

All so very true! My husband held our oldest girl the other day and told her how she used to pick the pens and assorted items out of his shirt pocket, examining each one and then going for another. She's ten years old now. How time flies!

Danielle said...

I feel the same way you do...in fact, I just wrote a similar post about this. My first was born 2 months ago and he has become the love of my life. I worked full time before, but now I have decided to stay home with him during the week because I just can't imagine someone else doing my job. I am blessed to be able to have this option and I am so thankful that God has allowed me to spend this time with my baby. The time goes by so quickly and I cherish each moment I have with him.

Wanda's Girl said...

What a relief this post is...thanks, "Ruby" T!

Betsy, I've recently gotten engaged, and yes, people have filled me with marital horror stories to the point that I wept with fear! Thank God for Anna's blog, which has fed me with encouragement.

Kelly said...

Oh so very true. My daughter in now 3 and a half and I can't believe that I can barely see the baby in her, and she is so much the beautiful little girl.

Anonymous said...

You are so very right in telling people to be friends with children.

I battled depression during my pregnancy, and the friend who supported me the most was 3 years old. My adult friends had no idea how to interact with me, but when a 3 year old looks you in the face and tells you "I am talking to God because I want the baby to come for my birthday"