I am openly admitting that I am counting down the days until Pippa turns one. It doesn't take a genius to see that I am out of my element when it comes to caring for a baby. Like a fish out of the water, I have no idea what I'm doing... Even with the experience of an older child under my belt. I felt so much more comfortable with Motherhood once Ro turned one. Easier to manage. Not too defiant. Somewhat independent. I finally felt like I had a (slight) grasp on being a mother.
Lest Pippa thinks I am wishing away her babyhood, I am not. Mostly I am just wishing away her newborn stage. Motherhood is constantly teaching me, a lot. And it hasn't skipped the lesson that I DO NOT like unpredictability. And newborns are unpredictable. How many times are you going to wake in the night? Why are you crying? Why aren't you sleeping? Why aren't you awake? Should I wake you up so you sleep later? I am sure so many of my readers (all two) are laughing at me right now. I have a friend that told me she thought babies were easy: "Babies are so easy. If they cry, you just figure out why." Uh-huh, right... You figure out which of the endless possible reasons is upsetting them. So easy.
Pippa is a good girl. As mentioned last post, she likes to snuggle. Which is sweet for me. I like to snuggle her (and Ro and Wyatt) too. So all the anxiety I feel from having a newborn under my supervision is (somewhat) excused. And as she gets older, she becomes more predictable. As in she loves to take a bath but hates the post-bath routine. She cries when she's tired. She cries when she has a messy diaper (Ro never did...is this because he's a boy?). She usually dislikes her carseat unless the car is moving/driving. And she loves to be held!
Pippa is still unpredictable when it comes to any sort of routine. It sure would be nice to have set nap and bed times. Not only for my sanity but for Ro too. It gets old fast having to constantly tell Ro, "Just give me a minute, I need to _____ for Pippa first." Lucky for me, Ro is a patient kid. He doesn't seem to mind too much that Pippa has taken the majority of my attention. As my friend reminded me, babies are demanding. They want whatever they want right now.
It has been a rough month. I love Pippa to pieces but it is still soooooo hard! I can't tell you how many times I've watched a plane take-off (we live very close to SeaTac Airport) and wish I were on the plane escaping to wherever. Or looked at others with multiple children and wonder to myself, "Why? Why did you agree to having multiple kids?"
Then there's the guilt. Ohhhhh, the guilt. No one ever tells you about the guilt. I had it with Ro. Guilt for not holding him enough (or thinking I should). Guilt for dragging him out in the weather to go running with me. Guilt for doing something I wanted to do instead of something I thought he'd like to do more. (What the heck does a baby want to do?! Another reason I don't feel comfortable with babies.) Guilt for leaving Wyatt with the baby during his time-off so I could "enjoy" (if you call feeling guilty enjoyable) some time-off. Guilt for feeding him (breastmilk) from the bottle instead of nursing him. I still feel all those things with Pippa. But now I have the added guilt that comes from having a toddler too: Guilt for not spending enough time with him. Guilt for doing everything for Pippa first, him second. Guilt for being impatient with him because I am sooooo tired...and anxious. And guilt that Wyatt comes home from work to chaos while I try and get two kids to bed - and inevitably relying on him to step in - preventing him from winding down and enjoying a quiet evening. How do people have more than two kids?!
I have had several tell me, "This too shall pass." I have told it to myself several times (and sang the chorus of the OK Go song). I know it will. But it raises the question, am I living in the moment? Probably not. Am I going to miss all of this hard stuff? I really don't know if I will. I have contradicting emotions. Part of me loves this time in my life so much, I think my heart is going to burst! Like when Ro sits by me, while I feed Pippa, and I read him a book. I am surrounded by the two kids I love the most. I never want them to grow up. And then there are the moments that time can't pass fast enough. Like being tethered to a baby, never really being able to do what I want. I am not a fan of nursing.
Wyatt reminded me that being in a family takes sacrifice. But that sacrifice reaps love. All three of us - Wyatt, Ro and I - are sacrificing something to share our home with Pippa. And all three of us love her to pieces. So as hard as things are now, and as much as I want to be onto the next stage, I am grateful for this moment. I am grateful for my tiny giant.