Savoring Motherhood… or Sometimes Not

So the other night as I was doing our bedtime routine with the kids (which feels more and more like an Olympic event as the kids are growing in size and in numbers… Get to the finish line!) I remembered how it used to be one of the sweetest parts of my day, when I felt the duality of wanting to finally have some free time but also missing their little bodies immensely after getting them to sleep. Anyway, it used to be that way. I realized I had lost a little bit of the savoring of motherhood that I used to experience throughout the day. Maybe it’s just the specific challenges of the past few months and weeks (Berrett was diagnosed with infantile spasms, I had to give him 6 different doses of medication and steroids a day and cart him to many EEG and doctor appointments, even an MRI where he was put under General anesthesia). By all accounts, it was a tiring and trying few months and I felt the underlying stress of his future as well… will it continue with him as he gets older? Will Epilepsy be a diagnosis he and I have to live with for the rest of his life? This busy-ness and lack of sleep (oh yeah, he was also not sleeping much) forced me to be a little less focused on my other 2 children and I felt the guilt of that too. Then for the last week I have been very sick in bed with a terrible cold. Oh yeah… and I’m PREGNANT! I keep forgetting all these details. So by the time bedtime rolls around, I am so ready to get 3 little monsters into bed so I can just BE. And then fall asleep myself at 9 pm so I can do it all again tomorrow.

I was just reading a bit of One Hundred Birds Taught Me to Fly by Ashley Mae Hoiland–it is kind of poetry and prose combined and she shares thoughts about womanhood, experiences in mothering and just life. I was reminded of myself as she described reveling in the ordinary things her children would do, like climbing over a rock and picking up sticks… because who else would care about those sort of things? Only a mother. Just yesterday I was complimenting Rose on a drawing she made of her two hands on which she used great detail to depict the lines of one palm, and on the other hand, her fingernails and knuckle lines. I thought it was beautiful. Only a mother. And how many times a day do I feign excitement at Finn’s latest trick or treasure. Or how many moments do I spend poring over the dimples on top of Berrett’s hands, or nuzzling his scrumptious wavy hair, or examining the perfect lines and toes on the bottoms of his feet. It felt like a gift to collect those found moments again and enjoy them, because they are the things I live for at this stage of life.

I have also been reminded many times in the last few months of the parallels I’m experiencing in life/pregnancy now vs. exactly two years ago, as my due date now and then were both in August. With child 3 and 4 so much is similar, but a lot of things have changed. We were still living in a 2 bedroom condo then, wondering when and where we would move, living in limbo right up to three days before birth. Our activities were different, no kids were in elementary school yet, Finn took 3 hour afternoon naps (Berrett takes maybe 1hour). Now I have a beautiful house, I stay home a lot, my daily life looks quite different, I drive back and forth a lot to elementary and preschool. My days are filled with trying to find time for each child individually rather than trying to fill our time with activities. And I keep very busy trying to keep said house clean and fixed up– I’ve been doing projects constantly this week. Maybe it’s nesting, maybe it’s the fact that my house is totally trashed whenever I’ve been down sick for a day. Maybe it’s the fact that Berrett is suddenly old enough to get into everything- makeup drawer, the fireplace ashes, every bathroom and kitchen drawer, anything else he can get his hands on! It’s led to a big clean up for me.

Impromptu cleaning of the fireplace. I was filthy… Cinderella

Angel child, likes eating fireplace rocks and dirt

Another project I worked on- decorating this little entryway with art, decor, and fresh branches. I also hung those 4 baby pictures along the stair walls which took all morning and at least a dozen trips up and down the stairs (the newspaper templates are still taped behind them).

I also moved a rug from the entry up to the kids’ bedroom. I’m also reworking the gallery wall in the kitchen because I wasn’t totally loving it.

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