Sunday, April 21, 2013

Re-kindling the Mommy Flame

I'm going to make a confession: I've been feeling a little burned-out, motherhood-wise, for the last few days. Edwin has been particularly difficult, fussing and crying more frequently and being unpredictable about everything from his nap lengths to how much he'll eat for dinner. It's been harder for me to do things around the house, let alone for myself, because he's been so much needier than usual. Yesterday he had two total meltdowns while we were out shopping with my sister, something he's never done in public before. (There's something about dressing rooms that he doesn't like.)

I love being a mother and I love Edwin, but I can't help but look back on our pre-baby time with a touch of nostalgia. I suppose that's only natural. Here, for my own re-kindling and your enjoyment, are some things I miss about being childless, along with some corresponding compensations for having a child.

What I miss: The freedom of being able to go out whenever I wanted, stay out as long as I wanted, and not have to bring fifty pounds of necessary stuff with me (not counting the baby).
My compensation: Having cute, often smiley company for walks and shopping trips.

What I miss: That moment when you wake up on your own and realize that you can go back to sleep for a couple of hours. 
My compensation: Snuggling with my son and having him reach for me at night. 

What I miss: Being able to pick up and go to our favorite vacation place for a spontaneous weekend getaway and not worry about how we can afford it.
My compensation: Experiencing our favorite places in new ways as we introduce them to Edwin; having vacations become more precious because they are more rare.

What I miss: Not having to plan my day around nap times and lunchtimes.
My compensation: Learning a new skill set that allows me to get things done in small, unpredictable windows of time.

What I miss: Doing laundry once a week or less.
My compensation: Getting that satisfied feeling of completeness when the laundry is done. (Okay, that one's a stretch.)

What I miss: Having to answer only to myself; not being needed so often and so much.
My compensation: The feeling of being the most important person in the world to my little boy.

My verdict? Of course, the compensations outweigh what I miss. I love my son and I'd never want to be free of him. But I do need to make some time to be on my own. I know I'll value it highly and it will leave me feeling refreshed. In the meantime, here's hoping that Edwin's "fussy time" will end soon, and that a new nap/sleep schedule will emerge from the chaos.

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