Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Nibbled to Death By Ducks

Motherhood, particularly stay-at-home motherhood, is not an easy job. Fun, yes. Rewarding, yes. Most exciting, challenging, and wonderful thing I've ever done, yes. Easy? Not so much. In fact, it's often like being nibbled to death by ducks.

There really isn't any one particular thing that I can point to that is incredibly difficult by itself. But there are dozens, maybe even hundreds, of little things that accumulate and wear me down. Lack of sleep is probably the closest to a free-standing difficulty. But even that by itself isn't going to kill me, especially since Ryan's been sleeping through the night for over a week now (knock wood!). But on top of that lack of sleep, layer not showering some days, not brushing my teeth till noon, skipping meals, backaches from lifting the baby, sore nipples, having to keep my nails cut short (doesn't sound like a problem, but taking prenatal vitamins makes my nails grow like kudzu vines!), sore spots on my head from the baby learning to cling to hanks of hair, clothes that don't quite fit, interrupting making dinner to quiet/feed/rock the baby, interrupting dinner to quiet/feed/rock the baby, stiff arms from lifting the baby, laundry piles that never seem to shrink, empty bottles somehow wandering all over the house, never a burp cloth where I can reach it... No one thing in itself makes me crazy, but they all add up after a while.

Fortunately, on the flip side, there are also a lot of little things that I find help to un-crazy me. A long nap while the baby is sleeping (or if Daddy takes a late-night feeding), going out to dinner (with or without the little man), a long bubble bath, or a backrub before bed all refresh me and recharge my engines. A big smile from the little man gives me a surge of energy to make it through another day. Even just seeing his peaceful face when he's finally fallen asleep after an hour of rocking (me) and sobbing (him) (okay, sometimes me too), gives me the strength to keep going.

Because when it comes right down to it, there are so many things I love about being a mom. I love watching Ryan learn something new every day. I love seeing him gaze up at me with recognition. I love listening to his calm breathing when he sleeps. I love watching the funny expressions that flit across his face as he dozes off. I love the way he smells after a bath. I love rubbing my face against his whisper-soft hair. I love blowing raspberries on his belly to make him laugh. I love watching him snuggle with his daddy. I love dressing him up in cute outfits. I love rocking him to sleep and singing him lullabies. I love nuzzling noses with him. I love playing bicycle with his feet and patty-cake with his hands and head-shoulders-knees-and-toes with every other part of him. I love taking him shopping and watching him look around wide-eyed at all the unfamiliar sights and sounds. I love strangers telling me how beautiful he is. I love knowing he's mine, all mine.

So bring on the ducks. It's worth every little nibble!

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