I will say that these last 10 months have been the journey of a lifetime. A difficult journey of a lifetime. I knew that having a child would change, stretch, challenge and strip away my selfishness but sometimes head knowledge doesn’t make the actually experience any easier. I didn’t fully foresee the way a child would impact my life, family, marriage and relationships. Not to mention my sleep.
There are moments when I feel so disappointed in the way that I mother. I thought it would come so much easier than it does. Now, I don’t beat myself up about this too much, it just was surprising for me to realize that I don’t always react the way I envisioned I would. But then, most of what I had envisioned about being a mother isn’t exactly right on. I mean, I used to think that Jude would sleep peacefully and I would sit there and watch him, maybe sketch him as he sleeps. Ha. When he sleeps, I’m hauling booty to try and get chores done!
I know that I’ve chosen some of the more difficult paths in raising Jude: natural birth, opting to exclusively breastfeed until he’s 1, cloth diapering, opting not to schedule the baby, but let him lead the way in when he needs to eat, sleep or play. These things are not the easiest things to do, in fact, they may be the most difficult, but in my heart, I feel like they work the best for our family and for our goals in life. (Hear this – I am not an advocate for any particular parenting method, I believe each family needs to find what works for them and their child and go from there. I do not believe there is an absolute right method.)
At this point, it is hard to imagine having another baby. It could just be the fact that we are still in the beginning stages of baby-ness and as it gets easier, maybe my mind will change. But I can’t imagine having to do this all again. People have said to me that if your first baby is difficult, the second will be easy, or vice versa. . . But I just think that there is no guarantee! Jude is a handful! He’s passionate and fairly inflexible. And honestly it freaks me out to think that I could have another passionate, handful of a child to deal with. . . I mean, Jude x2? Yikes!
Now don’t get me wrong, we adore our little boy. He is amazing and just lights up our days with silliness and giggles. We are thankful for his feisty demeanor and zeal for life. Parenting has just been so different than I have envisioned.
If you’re a mom, how has parenting been different for you than you had anticipated?