Note to Self

I went to a baby shower today - the first one I've been to since having one of my own. It was a whole different experience. Instead of buying the cutest stuffed animal and the coolest toy I could find - which is what I would have done pre-baby - I packed a gift basket with boring essentials like cloth diapers (they make the best burp cloths) and swaddling blankets. Not the most exciting gift she opened, but it didn't matter to me because I knew she would use every single item in there.

Her mother had created an "advice" journal for all of us to sign, which we had been warned about beforehand. On the drive there I thought about what advice I could give her, and lots of little things crossed my mind.

Always cover his little boyhood with a washcloth or clean diaper AS SOON AS you remove the dirty one.

Use a spritz of stain remover spray on bibs and onesies before the stain dries.

Keep a small bag in your car with the bare essentials -- one or two diapers, some wipes, a pacifier.

Leave the dirty dishes in the sink and sleep when he sleeps.

All of those words of wisdom had been passed on to me when I became a mom. And I had a feeling others would impart the same advice to her. So I wrote the one thing nobody had spelled out for me...the part about being a new mom we all have to learn the hard way, over and over. Essentially, I wrote:

Try to live in the moment, but also to Give In to the moment. Know that there will be days (nights, moments) when you will feel frustrated, overwhelmed, exhausted, or filled with doubt. In those moments, take a deep breath and give in ... to your feelings, and to the situation. It takes strength to relinquish control — of your day, your schedule, your sleep time, your expectations — so feel the power that comes with giving in. And know that at the end of the day, your mere presence and love are the best things you can give him.

I decided to write that here tonight so I can keep rereading it, too.

3 comments:

Paul Lewis said...

It was a hard lesson to learn. I wish I could have read your thought about "giving in" about 8 months ago before my daughter arrived. :) ...I'd have fewer grey hairs.

julia said...

throwing myself into motherhood without abandon and letting go of the less important stuff was one of the hardest lessons i had to learn. but one that i will never regret for a single second. even if the most productive thing i did all day was make antonio smile, it was a productive day. thanks again for finding such a beautiful way to express it. i too will come here to reread it.

Out of Hand said...

I know you don't know me but my sister hs you on her blog-kikbee-and I clicked and started reading and love the way you write. And your advice-I have a 5 and 8 year old and 17 year old step son and that advice is is still true today!