November 9, 2012
This has been quite a month. The new normal of having a baby has finally started to feel normal. The routine of getting up in the middle of the night is still difficult, but it's doable. I can now totally understand how people say it--I can't imagine life without our little one.
October was a busy month because we flew to San Diego for two weddings. Miles did great on the flights (slept the whole way), but the trips did seem to throw him off when we returned. He got his first cold on the second trip and is just now recovering. In the midst of the stuffiness, Miles has started to laugh, smile more often, and enjoy some of his toys and books.
Whether it's the cold, daylight savings, or just a phase, the little guy has started to resist napping during the day. He will appear so tired--rubbing his eyes and yawning--but starts to cry as soon as I wrap him up and begin to rock him to sleep. The other day we hit our all-time low--less than an hour of combined sleep all day long (and only a total of eight and a half at night). An overtired baby makes overtired parents, and there were many tears and desperate attempts at calming him down--turning the hairdryer on for hours, bouncing, singing, praying...
I've been really thinking about what God is trying to teach me as I learn to soothe my baby when he cries. Not only do I feel tired, but also sadness. When he cries and cries and I can't seem to find a way to calm him down, I pray that he will be happy again. But in those moments I also hear God's voice telling me that he just needs a little sleep--that he's not really sad or damaged by a little crying. I find myself relying on God, listening for his encouragement, and it reminds me that I am not alone as I learn to be a parent.
And there is SO much to learn! I think I kind of assumed that if we took a class, read a few books, and read all of the instruction manuals that we would just get it all right. I wasn't that nervous to be a mom, because I had heard that often your intuition will kick in, and you'll know what to do. But here's the thing. In the middle of the night, the baby will start to cry because he wants to be fed. You feed him, start to rock him back to sleep, and hear a rumbling that can only mean he needs a diaper change. Up on the changing table, you start to change him, but notice that the side of his pj's are not just wet, but dirty. It's dark, so you try to move quickly, searching for clean pajamas, but the baby wakes up, starts to cry (scream) and begins to pee straight up in the air. Fumbling for a pacifier, you manage to get one in his mouth for a few seconds, but because he's crying, it pops out and rolls off the table onto the floor. A half hour later, baby is dry, asleep, and you (I) crawl back in bed. It's tiring, rewarding, and funny, all at the same time. And it's a huge reminder to me that I am not in control.
I'm pretty sure that's the other big lesson I'm learning right now. Even with all of the preparation or parenting books in the world, there are things you can't control. At times, being a new parent is going to be confusing and frustrating, and sometimes you just need to give up the control you crave and ask God to guide you. It's actually a relief that God is that way--he wants us to trust him. When I do, I find that I have more time to enjoy my favorite little buddy. The job of being his mom is hard, but so so worth it.