Follow by Email

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Surviving Motherhood

I don't care what anyone else says, Motherhood is the hardest job there is. I've done lots of other "jobs." I made it through a rigorous master's/pre-doctorate graduate program, post-degree training, and licensure as a professional counselor. I've worked with some really tough situations in my career as a professional counselor. But nothing, so far, tops the challenges of motherhood.

We are surviving Dear Daddy's departure back to work after being home for two weeks when Zachary was born, but it's been tough. The first day he was back to work, all three of us that were left at home had fits of frustration. Zachary was fussy fussy fussy all morning. Each time I laid him down (praying he would nap) so that I could attend to Zoe, he would last no more than 20 minutes before fussing some more. Each time I picked him up to settle him, Zoe had fits over something. At one point I couldn't handle it anymore, and my still- raging-not-departing-my-body-fast-enough hormones were not helping. I couldn't stop the tears of frustration, which upset Dear Daughter and made her cry more. I eventually just plopped down on the couch with Dear Son crying in one arm and Dear Daughter crying under the other arm, and we all just sat there and cried awhile until I could regain composure.

Three days later, it has gotten better. I'm getting to the pro-nursing stage where I'm finding myself able to nurse a baby at any angle and in the midst of any activity. This morning I was trying to pay some attention to Dear Daughter and was on the floor assembling a puzzle with her when Dear Son decided he was hungry. I managed to get situated with him and begin nursing him while remaining on the floor to help Dear Daughter with her puzzle. However, no sooner had I achieved this task (a challenge in and of itself) when Dear Daughter decided to step up the challenge a bit and announced she had to go "poopie." Those of you with toddler experience know that when a toddler says s/he has to go, you don't mess around. I managed to get up off the floor, to the bathroom, and assist Dear Daughter with getting her britches pulled down, rear wiped, and britches pulled back up, all without disrupting Dear Son's feeding. Don't ask me for more details or for a "how-to" outline, because I really don't think I could tell you. I've decided that as a Mother, you just do what you have to, and amazing skills and abilities surface when they are necessary. Keep in mind that it has barely been over two weeks ago that my abdomen was hacked open to birth Dear Son. I've read that one must remember that a c-section is a major abdominal surgery and so the recovery period includes recuperating from a major surgery as well as all the other postpartum challenges. "Be sure to get lots of rest" the books all say. I would have laughed at that until my sides split if my abdomen wasn't already split. Get lots of rest???????? That's not just a stupid statement, it's a sick and painful, not-at-all-funny joke!

The "Amazing Mom Tricks" continued when later, I managed to nurse Dear Son while reading stories to Dear Daughter and getting her tucked in for her nap. Once again, don't ask me to explain how this kind of multi-tasking can be accomplished. You do what you have to do and in-between the challenges you find those sweet moments like this morning when Dear Daughter wanted my attention in the middle of Dear Son's diaper change. I told her she would have to wait until I was done with Zachary's britches, and she didn't fuss another bit. Thirty seconds later she announced, "I'm waiting for Zachary." Or those even sweeter moments like yesterday morning when Dear Daughter, upon awakening, handed me the balloon decorations from Grandma H's birthday cake, which we had eaten the night before (she insisted on sleeping with them) and sweetly stated, "Happy Birthday, Mommy!" Yes indeed, you do what you have to do, and you straddle the moments of, "How am I going to survive this?" along with the moments of, "How could it get any better than this?" In the end, I believe every mom is both a survivor and a superstar.

No comments: