Yesterday I was in love with motherhood. Today I just liked it. The ups and downs of this journey amazes me constantly, how quickly the emotions rise and crest, jumbled into one wave. This is the most exhausting thing I have ever done, being a mother, and there are days when being in the moment seems impossible. I long for interaction, for adult conversation, for busyness, and completing a to-do-list. When I can stop thinking about the future or reminising about the past and really just be with Sam, my mood definitely improves. Going through the rough stuff, the moments when I want to run away to a different life, are important to acknowledge though as well. Today as I was watching my friends little boy, getting a taste for how it would be having two toddlers in my life, I was listening to Teri Gross on NPR. She was talking to Jennifer Senior who has written the new book All Joy, No Fun: The Modern Paradoxs of Parenthood. It was so interesting, and I want to go back and listen more carefully and read the book because there were nuggets in what she was talking about. She spoke a bit about helicopter parents, about how in this day in age so many more parents have time to be involved in every aspect of their child's life. How that isn't all that good, really. Autonomy and the ability to do something by yourself is of great importance, a quality to start nurturing at a young age. I love watching Sam play by himself, how he dives into a book or creates these little made-up games. He can be by himself. I want to give him the space to explore, to make mistakes, to create successes. I want to keep my mouth shut more. And not do things for him when he is perfectly capable out of a desire for a quicker outcome.
Senior also spoke about how reasoning with a toddler is impossible because their prefrontal cortex is not developed and they have no comprehension of time. I had to chuckle as I am already starting to experience this phenomena with Sam, in his ripe old age of 13 months. Toddlers are completely in the moment, again that concept, and if we adults can relish that and recognize how much there is to learn from our little ones life will be a whole lot easier. There will always be the days when everything feels off...eating, napping, timing, etc. But there is beauty here too. Beauty in the chaos.