Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Rosemary was three weeks old yesterday. I find myself describing time as moving fast and slow about many things. I tell Andrew that thinking back to the time we lived in Arkansas feels so long ago, but then again I can't believe we have lived in Austin for seven months. Rosemary is already three weeks old, but then again, it's only been three weeks? I seem to do this, ramble on about time. I know I am not the first. I will always be amazed at how so much of our life is measured by time, but in the end it all seems to run together. Time seems even more real when you are surrounded by growing things. I can feel time changing and growing Blanche. Her head is now so heavy when she lays in my arms. At night when we lie in bed I feel my whole arm stretch across her. I can feel the effects of time with Blanche. I can see them with Rosemary. She is growing and changing each day. We are becoming friends.
There is no other relationship like the one between a mother and child. It feels so normal and odd all at the same time to have something be part of yourself and then become its own. That really is what motherhood is about though I suppose. One time my brother told me that a baby's heart starts in the womb with one little cell beating. Then more and more cells start coming together and are beating in a sense. They make the heart. Rosemary started so small as a single beating cell in my body, and now she is out and looking to me. We are still one in many ways. She sleeps best right beside me. Her breathing is calm and normal when she is fast asleep beside me. We connect through nursing many times a day. All that she is and is becoming is life from me. I give her everything she needs to grow for the next half of a year at least. As a mother I will continue to give physically but also emotionally. Thats why being a mother can be the best thing and the hardest. A mother is always giving. In the early years a mother gives so much in so many ways. Many times way more giving to those around her than to herself.
I wrote in my last post about walking through labor and knowing the feeling of it this time more than with Blanche. I think that is why it is easier with the second than the first child. I know more of the feelings I will have. I can understand much faster that I have been over touched or that I feel a little trapped inside of my own home. I am so thankful for the people around me. Andrew continues to do the grocery shopping. Always taking Blanche with him to give me some time. He plans meals and makes them.
I have also discovered that I am that odd type of person who feels better after cleaning my floors. And that it's okay. I think I have told myself in the past that I need to relax and let things go. Which I am sure I do at times. But I am also learning that if working really hard to clean my house one morning is what I need to do to be a better mom all week, than thats what I should do. I feel more at peace and calm when I am in a clean environment. I know spotless isn't an option with a toddler, but I find its easier to sit down and play when I have some where to sit. I can sit and nurse and relax when I look down at our floors with the sun shining on them and there isn't a week's worth of crumbs on them.
Motherhood can be isolating and lonely. No mother of young children needs to be told this. It simply happens when one adult is alone with small children for much of the day. Its okay to be lonely. Not too lonely, but to be enough alone that I can see myself for who I am. I can see my children and who I am as a mother. It is good to embrace a simple life. I enjoy time alone and at home. Having a newborn with a toddler as well forces you to slow down. I have had a couple of friends come over, which is greatly needed. But overall I can't plan my week jammed full.
Not leaving the house can be hard but I know it is a season of life. That wearing my purple sweatpants most days because nothing else really fits won't be forever. Winter will be gone before I know it. Rosemary will be older tomorrow. I will soon look back to this time with sweet memories of snuggling my two little girls inside our little apartment on cold winter days. I will tell them stories of how I got us all down to nap in the same bed, with Rosemary resting on top of my postpartum belly and Blanche under my right arm with my old t-shirt and nursing bra tangled around the top of my breasts. For now at times I feel sloppy and tired. And although I don't enjoy having milk stains on my shirt and unbrushed teeth, I am giving love and life to my girls. This is such a grand time of life that can feel mundane because of how much work it really does take. That is why I should never stop remembering that time is growing both of these girls. One day can feel long, but before I know the week is over.
I have sat here for the last thirty minutes writing and thinking with Rosemary nursing and sleeping on my lap. Gigi and Showpa have had Blanche for the last couple of hours and will be home soon. I know people read this blog, and maybe knowing someone will read it is what inspires me to keep writing. But really, anytime I write it is for myself. Writing slows my mouth down. I can talk and talk but there is a different understanding that comes from writing down what I am thinking. Maybe it still seems a bit like rambling, but maybe one day Blanche and Rosemary will be mothers who's shirts are stained with breast milk and they haven't left the house in several days. Maybe they will be able to look back and read my words and know they are not alone. That they never have been, and neither have I because motherhood connects us all. My own mother has told me some of her favorite memories are laying in bed nursing me while I was just in my diaper.