Monday, May 14, 2012

a happy (belated) mother's day to you

It's really easy for me to get caught up in the difficulty of being a mother to a baby.

It's always repetitive. I follow the same schedule in the morning. Pack the same bags with the same stuff. I drive the same route to daycare. Change a diaper, fill the highchair tray with the same Cheerios so I can make dinner, wash the same dishes and pump parts, play with the same toys and follow the same routine for bedtime. I read the same book in the same silly voice and build the same tower with the same blocks.

But as I read this blog post, I was reminded of how that routine and consistency has a much greater purpose in Henry's life. It give him solid ground in a world he doesn't even know is chaotic. The small things are what make him feel secure, confident and happy.

There are mothers in my life who are dealing with children who fall short of their expectations. Mothers who worked so hard to instill values in their children and then to watch the painful rejection of those lessons.  Mothers who are taking care of sick or handicapped children. Mothers who are still parenting their adult children through tough situations. Mothers who lost their children before they ever got to meet them or who can measure the life of their children in hours.

I have a beautiful baby boy. He's active, healthy, social, smart and smiley. And I have more love than I thought my heart could ever hold. I am lucky.

It's really easy to get caught up in the "mommy wars." To spend so much time debating and agonizing over choices on breastfeeding or formula, co-sleeping or crib, cloth or disposable, crying it out or not, organic or that crap Gerber makes (which I buy), cow's milk or not, stroller or sling.

Some of those choices probably do matter, most don't. But the more mothers I meet, the more I realize we're all doing the best we can with the unique kid we were blessed to parent. I might cloth diaper, co-sleep and breastfeed, but making baby food or staying home all day with him I cannot. I have to make choices for Henry and the unique little man he is.

I love the ultimate selflessness that is motherhood. I understand now the need for a few selfish choices to maintain sanity and balance.

So is the complicated, exhausting and entirely awesome journey of motherhood in year one.

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