Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Thoughts on Choosing

It wasn't until after the magical home delivery of my 4th, sweet J, that I realized I needed to make a change.  In those hazy, lazy first days where time stood still and we lay together in bed making faces at one another, when my heart unlocked and love I didn't know I had in me poured all over him - that is when I realized something had to be different.  I had to be different, to choose differently.  I had seen first hand how quickly babies disappear into something else, those 3 boisterous crazy big kids downstairs were testimony of that.  Spring had sprung as we bonded in an upstairs room, falling in love and not noticing the world becoming new at the same time.

I had always thought I was a relaxed, attentive mother.  I snuggled all my babies, nursed them all, wore them all, loved them all.  It wasn't until J that I realized that I lost something early on in an unlikely way.  In my drive to regain my pre pregnancy self in both a physical and emotional sense, I neglected my rest and became a frantic mother during my waking hours.  I robbed myself of sleep to get up at the crack of dawn to exercise  and my babies and I both paid for it.  Perhaps not obviously, and certainly not to anyone else.  But after I spent this past year with J, choosing to be mother to my baby above all else, and a healthy one at that, I realize what I missed out on with my others. This may not be something that other mothers struggle with, but for me, rest is imperative to my well being.  My physical and mental rest pours over into my parenting.

This choice melted over into other areas.  I stopped knitting and crafting for awhile, preferring to hold and stroke my baby for as long as possible.  I can knit when he's big and doesn't want to snuggle me, I reasoned.  I spent an inordinate amount of time gazing at him and just drinking him up.

As we approach his first birthday, I may not be fitting into all my prepregnancy wear, but I have beautiful memories.  Memories of sleeping in with my baby, and then spending time snuggling and adoring him before we began our day.  I know that I gave him the best gift I could - a well rested and sane-as-possible mama who made him my first priority.  I'll never regret that choice.

I don't want life to "just happen" to me.  I know that the days of our lives are numbered, and I want to live as intentionally within those days as possible.


Lots of parenting thoughts fluttering about in my head as I approach 3 big birthdays.  Time goes by too fast.


  1. Aw he is just too beautiful! Something about that 4th baby, they just make you slow down, I know Ruby did that for me as well.

  2. Great post, Lydia, as usual! I needed to hear it. Thank you!

  3. As always thanks for your thoughts, I look forward to learning these lessons in May!

  4. You are an inspiration! I feel we communicate through an invisible realm of "mamahood" although I've only "stumbled" upon your writings a couple of days ago. I know I was sent or drawn here for a purpose. I don't know it yet, but I cannot wait to go on the journey of finding it out! :) I made the same choice and I am so happy I did! Life goes by so quickly! Every moment is extremely important so I'm trying to live appreciating every second. Thanks!

  5. beautiful lydia! i only hope that one day my experience with my own children is as special as yours has been. i'm glad you were able to slow down with your 4th and truly take it all in...love it!

  6. beautiful thoughts this morning. when we are happy and healthy, babyhood goes way too fast...

  7. thisis a WONDERFUL post! I did exactly this with my third baby boy. (he'll be a yr in May) With all the others I was so set on regaining my freedom (as if that could ever happen when yu're a mom!!) and i spent os much time trying to make them "good babies". you know, worrying about getting them to eat solids and sleep "right" as soon as possible. i realized when I had Ven that I neede to change. so I spent SO much time with him. not trying to change him, or push him to grow, or fit into my old clothes or anything else... just trying to get to know how. What a change! our bond is so close. my memories are so good. and my feelings about motherhood and my children in better are much more loving. basically i stopped viewing motherhood and babyhood as one big chore, and i started living in the moment and enjoying it all.

    I can't believe ho much happier a person I am now. (and how little time I have! lol)

    though I admit, I struggle big time with sleep. I need more. I wish I covince Ven of that! but so far he doesn't sleep longer than 2-3 hrs at a time TOPS. oh well.... it's coming... soon I hope :)

    thnak you for posting this!!

  8. Is this your now three year old, the one who asked for the red sweater? If so I wonder if that time you spent with him as an infant had anything to do with him being a snuggler. They probably all are, though! You have a beautiful family that seems from the outside to absolutely overflow with love...I check your blog about once a week to catch up, I admire you very much and appreciate you sharing your experiences and viewpoints. Your post today made totally made me tear up, the image of being wrapped up in a gift made with love with his eyes closed...so sweet!


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