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Bonjour!  I'm Christen!  Been all over the U.S., and just moved from Utah down to Texas for my husband's new job!  After having been in the Navy, I am now a student of Anthropology, a stay at home mom to my new baby, a half arsed writer, belly dance instructor/student and performer, and just general, all around "Jack of all trades, master of nothing." 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Embracing the Suck of Mommy-hood

Sometimes you just have to let go.

Sometimes you have to change your expectations and attitude.

Sometimes you have to embrace the suck.

Welcome to motherhood.  Where the rules are made up and points don't matter.  When your baby tricks you into thinking they're finally getting the hang of only nursing twice a night, and then in the blink of an eye are rebelling with two and a half hour temper tantrums in the middle of the night until your nerves are so frazzled
you finally scream "FINE! Just take the damned boob!"

And then there's that time you spent 4 months getting up every 45 minutes to nurse your child because their stomach hurt so bad they couldn't eat much more than a few minutes at time. You became so sleep deprived that you were literally walking into walls, and then it got to the point that you couldn't walk at all.  Your body was shutting down on as you tried to keep your baby happy, healthy and fed.

That period where his first teeth were 3 at once, sending him into fevers and pain that tylenol, teething tablets, and frozen bananas only touched as he held out his arms and wailed heartbreakingly, beseeching you to just make it stop and you couldn't.

Each and every period of difficulty seemed never ending, and I cried buckets of tears, yelling at myself and my baby at intervals, yelling at God.  Why was this happening?  Why couldn't He just give me a break, was that really so much to ask?

And then the answer came: "Just let it go. It doesn't matter, anyway. Just let it go."

"Screw You! I'm so tired, I can't do this, I can't just let it go!  It always there, how am I supposed to just 'let go' of not sleeping?!  I won't accept it, I will make this kid sleep!"

"If you say so.  Then when you're ready, let go."

Weeks and months went by of battling what couldn't be battled, attempting to force something to my will.  This was mine and my husband's son, I should have known better. All in vain, all futile.

And then I simply said to him one night after another hour long put down/cry/pick up/rock/put down/repeat cycle, "Ok, you I'll stay with you, you sleep with me tonight.  Let me know when you're ready."  That's when the magic happened. I embraced the suck, I accepted that I was not in control, and I started to let go of the anger, the frusteration, the helplessness.  And things turned around, not al at once, and not in huge steps for the most part.  But it started.

Our kids are their own persons.  We become so used to them being our babies while in our womb, we forget that they have their own thoughts, feelings, and ideas of how they need to do things.  They're not little adults, and they will have plenty of time to have to get used to doing what other people want and demand of them.  As adults we are used to feeling like we have to be in control all the time, and for a tiny little being to render us so completely out of our element and out of control, can really stretch a person, and bring up all kinds of emotions.  Most of these emotions are negative and have a base that goes back to our own childhoods.  And then not only are we battling with whatever episode our kids are going through, but dealing with those triggers that keep popping up. Trying not to yell at them the way you were yelled at.  Trying to make sure they feel respected while reminding them that YOU are the one in charge. It's exhausting, draining, and frusterating.

Then, right when you are about to snap, are trying so hard to swallow that scream that's making it's way up your throat, tempering that hand that wants to punch the wall so they will finally pay attention to you, you somehow manage to realize that it just doesn't matter.  Are they irritating you to the point of checking yourself in for a psych evaluation?  Yes, definitely.  Will it always be like this? No, and when it changes, it's pure magic.  But no one else can tell you it won't matter, because they always tell you when you are stretched to your limits and it really does matter.  But now, at this time, you know it doesn't.

So you shed some tears, get yourself to stop shaking.

Open your eyes to see that smile and those beautiful blue eyes looking at you with what almost looks like relief that you didn't lose your $h!t.

And you embrace the suck.

And you let it go.

And it is beautiful.