Monday, January 20, 2014

Second Child

 me and elise

Being a mother of one was fairly quiet. Sure there was occasional crying, but not really that much. I was there to meet needs at any given moment. She needed a change, it was done  right away. She was hungry, there I was was. When she was tiny I napped when she napped. Later I read books while baby Cordelia slept. I took long walks with a tiny baby snugly tucked into my Maya wrap, basset hound leash in one hand. The routine was set in stone, steady, slow. My job required me to be away only one night a week. Life was quiet and simple. I didn't get out much as we were new to our community and I didn't really have many friends or acquaintances. Cordelia had my full attention, for better or worse.

The second time around is very different. My attention has been divided from the beginning. Even as I labored to bring Elise into this world I had my first born on my mind as well. Elise came into the world with her own level of chaos, to be sure. She was ready to go, furious about this baby business. Nap times were opportunities to give my first born the attention she craved. I read my books in the middle of the night, nursing a newly born infant and wondering if Cordelia would be up before the sun, again. Cordelia was born into a marriage, two people who were willing to make a family. Elise born into a family.

I think it is wonderful and probably for the best that my attention is divided to keep me from being a weird hover mom. Giving attention and love to both of my girls was troubling at first. I didn't know how I could juggle it so that the needs of both children, not to mention a fantastic marriage, were all met. I agonized over little things...missing moments with one or the other.

Then, somewhere around last January, probably right as I was coming out of a touch of post-partum depression, I chilled out---big time. Now, I don't agonize about things. Needs are met, some are not and that is a good opportunity for our kids to grow. I realize that it isn't only me that is contributing to the growth of these girls and I remind myself that they have so many people who are helping them to grow.

While I certainly have far fewer quiet moments with Elise I do relish those that I do get with her. I smell her sweet little head. I watch her face react to dreams. I know I should put her down and all, but sometimes I just hold her, knowing that these months are going by all too quickly. Someday, not long from now, I will look back on the crazy days that made up Elise's first years, the chaos, the joy, the noise that come with a family and I will cherish those moments where it was just a mother holding a baby.


Carmen said...

Beautiful post and beautiful photo.

Sarah Purdy said...

Love this.

elizabeth said...

oh, sweet M, don't put her down when you have the chance to hold her just a minute longer.

and keep holding her and C every chance you get.

(i still hold my 9 and 10-year-olds when they will let me!)

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