Everyone comments that she is so tiny, but I remember her when she was like this:
With baby #2 on the way, of course I have my worries. Mostly because I love this little girl SO MUCH and I worry that she won't understand why I won't be able to pick her up right away when she wants to be held or that she will start to think that she doesn't matter...because she does...she matters more than words can say.
This picture from Valentine's Day is so her...she is so happy, content and chill. She just loves to snuggle up in your lap and play with the keys on your keyboard with her hands and feet (buttons are her new "thing")...she loves to play with her hands and she loves bright colors and loud patterns...she is so gentle, so loving. Her biggest thrill in life is making new "friends" she smiles at everyone and makes their day better. Case and point- the nurse at my OBGYN's office is kind of a cranky pants- one smile from Faith and she is the most agreeable, kind person on the planet...she just LOVES, there is no expectation, just the hope that you'll smile back and say a kind word to her. Let her play with your hands and she's your friend for life!
I read a blog the other day that rang very true to me. I wish I could remember the link so you could read it too...the major gist was this- everyone seems to have this negative idea about parenting. You hear things like, "Sure, she's cute now, but just wait until she's older...then she won't be so cute." I hear that all the time! I kind of get sick of it. They go from loving my baby and smiling at her to accusing her of being a horrible terror in the future.
Motherhood isn't meant to be easy, I'm learning that it takes tough choices, tough times, and that it can be messy- I learned that the day she was born when I had to wait 6 hours to see her little face in person, I learned that even more when I thought I'd have to leave her behind at the hospital, I've learned that through sleepless nights and the gallons of spit-up that cover my wardrobe on a daily basis. I know only 5 months doesn't make me an expert but I do know a few things for certain:
I'm getting to know my daughter's spirit. She is so loving and kind that I believe that any bad behavior later on is going to come from a place of confusion or misunderstanding. I think in many ways she is like me, which makes my heart ache for her at times. I spent so much of my youth being in pain emotionally, but not saying a word because I was afraid of hurting the people around me or making them sad. Faith is a peaceful soul, she is an old soul. She wants so badly to be doing "big girl things" already- you should see her desperate attempts to crawl. Her little legs get going and it looks like she is trying to swim on the carpet, she just hasn't figured out yet that her arms need to be in on the action- but once she does, look out! She also tries to talk to me, I can see the frustration in her little face as she babbles and tries to get me to give her a toy or make her a bottle- sometimes I can't figure it out fast enough and that is when my little diva shows her "diva" side. I can tell that I am going to have to help guide her to see what is appropriate and when, I can tell that, like me, she is going to have a problem with patience and will have many lessons to learn along the way. I can tell that I am going to have to give her wings and let her fly a little sooner than I might like...but I also can already tell how smart she is. She gets such joy out of figuring things out herself. There is a snack tray (that has yet to be used) on her little Bumpo-esque activity chair. The snack tray has 2 removable cups...her favorite thing to do when she sits in the chair is to take the cups out and put them back in the holes...and of course, she has the biggest smiles when we're cheering her on or telling her that she did a good job when she's figured something new out.
I love her so much (in case I don't say that enough on this blog...) I've had friends and former teachers ask me how I like being a mom- I can honestly say I love it...
My overall reaction to the hard times we've had thus far can be summed up in one story. We were at church for the first time since she was born- we'd recently made the switch to formula and Faith spit up every ounce she'd just eaten (I swear, EVERY ounce) it was all over me and her. I whisked her to the bathroom, so wise, sage mothers from the ward had witnessed the catastrophe and followed me into the bathroom from the chapel. I grabbed paper towels (as the burp cloth was SOAKED) and began to clean her up, ignoring myself for last, I looked down at my sweet baby's face and chuckled, "Good job baby...nobody can say that you're not an overachiever." I said jovially, and laughing. The sage mothers that had followed me into the bathroom didn't quite get the reaction they'd expected apparently. They all laughed and one said, "All I can say is that when something like this happened with my first baby I cried and had my husband take me home. I was definitely not expecting to hear you laugh and joke with your baby about it." I said, "Why not laugh- its pretty funny...look at me, I'm covered- this is sitcom worthy right here." We all chuckled and they started cleaning me up while I finished wiping down my sweet baby (who was now asleep) with wipes out of the diaper bag...
I'd rather laugh than cry- that's my motto.
I read blogs of other mothers that have been parted from their sweet babies in this life and my heart aches. I cannot even fathom not seeing her happy, smiling face in the morning...hearing her scream and cry because she wants to fight nap time (even though we both know how much she really needs it), the smiling, knowing glances up in the wee hours of the morning as I feed her a small bottle to get her to sleep just a little bit longer... I read their stories and I am reminded to cherish every moment, to take a mental picture and store it if, heaven forbid, we end up being parted in this life too soon. I see news stories of parents who hurt their children, who are the cause to the end of their sweet, little lives, and my heart aches again- How? That is my only question... All I can do is wrap my sweet baby up in my arms, breathe her in, and pray that we will get lots of time together here on this earth.
I know...I know...Right now, I only have the one- I don't have the experience of many little rugrats running around my house and destroying everything in sight...but the honest to goodness truth is that I don't think my attitude will change. I LOVE being a mom...even on days when I'm getting cabin fever because we're here without a car, even on days when my little princess is being a holy terror because she's sick, or teething...in all the bad there is SO MUCH GOOD! So much to smile and laugh about...so why not choose laughter? Why not choose to not let yourself be overwhelmed and choose instead to just...be...
Be in the moment, be a mom- be the best darn mom you can be...show your little ones the kindness and love that they deserve.
I won't claim that I'm perfect at it...I have my moments- fortunately, my dear husband is there to take baby and tell me to go lay down for a minute...but it doesn't take long until I want her back in my arms, I want to smell her smell, to make her smile and hear her laugh...even hear her cry if she is in a "mood" and needs a little mamma love as opposed to daddy love.
I will admit it- YES I am overwhelmed at times, especially with the thought of having to do this with two under the age of two...but then I remind myself that I am not alone...
I have a wonderful husband, who is the most amazing father. Faith loves him so much- when he gets home she follows him with her gaze until he swoops her up and gives her a hug. She will reach out for him if she is sick of plain old mamma...and I can't wait to see another little one do the same thing.
I also have a loving Father in Heaven, who answers prayers and will never leave me without comfort or help. ..more importantly, it is the same Father in Heaven who blessed me with the opportunity to be a mother- something that only a few short years ago I believed would never happen for me. He trusts me enough to let me take care of some of his children, to raise them, to teach them right from wrong, to make them a part of my eternal family...I have friends that haven't been blessed with this opportunity, I see how it breaks their hearts to be single, or even married and waiting for the blessing of an adoption or to have infertility treatments work to grow their family, and the calling that I have been blessed with becomes all the more precious to me. I had once been told by a doctor that I would never be able to have children because of PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), and here I am lucky enough to be on the right medications to make it possible for my body to do what it needs to do so that I can help create life...this is a HUGE responsibility and blessing- one that much of the world takes so lightly...if every woman and man thought about the fact that not everyone is blessed with the ability to have their own children certain medical procedures that shall remain nameless wouldn't even exist... (of course, that is part of this life, agency- the right to choose...but in making a choice, perhaps this should be something they are reminded of...)
Being a mother is such a blessing. I have brief moments where I think of the "what if's"- I miss being on the stage and performing, but I also know that good things come to those that wait. I know that if I want those opportunities, the Lord will bless me at the right time to find the right place to share my talents again (outside of church...LOL)...in the meantime, I can be so grateful for them and the opportunities that my education will help afford for my family. I have a built in "at-home" career...I can be a mom and a voice-teacher/ local celebrity (once I find the right outlet! LOL). My education also gave me the experience and know-how I needed so that my husband and I can make the choice of homeschooling possible for our children, and a far less daunting thought for us...(before you nay-sayers get your panties in a twist, we WILL be giving them the option to go to high school, but with the current state of the public education system, we'd rather have a little more control over what they're learning earlier on, homeschooling will give us the ability to allow them to work ahead if they need to, or to focus more and stay behind in certain subjects if they need to, we also feel that they will have more creative outlets this way, as many public elementary schools are cutting P.E. and Music out to save their budgets. I have taken many education classes, and I can assure you that, for an aware parent, there are plenty of other socialization options for your children outside of being in a public school if you're willing to look for them.)
I love my 24/7 job. Friends can attest to the fact that I have a problem leaving Faith for even a few short hours to go to Relief Society activity...I don't want to miss a thing...all the prima donna roles that I could have on the stage, or awards that I can win would NEVER be able to hold a candle to those precious, extraordinary moments that you find yourself in during the day as a mother...you have to be looking for them, but I promise that once you do- you will see that there are too many to count...
Besides- who wouldn't want to see this face all day every day?
Lots of hugs and slobbery baby kisses until next time darlings!