After dancing through 9 months of pregnant bliss, you look down with awe and wonder at your new sleeping little darling. With his perfect complexion and flawless features, his designer sleepware coordinates perfectly with the color hues of his bassinet sheet and blanket.Â A light breeze blows at the curtains, and the meadowlark’s song wafts in through the open window.You reach down to gently kiss your newborn’s cheek, your size 5 jeans just a little too loose, and your perfectly cut hair brushing against the side of the bassinet. It’s just another typical day for another typical new mother…
All of a sudden, the meadowlark’s tune morphs into a “song” of a different strain, each chord somehow becoming harsh and dissonant.You open your eyes. Where did the pastel room go with the moving curtains and the beautiful baby?
After squinting a bit, you finally are able to read the glaring red digits on the clock near the bed–3 A.M. Trying to figure out what woke you, you look over at the slumbering frame next to you, head lost in a mound of pillow. No help there. Then, the fog lifts from your brain and you realize–ack! The baby!
Screams are filling the air, and you hurry to reach over to the cradle next to your bed. Baby has apparently decided that he’s dying of starvation (after all, he nursed a whole 2 hours ago) and is letting you know it. Fumbling with your pajama’s, you try to help him suckle. After a few painful misattempts, baby finally latches on correctly, and you both begin to drift off in peace…
Well, he does, anyway. You were going to, when the explosive sound of a digestive disaster fills the room, causing your eyes to open in shock. Amazing how those little ones can be so forceful! Grinning ever so slightly at the funniness of it all and trying to ignore the telltale smell, you entertain thoughts of ignoring the diaper…just this once…in favor of a few more moments of sleep. Then your head jerks up in shock. Something unmistakable is oozing, warm and wet, on your leg.
Well, at least he’s not in designer sleepware.
My first months of motherhood were more of a Boot Camp experience than anything else. Our firstborn came into the world with nothing but complaints–and I spent the first month wondering why this had to happen to me! Why couldn’t I have one of those perfectly content babies–why did I have to have Miss Colick-Who-Never-Takes-A-Nap???
We spent a month figuring out how to nurse–she could not get the latch on, and being a new mother, I wasn’t much good at helping. She hated to take naps, but as a result would spend the whole day overstimulated and cranky. She had a whopping case of reflux, and would spit up gallons (well, it sure seemed that way), going through 5-6 outfits a day. Other babies would burp and dribble–mine would shoot out streams! When she wasn’t soaking her clothes with spit up, she’d soak them via another outlet–the smellier one, if you know what I mean. I kept scratching my head, wondering how one little baby could produce more laundry than two adults! She rarely went more than 3 hours a night before waking–and then, half the time, wouldn’t want to go back to sleep! I was in a daze by the end of one month.
Did I love her? You’d better believe it. I’d have jumped in front of a Mack Truck for her, in a heartbeat! But was everything hunky dory? Were all my initial romantic ideas coming true? Not hardly…
One good friend, a mother of five, would soothingly repeat these four words to me each time we spoke, reassuringly crooning, “This too shall pass.” What an anchor of hope that gave me! Sleep deprivation doesn’t exactly do favors to one’s logic skills, you know, and sometimes it’s hard to remember that it won’t always be this way! “This too shall pass, This too shall pass,” I would repeat, after one more night of carrying Miss Colick around on my shoulder since dinner.
You know what? My friend was right. My former cranky baby is now a spunky six year old, tall and beautiful, with a passion for helping people and a love for all things creative. I can’t imagine life without her!
So let me encourage you, if you are in the place of needing encouragement: “This too shall pass.” Let it keep you going, giving you a view into the future and helping you keep a hopeful grin on your face, instead of despair. One day you’re going to tell your son all about how he kept you up nights as a baby, and he’s going to look at you with wide eyes of disbelief. “Me, Mom? Me?”
So as you’re holding your fussing new addition, doing the “cranky baby two-step” around the living room (you know, that funny little rocking dance that always gets them to stop crying?), you can repeat the same words that I did and give yourself a fresh wind of hope. “This too shall pass, this too shall pass, this too shall pass.”
This article was written by Molly Aley, a homeschooling mother of four (ages 6,4, 2, and 1), successful home business owner, and wife of a busy Alaskan minister. You can visit some of Molly’s websites by going to http://happyhome.momsmakemore.com
Now go give that new little baby a kiss from Alaska! :o)