It has been an amazing experience becoming a mother. When I came across the notion that becoming a parent expands your heart tenfold, I never truly understood it till now. I am filled with so much love for people, especially other mothers, and have a developed stronger connection to Life in general. Living to the fullest seems so much more attractive now and I find myself opening myself up to more opportunities, even ones that intimidated me before, since I brought this little being into the world.
My perspective truly changed since birthing Leo, and for the better. The things that used to bother me seem trivial now and I find myself trying even harder to become the most positive expression of myself in order to be the best I can be for my son. I find myself reflecting more on how I am perceived by people in order to be a good example for Leo and although it has made me realize some not-so-nice aspects of my personality, I feel determined to change for the better. Not just for his sake, but for my own experience. I feel like possibilities that seemed farfetched at first are all attainable because I believe that children can achieve anything they set their mind to, so why not me? I have become a stronger person in many ways, and yet also more vulnerable because time is fleeting when you are entrusted with being the caretaker of another life. Every moment needs to be cherished because it passes by so swiftly and before you know it, the opportunity has passed to really NOTICE what is right in front of you.
I am already saddened by how quickly he is growing after putting away his too small baby clothes. He has changed so much in the last few months it’s amazing. His range of emotion grows daily and the myriad ways he brings me joy as well. I am so grateful that I am able to spend every waking moment with him, responding to him and observing him, truly BEING with him. His personality is really showing in his daily interactions with us, and I am so proud of being blessed with witnessing him unfold. *I’m totally crying as I write this by the way*
I love how I can make him smile just by being there beside him as he wakes up in our bed. I know he feels safe since we are always with him, responding immediately to his needs. He needs not fear abandonment or have to cry to the point of extreme stress to be noticed because we are always attuned to him. He rewards me by babbling to me about his baby dreams and blows spit bubbles to amuse me. He’s such a funny little man.
Already he’s been showing me that he has preferences for things; like when he wants to be wrapped and when he doesn’t, or even which boobie he prefers. He’s also pretty obvious when he’s uncomfortable about something like being with strangers, or his outfit is too tight, or he just doesn’t want to be in a certain position. He has so many different cries, and sounds and expressions that tell me more than what words could describe. Which is convenient since he can’t talk yet anyways. He may seem ‘demanding’ at times, but I believe it is because he feels safe enough to express himself and knows that his needs will be met with respect. I try to be prompt when he needs something from me, knowing that babies cannot ‘wait’ like an adult can since they have no real concept of time and he obviously needs to rely on me for pretty much everything. Like even sitting comfortably in his chair since he can’t adjust himself. I believe that babies and children never do things without reason or just for ‘spite’. They have a need to be met but we don’t always understand them so there is a lot of trial and error in parenting. Sometimes it’s something ridiculous that is upsetting him, like he doesn’t want me to sit down, or my boob is too full and it’s squirting into his mouth like a super-soaker and he can’t handle the flow; but I respect those needs and try to meet them as best I can.
I intuitively feel like he is developing a healthy attachment to us because we do the things that help build trust in our parental relationship with him. It shows when I see how he follows me around the room with his eyes, and how smiley he is when I give him what he signalled he needed, like a bum change or wanting to nurse. I know that eventually as he gets older and needs to press boundaries to assert his independence, he will do so from a secure sense of self because he’ll know subconsciously that his needs are valid and he is safe to explore the world because mommy and daddy will be right there watching over him as always.
It’s interesting how far ahead I think of these things now since I’m more of a spontaneous person but I refuse to take chances with Leo’s well being. I’m realizing how my interactions with him will shape how he sees the world and himself in it and I want to help him develop his full potential at his own pace in a gentle, respectful manner. Too often I see parents treating their children more like pets or objects they own rather than people and I believe that we should treat others how we would like to be treated, and children are not excluded. It’s really making me re-evaluate my own behaviour and how I am currently interacting with people in general. Only good can come of this, really.
I want to be a parent that my children can rely on, feel affection for, and especially respect without coercing them into wanted behaviour. I want a positive relationship with my children, and if that means that I need to step up to the plate and take responsibility for myself and be honest with myself ABOUT myself, then so be it. I see myself as more of a steward to the children that come into my life, entrusted with their keeping until they can take care of themselves. It makes parenting challenging because it means I have to practice mindful awareness every day, and look at every situation as a teachable moment not only for them but for myself as well. I keep in mind something a good friend once told me:”PAY ATTENTION!..” she would always say, “...especially to the children” because they need us to. I’m definitely paying attention to Leo everyday though sometimes I WOULD like to sleep. Somehow sleep seems less important than making sure he’s getting what he needs though. I could get what I need later, while he needs me in the now. One day I might need him there for me, and I hope he returns the favour with affection rather than duty.
Speaking of doodie, what is with the liquidy explosions?!!! Holy cow can this baby make stinkers! Well, they’re not so much stinky as wet and of various colors. You moms know what I’m talking about. It’s fascinating how that little body can turn something so sweet as my delicious boob juice into something so despicably vile and staining. I’m just glad he’s having normal bowel movements since for a while he was only having one every other day until my mom told me to do the ‘bicycle’ exercises with him and now he’s regular. He also farts a lot but that I kind of expected because of his dad (oh no Adam I outed you!).
I love my baby so much, farts and all and I’m doing everything I can to deserve having him in my life.