Has anther month really rolled by and August is upon us?? The time is flying and the months are slipping through my fingers – and in just two short months, my baby will be one. A whole year! How is that even possible? I’ve have already been at home for two full months and accomplished no where near what I hoped or thought I would have in that time. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel a little lost and out of sorts at the moment though. In my last Life Lately post, I touched on how despite the joy of motherhood, I feel like I have lost part of my identity along the way and I’m slowly trying to make an effort to do more of the things I enjoyed pre-baby. But I also think that in deciding to be a stay-at-home mom, I’ve lost a little more of me and I’m having trouble finding my groove. It’s a strange feeling though, because while I feel a bit off balance, I know that being a mom is exactly who and what I am meant to be. I feel so incredibly blessed to be able to be home with Oliver and I treasure this time with him – and despite having lots of things I want to do, I also don’t want to miss out on the time I could be spending with him. Does that even make any sense?
June and July were really tough months. Not only as a family with the loss of both my grandparents but also with Oliver (he’s such a happy, easy baby but circumstances really haven’t been in his favour). I honestly can’t remember the last time I had a half decent night of sleep which probably also accounts for the funk I’ve been in since sleep deprivation is no joke. At the beginning of June, his top two teeth started coming through and took three very long weeks to pop – and boy did that poor little thing struggle. He then had a cold that took it’s sweet time to shift. Oliver has struggled with his nose for months though, from it being constantly blocked, to chronic snoring and difficulty breathing (making for very long and stressful nights). After exhausting all the options, when the ENT said his adenoids needed to be removed, we didn’t hesitate in the hope that it would bring him some much needed relief. When it comes to hospitals and surgeries, I barely bat an eyelid. Having had countless operations on my hips as a little, three hip replacements, tonsils and appendix removed and most recently a ceaseran, I know hospitals like the back of my hand. So you would think that when it came to my baby having a fairly routine procedure, I’d be better prepared – I knew exactly what to expect having done it so many times before. Oh no. Not even in the slightest.
But that’s the thing about motherhood and parenting – it really throws you for a loop. While this was a fairly minor and routine procedure, for us it was huge. We were placing our whole world in the hands of someone else, trusting that they would look after him while standing on the sidelines as mere observers – and it leaves you feeling pretty helpless. Turning and walking away from my tiny, sleeping bundle that I’d placed on the operating table felt so completely unnatural and was really my undoing. Those 20 minutes that we sat waiting for the doctor to bring Oliver back to us felt like an eternity and despite my husband trying to crack a few jokes and making me laugh, my mind raced with a million ‘what ifs’. All the times I’ve been placed under anesthesia, I’ve never really given much thought to the risks attached to both the anesthetic or the surgery, yet for those 20 minutes, it was all I could think about. I can remember often getting irritated with my mom with her fussing and hovering, her nervous energy palpable, before it was time for me to go in – and Mommy? I get it now. I understand your fears, your anxiety, your nerves. I really do. Because until my little bundle was safely back in my arms and those big eyes looked up at me, only then could I let go of the breath I didn’t even know I’d been holding.
After a good sleep, Oliver was straight back to himself and after a week, the difference was unbelievable and I am so glad we went ahead with the surgery. His sleep on the other hand, has been far less remarkable. If you follow me on Instagram, you’d have seen my post on needing to sleep train Oliver to help him fall asleep on his own – and while I’m saving the sleep story for another post, can I just say, sleep training is one hot topic in the world of parenting! SO many opinions and thoughts and ideas… But the brief version is, he caught on to the putting himself to sleep and self-soothing pretty quickly (and we took a very gentle approach) but his night sleeping actually got worse with him waking up every 2 hours and refusing to settle and in the end sleeping on my chest (no judgement, we do what we need to do in order to save our sanity) While there are probably a number of factors influencing his sleep (including the fact that he is a serial cap-napper, sleeping for 30 minutes at time), we are now day three into a new sleep program so before I jinx myself, stay tuned for my full update.
So here we are in August and despite having great intentions at the beginning of June to post more regularly, my drafts folder is still a little too padded and I’ve yet to find myself in a proper routine, paint my nails or straighten my hair and my to-do list never really seems to get any shorter. This is where the perfectionist in me really struggles and my OCD A-type personality has taken a big knock and while I often feel like everyone else has their s#@t together a whole lot better than me, I am learning to embrace the messiness of motherhood. The sleepless nights, the mom guilt, the sheer overwhelmingness of being a mother that brings a new level of stress and anxiety, the responsibility of raising another human – BUT, in all of that, singing Under The Sea for what seems like the millionth time, dancing around the lounge to the Bearneccesities, the soggy kisses, sticky hands and bear hugs, toothy smiles and belly laughs and babbles and that heart melting ‘mama‘, are the truly beautiful moments that make everything else fade into the background. Watching a little personality evolve and this tiny human grow and learn gives me all the feels. It’s hard to believe there was ever a time where Oliver wasn’t in our lives. It’s hard and it’s messy and I feel off balance, but I’ve also realised that while I may not be a perfect mom, I am the perfect mom for him. And it’s in the messiness of it all that the real gems lie.
Their littleness is so fleeting and time is something you can never get back so my goal for August is to regroup, be a little kinder on myself and embrace the messy. I know there’ll come a time (all to soon I fear) when my house is tidy, my to-do list is checked and I’m on time once again – but where’s the fun in that? 😉