Friday, September 5, 2014

Motherhood and Time

 I was doing cloth diaper laundry this evening. I hang JaiseAnn's diapers up to dry on a little rack that I bought. For weeks her reusable swim diaper has been hanging up on the rack and I hadn't taken it down yet. It's a plain, white, tiny little diaper and I just kept it there. Tonight I asked myself why I was so lazy about taking it down. As I started to answer my own question, I got a deep heartache. The kind I've become all too familiar with.

I haven't taken it down because I never get to use it again. As much as I keep looking forward to all that JaiseAnn will do next summer, she won't be the JaiseAnn I know now. She will be so much more. Those days in that little swim diaper are over.

The hardest part about being a mom is that you can't win with time. It is your best friend and your worst enemy. Things are supposed to get easier or better with time (oh, how I hope that is true) but the ever-growing baby that once nestled against your chest is changing by the minute and it actually breaks your heart. 

 In the hospital, Zach and JaiseAnn had a moment when she was just one day old. Zach came over to my bed with tears in his eyes and said, "I don't want her to grow up." I hadn't really thought that far ahead yet, but after that exchange, worrying about her growing up became a pastime for me. I spent many of those early weeks sad that they wouldn't last. I cried upon the end of each day because I knew I would never get those moments back.

 Sometimes I forget that sadness, though. It's hard for me to admit, but when I have weeks like last week, I look forward to a daughter I can talk to, do things with, and hopefully get to sleep at night. I start counting ahead to the next few months and even years. When she's a little older we could do ___________. When she's a bit more independent I can do _______.

But even looking through those pictures it hits me all over again. I don't get this back. And as happy as I am to have a thriving and happy little girl. As much as it is a blessing that she is growing and developing and aging. It hurts. And it also scares me. I have to ask myself each and every day, whether I did enough with that day. And usually the answer is "No.'

Time is different now that I'm a mom. Sleeping in is 7:30 and quality time spent with Zach comes in 30 minute increments. The hours between JaiseAnn's naps can sometimes seem long and lonely yet at the end of the day I can't believe it's over. Another day I don't get back. Tomorrow she wakes up just a little bit bigger. And while sometimes her getting older seems an eternity away, I know that it will be here in the blink of an eye. The last 7 1/2 months have flown by.

Motherhood might kick my butt some days, but I see it teaching me so very much. So much about myself and so much about who I am supposed to be. I am this little girl's everything. It's overwhelming to think about the responsibility I hold and it's overwhelming to think that it won't last forever. Some day she won't need me so much. I already know that day will be bittersweet.

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