Friday, January 3, 2014

New year. Humility. Parenting. Etc.

Oy 2013. Great and terrible. On the one hand, I had a baby. I weathered pre-term labor, kept pregnant til term, delivered my baby without any unwanted intervention (oh, I WANTED that epidural, believe you me). I've nursed him exclusively for nine months (with bites of solid food for the past two). I've gone back to work and weathered the stress of working motherhood. I've battled some PPA. I have a wonderful son whom I adore.

If only the little bugger would sleep...I kid not, there is nothing to make you crazier than sleeplessness. The arguments around sleep training infants. The middle of the night fights over who will get up this time. Being pinched and poked by a baby in your sleep. Joy. It's crazy-making, arguing with yourself (and others) over your methods. Co-sleeping or not. CIO vs WIO. Any method you choose, someone will tell you that you are damaging your baby. Super fun.

I pretty much found my school of thought on dog training and stuck w it, sure I add more tools to the toolbox, but I believe in relationship-based and positive training and don't question. If only I could find a sleep-coaching method I believe it so thoroughly.

It's funny, being a vet and being a dog person, I see a lot of posts on my feeds discussing people's opinions on not having kids. I get it, not everyone is a kid person, and more power to you! I feel encouraging people to have kids who don't want them is absolutely ridiculous. I mean, a parent knows how hard it is, why would you want someone to go through that if they have no inclination? So for my friends who have had someone imply or outright state they are going to be sorry if they don't have kids some day, I call bullshit. If you don't want to, don't. You'll have a lovely and fulfilling life without them.

That being said, I do resent the implication that I've sold out or bought in to some paradigm because I had a baby. Life is full of compromise, and yes, you compromise big time to have a kid. I can't travel 6 hours for three day agility trials right now. I'm lucky if I get a daily shower, so my dogs aren't getting daily hour long training sessions. Loving your child is not better or worse than loving  your animals. But it is different. It is a different feeling, a different love. To me, it's an experience I wouldn't miss out on. Again, not better, or worse, just different. Amazing. And maddening. And a whole body, visceral, primal, aching emotion that I have never felt for another living being. It's just what it is.

However, you childless folks get to sleep, so I sort of hate you for that.


The terrible-I still miss my Guinness. It's been almost 11 months. I think about him daily, especially around the holidays. I miss his sweet face, and his soft presence.

I miss my normal body. I feel ponderous, tired, slow, lumbering, slothful.

I miss feeling like rest and relaxation were acceptable and not slacking off on my parenting duties.

I miss feeling competent at work rather than always feeling like I'm playing catch up after being gone so long between work weeks.

We'll see about 2014. I've got some goals. #1 is get healthy, which I haven't fully defined yet, but I will. #2 is improve relationships with my primary people, especially my son as I learn to parent. #3 is develop at my chosen profession. #4 is continue to improve with my hobbies, including agility. I need to fully flesh out these goals and make a plan. Easy to say, harder to do. I need a nap.

2 comments:

Kim said...

It took me at least a year after each child to start to feel like myself again - esp. the body part, though the body I have now looks quite a bit different from the body I had then. It takes a lot of time and the rest and relaxation are really really necessary to stay sane.

Kim said...

It took me at least a year after each child to start to feel like myself again - esp. the body part, though the body I have now looks quite a bit different from the body I had then. It takes a lot of time and the rest and relaxation are really really necessary to stay sane.