Monday, February 14, 2011

School is Now in Session

I've only been a mom for 3 months, but I feel like I've already learned so much. Mainly I've learned that I have a lot to learn still! It's not that I thought I knew everything before having a child, but I certainly thought I knew a lot. I've been baby sitting since I was 13 years old. I've baby sat all day, gone on vacation while baby sitting, done week-long overnights, etc. I thought I had at least somewhat of a taste of what it feels like to not "give them back." But I had no idea what motherhood would be like.

To be honest, I have a lot of patience when it comes to kids. It can take more than an hour to put Micah to sleep and I'm okay. I don't usually get frustrated very easily. Of course, it helps that he's such a good baby and happy most of the time. So, it's not really patience that I've had to learn. The biggest thing I'm learning about being a mom is that I am so selfish.

I think this is natural. For 27 years I've only had to worry about myself. Specifically for the four months before Micah was born I had free reign to do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. If I wanted to go to Target I could. If I wanted to go meet my Mom at Caribou, no problem. The only thing I had to think about was if I really wanted to do it or not. Now, I have another person to consider. He's not quite as flexible as I am. If I want to go to Target, I need to work around his nap and feeding schedule. And Micah doesn't always understand that I'm working around that schedule so he likes to mix it up every now and then. Often times, I get him down for a nap then guesstimate what time he'll wake up. Then, I figure I'll feed him, play for a couple minutes (enough time to let his food settle), then we'll pack up and head out. He should be a happy little baby in the car. Of course, those are the times that he decides to sleep for an extra long time and it's too late to go. Or he acts tired right after eating so I have to decide if I should put him down for another nap or risk a crabby tired baby at Target. I have to choose: do what I want to do or do what I think is best for Micah. Is it more important for me to go to Target, go to our Gymboree class, meet my Mom, etc. or is it more important for Micah to get his nap, have some good play time with Mommy, etc.? Every day I have to consciously choose Micah's well-being over my own desires.

I have to admit, I don't always choose to stay home. Sometimes we go to Target or my Mom's and I deal with the consequences. I don't think that makes me a bad Mom. In fact, sometimes I think it makes me a good Mom because there are some days that I just might go crazy if I can't get out of the house. But it really makes me think about what a selfish person I am. It's hard to change old habits. Even though I love my son so much and I would do just about anything for him, it's the day to day little decisions that are harder. But in a lot of ways I think those are the most important. And I'm learning every day that when I choose to stay home and spend that time with Micah it is way more rewarding than running any kind of errands!

I mean, really, who can resist this face?

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