You know, there is nothing like holding your newborn baby in your arms for the very first time. Hearing the first piercing wail that is the confirmation of the life you've been carrying for nine months. The amazing rush of emotion that signifies motherhood has truly begun....
Then comes the sleepless nights, the swollen breasts and sore nipples. The constant anxiety over so many things...anxiety over whether that beautiful baby is still breathing because, oh my god, he/she just slept for four hours straight and something must be wrong!! The glide into the wonderful twos. Feeling out their independence, wanting to try to do everything for themselves. And the magnitude of temper tantrums! Oy Vey!! It is a difficult but amazing journey with beautific smiles and sweet hugs and kisses right around every corner. A journey I'm so happy I'm taking part in.
There have been so many times, I've been ready to pull my hair out. Gouge out my eyes. Run away...far far away. Change my name...you get the drift, I'm sure. Any mom out there knows exactly what I'm talking about. Let me tell you...it gets better.
Chloe is almost five now and all of those sleepless nights, in-store tantrums (you know the ones that won't end and you have to leave an almost full basket of groceries or the most perfect pair of jeans behind), bedtimes that she doesn't feel are fair so she screams until I lose my mind and scream too. There were times for me that I was so stressed out. The joy of parenting was sadly absent. The thrill was gone baby...I couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel. There were times we would be out during these days and other, more experienced moms would feel pity for me. They would approach me and tell me "hey, I know it's hard right now! We've all been here before, but let me tell you, it DOES get easier. Stay strong mom! You'll feel that shift one day and life will be easier." and you know what? As much as I doubted their sage advice then...I have experienced The Shift.
Some comes from having more experience, I'm sure. But most of it has come from my little girl growing up. Her understanding that her actions have consequences, both good and bad. Her desire to be independent and her ability to do all of those things she desires to do for herself. It's an amazing change of pace and makes life so much easier (especially with Jack still being two and in the midst of tempermental hell!). Having Chloe being able to wipe her own butt, wash her own hair, make her own drinks, brush her own teeth and yes, read her own books (some with small words but it's a great start)! But it's more than just the stuff she can do on her own. It's her everything. It's not all work anymore. It's enjoyable in a way I never would happen.
Chloe has been a difficult, strong-willed child from the get go. So much so, the pediatrician would just shake her head and apologize sometimes. Giving me a list of books to read that give great advice in dealing with this kind of child. Survival guides really. I read them and tried the advice. I tried the advice from more seasones parents, from my parents and nothing semed to work. We, Chloe and I, had to work through it on our own terms, in our own way. We had to find the path that worked best for us...and by god! we found it! All of the hard times were so worth having what we have now.
I'm truly enjoying being a mom again. The overwhelming love never went away...just the joy of it.
There is a light. It does get better and easier. And it is so fucking marvolous!