You might have noticed that I’ve been on hiatus for a while. I didn’t plan for that — it just happened — but I think I’m better for it.
After my last post, I had a dozen ideas floating around as to what I might write next, but one by one I crossed them out. I had a post planned about my breastfeeding journey, but decided it was too personal and that I’m not ready to write that story just yet. I had another post planned about my opinion on telling children to stand up for themselves when confronted with bully behaviour, but decided the idea needed more thought before I could write a decent piece on it. I thought about writing something on the morning walks that Pippin and I have started taking together, but when I sat down to write, nothing came out.
And thus entered the dreaded writer’s block. (Don’t worry, this is not a post about writer’s block.)
Repeat after me:
This moment will pass.
I have to remind myself of this today, since Merry hasn’t slept more than a couple of hours for the last two nights. That means I’m running on two or three hours of sleep for the last 48 hours. I have to remind myself of this, and I want to remind you, too.
When does a person become a parent?
When their first baby is born?
When they see two lines on a stick?
I think the exact moment is different for every parent, but for many people it happens as soon as they decide to have children.
That’s the problem with infertility. It’s undoubtedly one of the worst feelings in the world to lose a child — but when you’re a parent in your mind for years before ever holding your child in your arms, it’s an unseen, inward grief that I think very few people truly understand.
When I had my first baby, everyone gave me advice. “Sleep when the baby sleeps.” “Eat when the baby sleeps.” “Do housework when the baby sleeps.” “Pick up the baby when she cries.” “Don’t pick up the baby when she cries.” “Don’t give the baby a bottle.” “Get baby used to the bottle early.” And so on. But the one thing that no one really mentioned was just how much life changes when a baby enters the picture.
After my daughter was born, all of a sudden, there was a nap routine to consider. There were diaper changes and nursing sessions to plan around. There was a bed time. There were times when I couldn’t take her out because she was more likely to spit up all over herself and me and the car seat and the next door neighbours. I had to wear “nursing friendly” clothes. But on top of all that, I didn’t have time to do anything that I wanted to do. All my personal goals and ambitions took a backseat. Everything was about this little baby girl. Everyone wanted to visit her. Everyone wanted to take her picture. Everyone wanted to know how she was doing. All of a sudden, I became a supporting character in my own life story.
Well now she’s two, and I have a second little girl who’s six months old, and they fill more hands than I have, but I’m slowly starting to figure out how this is done.