Where has my tiny little newborn gone? Where is my snuggly baby who just needs Momma? Over the course of a year, just one year, I now have a curious little girl who walks in circles around the living room yelling adorable baby gibberish at me. And I am both amazed and proud of her as well as a little heartbroken that the time went so fast.
When you’re a new mother, they warn you. Snuggle them, cuddle them, enjoy the early moments when these helpless little infants need you so much. Because they will grow. Carrying them around for extended periods of time will get more tiresome. And one day instead of just snuggling in your arms, they’re going to want to be crawling or walking around, exploring under your watchful gaze.
But you don’t listen to them. You gaze admiringly at this little bundle of new baby smell and imagine all the possibilities in store for them. When they’re sick, and all they can do is cry, all you can do is wish they could talk to tell you what is wrong. But when that first step is taken, it’s bittersweet. The first step towards independence.
My work life keeps me from my daughter more than I am comfortable with. But I have to pay the bills, so to the trusted babysitter she goes. I can not begin to tell you how bad it feels to feel like the babysitter is raising your child. I have to text her on the weekends for an update on what my child is now eating or drinking. It hurts deep in my soul. This is never what I imagined motherhood would be for me.
But while watching your children grow really is bittersweet, the sweetness really makes up for the bitter (and I can say that because she’s only just turned 1. Give me a few years to experience having a teenager and I might change my tune lol). As she’s growing, more opportunities open up for us. I’m already trying to plan concerts and fun mother daughter dates and family bonding adventures.
I always knew my mother worked to provide for us. But it didn’t make it hurt any less to not get to see her much or spend time with her. Mom working meant if I wanted to participate in any after school activities or clubs, I wouldn’t have had a ride home. So I missed out on a lot. And I know my mom did the best she could for me, I never doubted her love for or commitment to her children. But that’s still not the life I want for my child.
I realize that sacrifices are going to be made. But when people tell me I just don’t want to lose weight bad enough, or I just don’t want the extra money on my paycheck for working 12 hours a day instead of 10 hours a day bad enough…. It’s not worth it. I want it, but to lose the small amount of time I get with my daughter during the week? I can’t give that up. It’s easier to keep hating my body than to miss out on Daniel Tiger on Netflix before bed.
Does this mean that I don’t take time for me? Not at all. At this point in our lives, I don’t get it often. But when I do, I absolutely take it. But there are some things you just can’t give up on.