Yesterday was a little emotional.
My parents moved out of my childhood home on Saturday. Everything is fine and they bought a new house that they love and that meets all their needs, but it is still hard. I don't consider myself a sentimental person, but I'll admit I shed a few tears realizing I won't step back into the place that holds so many, many memories.
Then on Sunday at church, I missed almost the entire service because Macie was crying. She and I did slip back in at the end to sing the last song with the congregation, but it's not the first week I've had to sit out and it was a little discouraging.
I keep forgetting that I'm only three months postpartum and that the hormones and emotions are still pumping strong. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only mom with a fussy baby (I'm not!) and that everyone else is watching me and judging my parenting decisions (they're not!). It's so easy to think I'm the only one. I've had "easy" babies and I've had "hard" ones and there is not one thing I can do to control it!
It's easy to put on a happy face for a blog or to only share the happy photos on Facebook. Of course. Who is going to post photos of their baby screaming in their car seat? But I think it's helpful to show that no mom has it all together, and that even if she does, babies are babies and toddlers are toddlers. (And big kids pout and teenagers mope...)
My baby may take 4 hour naps (she does!), but she also cries every time I take her grocery shopping. What babies need are moms who loves them whether they show their best selves to the world or whether that transition is a little harder. What moms need is to remember each child is an individual, designed by God, and that He will walk with them as they learn to navigate the hard days.
And now, all moms unite! Your baby is quirky and so is mine. Here are some things about Macie (3.5 months) that may or may not be like your baby:
- She drools like crazy. I have to change her 2-3 times or put up with soaked clothing, but...
- She rarely spits up!
- She won't take a pacifier, despite my numerous attempts since she was 2 days old.
- Sometimes she finds her thumb or her fingers for comfort, but neither make her very happy.
- She doesn't like to be worn in a sling or baby carrier. I've worn all five of my other children to various degrees, but never had one who resists so vehemently!
- She loves a bath in the sink but hates getting dressed afterwards.
- She is irritated by a wet diaper and loves a diaper change.
- She gets forceful, almost violent, hiccups.
- She loves gripe water and it cures her hiccups about 95% of the time.
- She protests being strapped into her car seat, but she often falls asleep in the car once she settles.
- She wants to nurse much more often than the suggested every 2-3 hours but then gets mad at me when she's not actually hungry.
- She can roll from her stomach to her back and from her back to her side.
- She prefers sleeping on her tummy.
- She wants to nurse to sleep, but sometimes I have to walk and nurse at the same time to get her to settle down.
- She does not like to be rocked to sleep and I can't get her to lay her head on my shoulder to sleep, but often she'll drift off if Brian holds her and bounces on the exercise ball.
- One time, she slept in her crib from 10 pm to 7 am, but now she wakes between 2 and 3 and prefers a nursing buffet until morning.
- She already shows signs of separation anxiety if I'm not holding her.
- She turns into a pumpkin between 7 and 7:30 in the evening if we aren't at home.
- She sucks her probiotics off my finger like it's candy.
- She is very expressive with her eyebrows.
- She likes to lay and kick around on the floor...until she doesn't.
Macie is her own person and it's okay. Your baby may be happier, fussier, more active, quieter, louder, more content, more insecure, sleepier, or more wakeful. Your baby may be different, but each mom and baby was made by God and it's all okay.
And if it's an emotional day for you, too, I understand.