As I sit here in the nursery staring at a 5.5 month old who has officially figured out how to go forward in a semi-crawl, I find myself thinking to the future. The thought in my mind is that I’m so looking forward to those days when he is walking, talking, and able to tell me what’s wrong instead of cry inconsolably. And I stop myself.
I don’t want to wish this season away. I know that these months fly by and that I will never again have my baby in this moment. He is so close to being independently mobile and will be walking and talking before I even catch up. But in these troubled moments when I don’t have luck in getting him to settle or sleep much, I find my thoughts drifting to the future when it’s “easier.”
A friend of mine with a 4 year old and an almost 2 year old tells me that it doesn’t get easier. As moms, we just adjust. We learn to work through it. We grow as mothers and are able to cope. The child doesn’t get easier- if anything, they get harder. Harder to parent.
These fussy times seem never-ending though and I ask my husband, in all seriousness, is it just me? Am I just not coping? Or do I really have a reason to be struggling so much? He assures me that we were blessed with a burden (my words, not his). He tells me that he doesn’t know how I haven’t cracked, that if he was doing what I’m doing that he’d have cracked. And I say, I’m cracked. I’m not keeping it together. Let’s be real- I sat there crying yesterday because the kid wouldn’t sleep anywhere I put him. Most days, I am not together. Most days, I am one moment away from drowning under the weight of motherhood.
So I look to the future, wishing these hard moments away, into a life that has a happy, walking, talking, and only screaming for fun and the occasional temper tantrum child. I look to the future when I don’t feel like I can’t do it on a daily basis. I look to the future when pumping for a 13 hour day at work doesn’t feel like it’ll sink me. I look to a time when I will be able to vacuum and dust without carrying an extra 25 pound lump (plus that 20 that I haven’t lost from pregnancy). I dream of family vacations where baby is excited, of days when meals are not spent scarfing down food so that he doesn’t grab it with his drool-drenched hands.
I want to savor these days. I want to enjoy that he is figuring out these milestones. I want to feel at peace with the season we are in. I don’t want to wish them all away because in a year, two, ten, twenty, fifty, I don’t want to look back and wonder what happened. I want to remember- remember the beautiful and the bad. I want to know that it was worth it.
Just as it was worth the wait to see that speck on the ultrasound machine, I want these moments of chaos to be worth the joy that is coming at the end. The joy of a baby who has figured out how to move independently, who can go and do. The joy of a child who is well-rounded and respectful. The joy of a man who has become the gentleman and world-changing human that I know he can be.
There’s that verse about “though she be but little, she be fierce.” I don’t know where the verse is that describes my child. Though he but little, he be chaos? He’s pretty fierce too, my strong-willed one.