Monday, April 8, 2013

Perspective On The Life of Someone With A Child

My cousin is finishing her 2nd year in vet school, and so keeping in contact can be a little hard at times.  Her last email to me asked me the question that I've chosen for the title of this blog.

I've been staring at her email for over 2 weeks, and wasn't sure on the response.

See, I always wanted to be a mommy.

Last November, I spent a Saturday in CA with two of my oldest friends and their wives.  One of them watched me with James and said that when he heard that I was pregnant all he could think was that it sounded right.

I've always taken care of people.  I don't know why, but I have.  At one point some friends were calling my place "Grace's Home for Wayward Boys".  Whenever they needed it, they knew they had a couch to sleep on and warm food to eat.  From running from abusive families to needing a place to crash during a separation, I've housed them all.

James is such a part of my every day, and has been from the moment I knew I was pregnant, that to me it doesn't feel like life has changed so as morphed into its next phase.  It's just another part of my life, a part of me, that I just have taken in stride.

Yes, I have to make arrangements for things.  Some chores are only done when he is napping or out with the great-grandparents.  Movies are missed more often than seen in theaters.  My trips to Vegas are long gone.  Even a day out means counting diapers, grabbing wipes, and making sure I have snacks and bendy straws available.  Not to mention watching for loose tennis shoes as someone has learned how to slide them off without using his hands.  Sneaky little Hobbit.

Life is life.  Sometimes it goes too slowly.  Some nights I look around the living room after James is asleep and wonder if I ever had a life before him.  And, yes, some nights I wonder if I will ever get that other part of me back that never thought about remembering the last time a diaper was changed or someone pooped.

I'm lucky to work from home, and luckier even to have a husband who is there for us when we need it.  I write all this as someone comes to my desk with tiny fingers and starts opening and closing everything, knowing that any minute I'll tell him to stop.  Once again, testing his boundaries and my patience all at once.

Life with a child is a challenge.  It's not a 9-5 job, but something that really is a part of every second of the day.  Even when he's asleep I am listening for a cry or yell from a bad dream, and giggle when he talks in his sleep as apparently my side of the family does.  The parenting thing never really stops, not even when I'm asleep at night.

When I think of it like that it seems a little overwhelming.  But so satisfying.

There are no exams or lectures on how to do it all.  No one is grading my work or his, giving critiques on how things were handled or completed.  For me, as long as we get through another day, he continues to grow and learn, and the appropriate number of bowel movements have happened, it's a success.

Day by day.  Each lesson learned, one at a time.

It's just life.

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