I ended up finding those blogs because one of my favorite bloggers (one of the two that inspired this blog) moved to that site. She blogged at Glamour for years about her battle with cancer, then left that to pursue other things, since cancer wasn't such a daily part of her life anymore. She popped up as a Project Pregnancy blogger on the Parenting site when she was pregnant with her second child, then moved over to the Parenting Post section once her daughter was born. I'm so glad I followed her there, because the blogs are a highlight of my day (sadly enough). Anyway, today's blog was by the stay-at-home mom with three kids ("Daring Young Mom"), and it was particularly relatable for me. It hearkens a bit to what I wrote about yesterday, with being a little too distracted sometimes to feel like I'm giving Jacob everything he needs. Give it a read: http://forums.parenting.com/blogs/parenting-post/posts/do-you-still-feel-it.
The paragraphs that resonated the most with me were:
Emotionally, I miss that new fresh mommy feeling, the time when you're all
wrapped up in your baby and your baby can't get enough of you, the time when
every time you look at her all you can think of is overwhelming love and not the
desire to nag or correct or tell her to get her finger out of her nose.
I still feel love for my older kids, probably more deeply now than when
they were babies because I know who they are and I understand their
personalities which are so frequently an amazing gift to me. But I spend a lot
of time nagging them. I spend too much time preoccupied and semi-ignoring them.
I completely know what she's saying. And I've thought about it myself, albeit less eloquently. I still find myself marveling at what a little boy Jacob has become, that this crazy little man running around our house and talking up a storm is the same human being that was so helpless and such a complete little stranger when he first came into our lives. And perhaps part of the reason it is so hard to reconcile the two is partly because the way I see him has changed, in the way she describes above. Instead of just appreciating him for the miracle that every inch of him is, that vision is often tarnished by my constant and frequently unsuccessful attempts to be a good parent. I'm always trying to do the right thing, but in the end I probably overthink and make myself nuts...and too much of my time with Jacob is spent that way. I just want to appreciate him the way I did when he was my sweet little baby. And it kills me every time I step back and realize how far from that point we are now.
I think the blog was probably even more salient to me because I spent a good portion of my drive home last night thinking about pregnancy and Jacob's early days. I ran into a VERY pregnant co-worker on my way out of the office. She's due any day with her first child, a boy. We chatted a bit about dilating early, what she's been feeling, how I had no indication ahead of time that my fluid was going to start leaking, etc. She's obviously nervous about everything and is getting a little crazy trying to finish things up at work--because each day you want to leave things a certain way, just in case you never make it in the next day, but when you do make it in, you have to dig back into the stuff you had set up so carefully the night before. I was lucky enough to have a few minutes to come into the office and clean up a couple things the day I went into the hospital. I still get crap from my co-workers for that, but let's face it...we didn't want to go all the way back home just to come back into the city right away, so it only made sense to kill time at work and clear my desk until we got the "ok" to head to the hospital. But the conversation with her, complete with her nervous excitement, definitely brought back memories and had me thinking back to two years ago. Pregnancy was such a scary and exciting time full of ups and downs. So much to think about, yet so much to look forward to. There were so many bodily discomforts, but it was a miracle to watch that same body change and adapt. I'll admit that the picture in my head was quite romanticized. After two years, it's easy to forget about the endless doctor appointments, lengthy to do lists, frequent exhaustion, early morning leg cramps, and the constant state of worry that comes with pregnancy. Yet nothing compares to the excitement and anticipation of knowing there's a little baby in there, and knowing you're going to meet him or her very soon! I guess it's like the split personality of parenthood...where one moment you're ready to strangle your kid, but the next second they have you laughing and loving them infinitely more than you did the day they were born. How excitement and fear and joy and frustration can co-exist so seamlessly is one of those mysteries of parenthood, I guess. It's right up there with how you manage to put all of the bad parts of pregnancy (and delivery) out of your head enough to do it all again!
It was nice to think about, though, and I'll definitely have to keep all those romanticized thoughts in mind when we finally decide to start trying for #2. But in the meantime, I guess I should just focus on today, and every single moment I get to have with Jacob. And incidentally, last night was a really fun evening with him. Sure, there were a couple tantrums, but we sang together while he ate dinner and we played a lot afterward. I genuinely enjoyed my time with him. Quite the switch from the evening prior. Nice to know it's possible these days...