I’m not tired because you kept me up all night, in fact you slept actually really well last night. I was up tossing and turning all night, constantly staring at the baby monitor, checking your Owlet levels on my phone and even going in there to peek on you. I was up all night tossing and turning because I wanted to make sure you were safe, you were okay and that if you needed me I was there.
I remember looking at the clock this morning thinking holy cow, it’s already 7am? When did that happen? You’re up, I can hear you reading your book in your crib and turning the light switch off and on over and over again. I lay in bed for a few minutes, think about the fact that maybe I’m a bad mom for letting you lay in your crib for a few minutes so I can get some extra rest. Eventually I talk myself down from that because that’s just silly, you’re not crying–you’re content and having fun. Then I remind myself that it’s a good thing for you to learn a little independence. I play on my phone for a couple of minutes, then come across a picture of you and my heart instantly bursts and I jump up to go grab you because I realized how much I missed you.
You see, you do this thing to me–this thing where my heart flutters, where I feel so lucky, so in love and so blessed to have you. You make me happy, so happy. I bring you into our bedroom and cross my fingers that you’ll snuggle with me. You don’t snuggle much anymore and well, it breaks my heart. My mind wanders, you just want to wrestle the dogs and watch Elmo. I can’t help but feel like you’re growing up so fast before my eyes. Remember when you slept all day? When you were brand new and I could just hold you all the time? When you needed me for everything, to eat, to sleep, all the things. Lately you’re so independent, you just want to go, go, go, so when you actually want to snuggle it’s the best feeling in the world and I have to eat it all up. I wish time would slow down. I wish you would stay little forever. I wish we didn’t always have a million things to do everyday and we could just lay around and play all day long. I’m working on that though, so please know I’m trying. I really try hard to balance it all, to be the best Mom I can be, don’t ever forget that.
My mind wanders literally all day long. My anxiety is generally through the roof high. Not because of you, but because I want the best for you, I don’t want to disappoint you and I want to keep you safe. It’s been this way from the moment I got that positive plus sign when I took a pregnancy test. I want to take any pain you feel away and I want you to always be happy, I want to get you all the things. It breaks my heart to hear you cry, even when I’m trying to teach you some sort of “life lesson” like don’t dump the entire bag of cereal on the kitchen floor. You were so mad at me, I think that was the first major temper tantrum I’ve seen you throw. I tried to reason with you for a good ten minutes, but it ended with cereal everywhere and you screaming. Trust me I wanted to just give you the Cheerios and let you have a hay day. Just like I wanted to just let you eat the friggin’ chapstick in the middle of church last Sunday rather than having to take it out of your hands and you melting down and kicking and screaming. In fact, if I’m honest some days I probably would have just let you do it, you know–play with all the Cheerios, make a mess. I pick my battles, I try to remember that you’re just a kid and discovering everything around you. I hope you know how much I love you, that everything I do, I do out of love, even the hard things and teaching you right from wrong–it’s because I love you.
Since you were born my entire perspective has changed. I don’t even remember what it was like to go to the store and not be paranoid, not be watching every single thing around me. When we’re in public my mind is constantly going 200 miles an hour. I’m watching you, the person behind me, the person to the right of me, left, in front and trying to get you to sit in the cart or stroller or whatever we have for that outing. I’m constantly scanning the area around me because I have to keep you safe. You’re literally all I think about all day, every single second of the day. I remember saying that same thing about my husband when we were dating. Oh how things have changed. My entire life has changed, for the better though. I still think of him all the time, but you my child, you’re on my mind 24/7, literally.
When we drive, I make sure to watch everything I possibly can. I’m a little over cautious now, but that’s okay. I get really frustrated when people don’t drive like they should be because they’re putting YOUR life in danger. That’s how my mind works now, you. I think about you. Mama bear comes out full force whenever I see anyone risking your safety or treating you poorly. I would literally do anything for you. That’s the love of a Mother I guess, we would climb the tallest mountains in the world and back again if it kept you safe and made you happy.
Sometimes though, there are hard days–really hard days. In fact, today was one of those days. Right now you’re at an age where you’re testing all the boundaries. Your favorite word is “no” and you purposefully do exactly what I tell you not to do. Sometimes I get frustrated, I lose my patience and I cry. I know it’s a “stage,” it’s always a “stage,” but that doesn’t make it any easier for either of us now does it? Just remember I am trying to be patient, I really am and when I do cry, it’s because of just that. I would rather cry all the tears than lose my temper and well–I have to show emotion somehow. Your Daddy though, he’s our rock sweet girl. He always has his cool face on and is just the best. You’re pretty obsessed with him, I am too.
It’s funny really, now being in my Mom’s shoes, knowing exactly what she went through, what she experienced every, single day. Being a Mom is hard, it’s challenging, it’s draining some days, but it’s worth it. It’s worth all the sleepless nights, it’s worth every ache and pain, it’s worth the anxieties, the worries, it’s worth it all. I care so much, about every single thing you do. I want the best for you, I want you to be kind and loving, understanding and treat people equally and with respect. I want you to make smart choices and remember to be safe and always buckle up. I want time to just slow down and for you to be my sweet little baby forever and ever so that you’re always right by my side, so that I can always worry and keep you safe. I don’t ever want you to have to worry, I don’t ever want you to have to experience life’s scary moments and the pains that come with being a “grown-up”. I guess that wouldn’t be fair of me though, we all have to…but for now, for now I’m going to try and soak it all in, snuggle you a little more, love you as much as possible and do my best to balance it all and spend as much time as possible with you.