Embrace those sticky fingers!
I read a great post on one of my favourite blogs today called What you want vs. What is possible. It’s all about getting to grips with motherhood, and how really, your life is no longer your own! And it’s a little bit about mourning for your old life. It took me right back to when I was at a similar stage with Little Man (around the three month mark), when for some reason, parenthood stopped feeling like some new outfit I was trying on just to see what it was like, and the realisation struck me that actually, this is the outfit I will wear for the rest of my life. It was a funny feeling, realising that. Because obviously at that stage, I was hopelessly besotted with my Little Man, but also I had been doing this parenting thing for long enough that the shine was wearing off! Our babymoon was officially over I guess.
To stop myself from obsessing over the fact that life will never be the same again, I tried instead to teach myself to find the positives in my new situation and to focus on them instead. I’ve mentioned before that “This too shall pass” is my favourite parenting mantra. Well I started to apply that to everything, not just to annoying stuff. I repeated that mantra to remind myself to take the time to enjoy the good stuff while it was happening. (I especially applied it to letting baby fall asleep on me – and I’m so glad I did, because the only time that happens now is when he’s sick. And even then, I don’t know how much longer that will last, because he’s just getting too big!)
There’s a great Irish poem by Seamus O’Neill that sums up everything about this attitude to me.
Subh Milis Bhí subh milis Ar bhaschrann an dorais Ach mhúch mé an corraí Ionam d’éirigh, Mar smaoinigh mé ar an lá A bheas an baschrann glan, Agus an láimh bheag Ar iarraidh.
Sweet JamThere was jam On the doorhandle But I suppressed the anger That rose up in me, Because I thought of the day That the doorhandle would be clean And the little hand Would be gone.
We studied this poem in school. I may have even written about it in an exam at one stage! But it really didn’t mean a lot to me then. Now, however, I think of it often. And on those days when the housework is piling up, and Little Man chooses that exact moment to figure out just how much yogurt he can get out of the pot and into his hair in the two seconds it takes me to cross the room to take the pot away…well those are the days when I think about this poem the most! “This too shall pass” I remind myself… and I embrace those moments as much as I can – I even grab a photo if I have the camera nearby!