A note to myself on mindfulness (because raising a tiny human is hard and mommy brain is real):
When my husband and I decided we wanted to have babies one day, it was easy. We loved the life we had together and knew we wanted to share that with our own tiny little person. It was never a superficial thing, we never wanted a baby because it was the cool thing to do (I don't know, do people do that?), or because it was what was supposed to come next after marriage in our lives. We wanted to raise a child and show them everything we loved, and everything there was to love in the world. We would teach them right from wrong, the best way we knew how, take them on family vacations all over the place and show them what we saw when we were little. Bring them up with our families who we are so lucky to have and show them that there is nothing better than being surrounded by love. It would give our lives a purpose we had never known. We had a plan.
It turns out, Harper had his own plan when he arrived. And oh... my... world. His plan and our plan were nowhere near synced. I'd love to post photos and write about things like "Harper slept ten hours last night! We're celebrating over a tasty beverage at Starbucks for fun!", but instead I write "Help. Harper slept in two hour spurts all night long. Send help. Send all the coffee." Or from our recent trip to Yosemite, where my family spends a week every year since I was 9, something along the lines of "Harper just loves the outdoors like his mama! Look at him smiling away!", except it turns out Harper is not a fan of the outdoors, so every photo or post or anything I had to say sounded more like "Harper has been crying all day long, and it's only day 3 of 7 out here- send help. Send all the coffee." And I will admit, openly and time and time again, that this is rough. It has been no walk in the park. I've lost my temper numerous times, I've muttered bad words, I've put my baby down on the bed and walked out of the room while he's crying to go have a cry by myself in the other room. It's as if at times I forget to be mindful of the fact that it has never been about raising my baby according to the plan I had, it's always been about him coming into this world and us supporting him in all he does.
So after I've walked out on my poor crying love, shed a few tears myself, I collect myself, take a few deep breaths, miss him dearly and think about his silly little smile and go back in to scoop him up and work through whatever hard time we're having. I remember to be mindful and respectful of the fact that I need to embrace him and love on him with a love so strong that he forgets, if only for a bit, whatever difficulty he's going through. This life, at least for now, is no longer about me and his dad. It's one hundred percent about him, and taking whatever he throws at us- whether or not it was in our plan- and raise him up so high that he becomes the best we could have ever done. Yes, I will have plenty more moments where I'm holding my crying little love, bouncing him till my arms want to fall off, not putting an end to his wails, and I'll think things like "remember when my hardest decision of the day was should i have a cocktail or a beer?", or "maybe I'll call up the girls for an impromptu weekend getaway", or "(insert anything people say before they have kids here)". But while he's crying out so hard because it's his only way of talking to his mama, I'll try and remember that he needs this. He needs my arms for a few minutes longer. He needs to nurse for a little longer to make things right. He needs to wake me up in the middle of the night to make sure mama is still here because he loves me so much (this is what I tell myself when he wakes me up for the fourth time at night).
Because when I think of the hardships of being a mama as the fact that Harper needs me so that he can grow into this amazing human full of love and light, how can I be mad? How does one get upset and frustrated and angry that a tiny little love just needs you to make the world right? You don't. You're mindful of his needs, you wipe the sleep out of your eyes, and you go in there and be his hero.