“True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing.” – Socrates
Something happens to you when your baby arrives… Well it did to me, anyway. Suddenly I finally understood what life is all about, and what we’re really here for. To live. And love like it hurts. To put someone wholly ahead of yourself. To sacrifice everything for that someone else. To endure all of life’s challenges. To finally understand priorities. And that when we die, it won’t be the money in the bank, or the status you might have, it’ll be the people in your life that’ll count. And I bet there are other experiences that allow you to come to the same conclusion too!
When I finally realised that I didn’t know everything about life, and I probably wouldn’t ever know, that was when I realised that I knew. Accepting that fact meant I actually knew about life!
That life is in the not knowing. And I finally understood what Socrates was on about all this time…
And life is about the hard stuff too. Good-hard, like sleep deprivation due to your little bundle needing you at all times. And bad-hard, like learning you don’t have control over everything, and that things will pass you by before you’re ready.
I’ve recently discovered a bad-hard lesson when my sweet baby girl weaned off breastfeeding. When I went back to work putting her into care was inevitable and therefore, so were daycare bugs. Plus I weaned her off daytime feeds and onto a bottle so that she’d still get milk while I was working. I pumped at night before going to bed so she had enough milk the next day and I have a freezer full of expressed milk (like REALLY full. Over 10L full…!).
Mackenzie got an ear infection a couple weeks ago that set her back for a week. She refused the boob during that time so we gave milk in a syringe or from a bottle and she hasn’t gone back to breast feeds since. I’m still offering morning and night but it’s been a few weeks now and I don’t see her going back. I’m pumping and trying to figure out what my next step is.
I cry big, fat, silent tears in the dark when no one else can see.
Tears prick at my eyes every time she arches her back and grizzles at me when I try to coax her towards a feed.
I well up even as I type this.
And I have such a surge of mama guilt for not appreciating it more that I have to push those feelings right into the back of my heart. This, I know, is just the start of a lifetime of mama guilt all because life happens, and things will inevitably move on, and plus this need to “have it all”, when you can’t.
“Having it all” is possibly the biggest anti-mama term EVER INVENTED. It was probably coined as a positive term but it actually ends up being a negative. No one can have it all and yet we feel like failures because we don’t… This I’ve already spoken about. And by me having to “do it all”, my little one weaned before I was ready.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, I knew it was going to happen at some point, and thoughts had definitely started to whisper in the back of my mind about when was going to be a good time to do so. Maybe over summer, I thought, when I’d be at home and able to offer cuddles rather than milk. This, of course, ended up being unnecessary.
The last time Mackenzie breastfed I watched the news. I watched the stupid, horrifying, boring news rather than drink in the scent of my baby girl.
Rather than stroke her hair.
Rather then smile when she poked at my chin.
Rather than laugh when she smiled up at me after she was done, milk dripping out the sides of her mouth.
Rather than be in that moment, I watched the news.
If I’d known it was the last time I’d have paid attention, and made peace with it, smiled at what we’d achieved, especially since we’d had our challenges. Life is so hard sometimes.
For now, I’m getting in snuggles whenever I can, enjoying my girl and smiling ruefully that this is just the start of watching my baby grow into a little girl, a teenager, an adult and maybe a mother one day, too. One who will understand what life is about. The not knowing. The dark. The light. And how fast it all whizzes by…
When did your baby grow up faster than you’d expected?