Friday, February 26, 2010

To be Challenged

"When does this get easier?"

I read that question on a new-baby forum a few weeks after Lily was born. I had the same question in my head, and as I read the answers I wasn't very encouraged. "By five or six months things are better" or "what are you talking about, having a baby is naturally easy..." or "it DOESN'T get better." At the time I longed for a simple answer, a quick fix to the problems I was facing as a new mom. I obviously wasn't ready for the changes that having a baby brings.

I thought about it awhile and decided that maybe things wouldn't necessarily get "better.". As the months passed I could see a little truth to this thought. Lily began to have more control of her body. Holding her head up, grasping onto things, learning how to fall asleep on her own. I can look back now and see that some things have definitely gotten easier little by little. With each new day she gains a little more control over herself, but a little more control over me, consequently.

She is more vocal these days and can show us and tell us (by yelling and throwing a tantrum) when she doesn't like something (mainly pajama time). She is easily distracted by things (mostly Kirby) and refuses to finish eating. I don't really know what I expected from a baby, or if I had even thought that far ahead. I was very naive in those early days.

Her new skill is increased mobility. Not really crawling yet, more like scooching backwards to any destination that I will allow. She will inevitably find the one tiny crumb/lint/string that I missed in my vacuuming of the family room floor. She can get from one side of the room to the other in the few minutes it takes me to run upstairs to grab some laundry. Once again I found myself not ready or prepared for this movement milestone. I knew it was coming but denial had gotten the best of me.

When it comes down to it I guess I wouldn't call having a baby "hard." It is very hard at times, but I think "challenging" is a better word to describe what having a child means (for me at least). It seems that each time Josh and I have figured something out about our daughter, she will change it up and we have to figure her out all over again. So, she challenges us in many ways and it's not always easy, but we're learning a lot. We learn a lot about her and a lot about ourselves, and in the end I guess that's what it means to be a parent.

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