I had many hopes and dreams for what motherhood, parenthood and having a child would be like. I’m certain I’ve made many a’ people chuckle at them all. No one laughed harder than I did today. I came to the realization that I wasn’t myself, I wasn’t going to be myself for a while and I was going to be ok with it. I’ve come to figure out my identity will lie solely in my connection with my child and his future.
As any other parent can agree, we get our best thinking done either in the shower or right as we are about to fall asleep. I specify the shower as going to the bathroom is no longer a sacred moment; in fact, that’s the time when Lucas needs me the most! And just as our eyes finally give in to the great sensation that is ‘closed’, that fantastic stuff you forgot all day decides to rush in like the Niagara Falls. But anyway, back to the greatest times for self-realization and parental research.
I’m standing in the shower today trying to put together the makings of this fine day (at 3pm!). The child only had 1 mini meltdown; all other tantrums were defused. He was cuddly, enjoyed everything I gave him to eat, smiled and laughed while playing with his toys and actually had a few breather breaks to catch a glimpse of whatever Sprout TV was offering. There were two things I learned about what made this day successful: The ‘counting to 10’ technique works great for adults AND children and that I need to just sit and ‘smell the roses’ a bit more around the house. The child is teaching me the one thing I’ve had trouble with for a long time: patience.
I’m a multi-tasker on all levels and at all times. In fact, as I write this blog, I’m listening for the washer to finish so I can throw Lucas’ clothes in the dryer, I’m contemplating what leftovers I’ll reheat for dinner AND I’m curious what Christmas shows are on tonight. Even while I sleep, I think I usually have a couple different dreams going on. I was this way lloonngg before becoming a parent and it has truly gotten worse since having Lucas. As I always say, all things in life in moderation. This even applies to multi-tasking. I came to see that a lot of Lucas’ tantrums were due to me being distracted by some things that could wait.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are times when Lucas is being greedy and I distract him with a book or toy to try to get him to understand that this particular phone call or task just can’t wait. But I’m learning to prioritize a bit better when it comes to those ‘particulars’. That’s what made today the great success; the only ‘me’ things I did today was set up our kitchen counter with emergency items we might need if the power went out and I occasionally fed myself and got coffee. Lucas reminds me of a cat: he only gets needy when I’m actually doing something. So I stop doing stuff and he played nice all day. While I know it’s not the end of a great, lifelong battle, but it was a tremendous eye opener and leap forward to understand how to negotiate the toddler years at Marner Manor.
The life of a parent is measured almost the same as the career of an Olympian: You train hard all your life, you win here and there, you cry, smile, laugh, sweat and are exhausted, but by the time you retire, you look back and enjoy the trials. You understand that even in those tough moments when there was never enough wine or Xanax to make the world right, you stuck through it all and you survived; might have a few battle wounds, but hey, you made it and you get to retire, hopefully, comfortably.
I’m becoming ok with my name no longer being ‘Chrystal’ but being ‘Lucas’ Mom’. I still have lofty goals and dreams for myself, but those are some of those ‘particulars’ that can wait for Lucas to get his bearings in life