Monday, October 25, 2010


So far during my wife/mother journey there have been many times when I felt like I am in limbo.  When I was working, I knew it was temporary, the ultimate goal was for me to stay home.  I knew early on that sleep deprivation, bottles, diapers, baby swings, baby bouncers, strollers etc would all come and go.  We're now in the full-fledged toddler stage where we sleep through the night and are starting to gain a little independence.  I can turn on Super-Why and trust that R will be okay while I go shower and get ready.  But I still rarely leave him unsupervised for even a minute. Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever be able to let him out of my sight.

Tonight we went to a small group meeting for the new church we're attending.  I'll write more about the church thing later when I'm more ready to open up about it.  But, some members were very gracious and invited us to join their small group.  All the families who attended the group had four kids a piece.  The rest of the moms were totally fine letting their kids run around, go up and down stairs and independently play while we had our group discussion.  I tried to let Riley run free but both Dave and I had a hard time.  He's only two.  I was so worried about him going up and down the stairs without me, or playing somewhere that wasn't in my line of vision.  Dave was a champ and spent most of the evening chasing R while I participated in and enjoyed the company and discussion.  Next week I promised Dave could be the grown up and I would chase Ri.  However, tonight got me thinking; do we hover too much?  Granted, the next youngest child there was three, but everyone else was letting their children run free, trusting their judgment and letting them play.  At what stage do you let them run and wait for them to let you know that they need you instead of watching their every move and intervening when you deem necessary?  I want Riley to grow to be strong and confident and capable.  I also want him to know how much he is loved and wanted and I do not want to see him hurt.  This week I'm going to work on letting him be a little more independent.  I'll start taking baby steps so hopefully my baby and I can hopefully grow together.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mother of a Two Year Old

A long time ago, B.R. (Before Riley) we asked my parents what the one thing was that they wish someone had told them about having a baby and/or parenting.  Their response was "nothing can prepare you" and that had become a mantra that Dave and I have repeated over and over and something we tell everyone we come across with a baby on the way who dares to ask for advice.  Truly nothing can prepare you.  The other thing my dad mentioned was it takes about two years before you are fully transitioned into the role of parent.  You spend the very early time with the newborn grieving your lost freedom and then the memories of spare time and extra money gradually begin to fade.  Sure you have moments every now and then when you want to trade everything you own for a weekend in Vegas, an impulsive dinner and movie or a Saturday morning sitting around watching E! and sipping coffee until noon.  You hear people who don't have children complain about being busy or tired and you want to laugh.  They have no idea what tired or busy can possibly entail. 

Riley turned two on the second of this month.  It was his golden birthday.  Although he had no idea, we did it up.  It started with cupcakes at his pre-school on the morning of the first.  That afternoon we had a birthday party here with all of his playgroup friends.  We played out in the back yard and had  Thomas the Train themed decorations everywhere.  The next day we drove over to Spokane to celebrate with David's family.  We met at Balfour park in the valley and once again, decked out our little corner of the park with Thomas the Train.  Riley ran around and played with his cousins.  We served cheese and crackers and cupcakes.  Riley's cousins played well and chased balloons in between rides on Grandma's Rascal.  When his cousin melted down, those of us with kids nodded sympathetically to my sister in law understood how to disengage and let him have his moment.  My brother and sister-in-law (without children) looked like deers in headlights as the kids ran around with limitless energy and took turns in time out.  After a few hours we packed up and headed home.  The next day Riley had his family birthday party here at home.  We took him to Red Robin for lunch and he got the special birthday treatment.  I know we probably went a bit over the top for his birthday but he's the most deserving kid.  He has the best attitude and is such a much needed joy for David and I and my parents. B.R., David and I were completely fine with working as much as possible and going though the motions.  Since having him, we've been forced to grow and change in ways that we never could have predicted.  We had to become completely selfless and make that a way of life.  We've had to learn to slow down, appreciate the little things.  Most of all, we've learned to be true to ourselves so we can be true to our son.  Without Riley, Dave would still most likely be slaving away at his corporate job instead of chasing his true dream and passion.  I would probably still be plugging away at my old job, instead of having to grapple with what I want to be when I grow up (yes, I'm almost 30 and I still don't know.)  Having a child changes you.  And that's kind of an understatement. 

So here I am, the mother of two year old.  I've learned how to shower and get ready in 20 minutes, always have at least three diapers, wipes and snacks in my humongous purse along with a change of clothes and more diapers in my car.  I have been the woman in the store with a screaming child, I can't remember that last time I was in a restaurant that wasn't family friendly, seven-thirty is sleeping in and honestly, I don't care.  A year ago, I may have gotten a little snippity when someone told me they slept in until noon and then went and got a pedicure.  This year, that sounds nice but it's not me anymore.  I have vague memories of times like that, but their just that, memories.  I am now a full time mom to a little boy and has been, is, and is to come, my life and I'm going to enjoy the ride.