Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Nothing prepared me for this....

When we first brought Miles home people were full of insight and advice that helped prepare me for the shock of parenthood....
"Sleep when he sleeps."
"Your social life will never be the same."
"You'll never get anything done."
"They grow up fast."

These all seemed very helpful at the time, but there were a few things that no one ever told me.....

Every milestone is bittersweet.
I want Miles to start talking so badly.  However, today I moved him to a big-boy bed.  A TWIN bed - a bed the same size as the one I slept in until I was married.  He looked so tiny in it.  I want him to talk, but I want him to stop growing up so quickly.  In the same way, I want Liam to sleep through the night, but today I cried when I had to put away the first 0-3 months outfit that he has outgrown.

You can't help but have that "Mother Bear" feeling.
I never understood parents who seemed to hover and not allow their own child to figure things out for himself or herself socially....until I became a parent.  The other day at the open-gym in our neighborhood I watched as Miles ran along a 5 year old boy.  Miles was laughing and following the boy around because he was so enamored by this boy.  He thought the boy was playing with him.  The boy was nothing but annoyed.  I never would make a five year old play with my one year old, but I had to take a deep breath and look away because it hurt too much to look.  The ironic thing is that Miles didn't even notice.  He was having the time of his life.

The guilt is overwhelming.
EVERYTHING makes me feel guilty these days, which I never understood before when other mothers would talk.  I felt guilty about having Liam when we had just adopted Miles.  I felt guilty about moving Miles to a toddler bed.  I feel guilty when I can't pick Liam up right away because I have to change Miles' diaper.  I feel guilty for going back to work, but I feel guilty for staying home.  I feel guilty for disciplining my children.  It seems like the guilt never ends.

The local and world news suddenly become personal.
I can't watch the news anymore.  It started months ago when two parents left their nine day baby to die.  Now I see images of babies being held in Haiti - homeless and parentless.  From CSI to Law and Order, it doesn't just stop at real-world events.  All I can think about are my children and picture them in those situations.  It's terrifying.

You'll suddenly feel mortal.
Not that I felt immortal before, but now staying alive takes on a whole new meaning.  I can't imagine leaving my boys behind to live a life without a mother.

Your emotions will go crazy and will be overwhelming.
I'm laughing one minute while Miles is dancing to the song on the radio, but I'm crying the next because Liam has outgrown his clothes (see above).  Today I was overwhelmed with happiness and sadness at the same time.  Liam has been smiling so much lately and he was laying on my bed with me smiling away.  Then I thought about how I missed Miles' first smile and wondered what it must have been like for his foster mother to see it.  To feel it.  The emotions are continuous and all over the place.

You'll love them more than anything in the world....sometimes so much it is painful.
It hurts to love someone this much.  There is almost physical pain involved, which I never would have believed before I actually felt it.  I remember reading status updates on facebook, or hearing people talk about how much they loved their kids, but I always figured it was just that...LOVE.  But now that word suddenly doesn't seem to be enough.  I've always been very reserved in my love - only handing it out to those I felt deserved it....and here these two little boys have done nothing but fill my life, and its pouring out of me so hard that it literally hurts.

These are all things that no one shared with me, or else didn't emphasize enough.  It doesn't matter whether you got your child by plane or pain - I should know.  :)


Lisa said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Tiff, that is beautiful. I completely relate in so many ways. Thank you.

Jen said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Mom always said that "you will understand once you have kids of your own." The dawn of understand really only comes around when you are walking in the shoes.

Wanna know what I realized the other day? Growing up I had always heard about other kids spending part of summer vacation with families in other states or at sleep-over camps. I always thought that it was a wonderful change of pace for the kids... I just realized that it was really the parents benefiting the most!

Megan said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

You said it all perfectly. So many emotions and feelings that come with motherhood that are shockingly strong. I was so unprepared for all of it and I think it is just one of those things that is so amazing that no matter what you read or what you hear from others until you are in it you can't fully grasp it.

Emily said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Amazing post, Tiff. And SO heartfelt!

Grace said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I love your post Tiffany...what precious insights into motherhood. =)

nancy and eric schwartz said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thank you...
I can relate and the guilt is very difficult.

Ali P. said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Your thoughts are so beautiful and beautifully expressed. I'm so touched by hearing just this little bit of your story. Hope all is wonderful. I can completely relate to these sentiments - My little guy is 4 months now. You never knew how much love you had and the extent of it until these little creatures come and steal your heart.
alicia miller now perez