No shortcuts

I don’t really think of myself as a cheater, or lazy. And truth be told, those aren’t my weaknesses really. I have plenty, don’t worry, but they’re more of the controlling, not-trusting, thinking-only-of-me type-flaws. But I realized recently that I have uncharacteristically been taking (or trying to take, anyway) the easy way out this go-round.

I have been investing (squandering? wasting?) nearly all of my time recently trying
to figure out what.the.heck.is.wrong. with Ty. There has to be something. Acid? Allergy? Intestional blockage? Heartburn? Sleep disorder? Truly, the amount of time and money, spent in our household to determine a cure for a yet-to-be-determined illness is nearly embarassing.

Now it’s important to note that I’m not saying he isn’t truly suffering from something with a name. I have my theories, personally. But here’s the thing. Despite any existing, or not existing, problems, there is no easy way out. Parenting a newborn (apparently) absolutely and inescapably requires THE WORKS. I realized that I have been trying to avoid, through diagnosis, THE WORKS. You know. The rocking until they’re dead asleep. The moving too soon, failing three times, feeding again, swaddling again, changing diaper again, rocking again, etc. The shushing. The singing of John Jacob Jinglehymerschmidt (sp? 🙂 The bouncing on the yoga ball. The patting on the bottom. The replacing of the pacifier. The dancing. The exhaustion, the frustration, and the crying (his, and yours. Oh, and the other kid’s). The thing is, IT IS JUST HARD. I think I am finally at peace with the universe’s cruel truth that no medicine, diet, or carrier makes parenting a baby any less than sheer, exhausting, LABOR.

I think deep down I thought I was exempt from all this in round two. After all, I had a (relatively) hard baby. I learned my lessons. And I have a toddler now. I mean come on, I’m not trying to watch Oprah here and eat Cheetos with all my free time. All I want is twenty minutes of an uninterrupted nap so I can take Sam to the bathroom, call the pediatrician, put in my other contact, shove a bowl of rice in my face, and change the laundry. Is that too much to ask?

Apparently, Madame Universe does not make exceptions for the noble, the veterans, or the already-busy. Babies are hard work. Period.

But I am happy that with this lesson, I learned another. Mom reminded me that, yes, it is hard work, and yes, way to go on coming to terms with that. But it is not meaningless work. “Don’t let anything take away your joy of this. It is the most wonderful job in the world, nurturing this little life. There is nothing better.”

I feel better. Granted, I am still typing this while bouncing on a yoga ball with a sleeping baby strapped to my chest because tries #1-14 to lay him down failed. But, yes, I do feel better. 🙂

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2 thoughts on “No shortcuts

  1. I equated caring for a newborn like being in combat. You aren't really aware of the big plan, just your small part in it. You have a job to do that requires concentration but gives little sleep. But eventually the things you do start to make a difference and the end comes in sight!

  2. I love this … and can so relate. I just started reading Real Love for Real Life by Andi Ashworth about creating beauty and gaining purpose as a full time caretaker. It's good – has shifted my perspective in a time when I've most needed it (with a 3 year old and a 10 month old). Glad I found your blog!

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