Thursday, September 13, 2012

Confession.

Living with other moms in Guatemala taught me something about myself. Well, two things if you count not being able to make good conversation while wearing teeth whitening strips.

Some people's standards are too high.

My confession: I'm not a baby person.

Now, before the wailing and gnashing of teeth starts let me explain myself, eventually ending with proof this is a good thing.

I first noticed it when shopping for a card to take to a baby shower and caught myself looking through sympathy cards. (that didn't really happen)(maybe)

At another baby shower, while we were eating cute little sandwiches and whatnot, the hostess asked us all to share the one item that we couldn't have lived without when our kids were infants. I blurted out, "Wine!" thinking everyone would commiserate. It took me a solid minute to realize I was the only one laughing. (Mental note: set aside a dollar for the awkward jar.) But really? That was a way better answer than a good butt paste.

*Editor interruption* If you found my blog my googling "good butt paste", welcome. Everyone is welcome here. No matter your need.

Back to my confession: I would sometimes talk to other moms about my frustrations in mothering infants and their reactions were different. They cherished what I couldn't deal with. While they couldn't wait to have another, I couldn't wait for this stage to be over. When people sign up for foster care and say "infants only" or I hear stories of foster moms taking 0-3 year olds only, I shudder a little. It's just simply not for me.

Foster care? Yes. Motherhood? Yes. Babies? No.

God's given me the cutest, most amazing 2 babies on the planet and I'm still the worst version of me for a solid 12 months. Arguably 12-18months. The worst.

It's taken me years to not only figure this out but to feel comfortable saying it out loud. I LOVE being a mom. I could not be more in love with my children. There's just something about those very long days with an infant that makes me feel not like myself. Saying it out loud though? I felt guilty. Everyone knows how hard we fought to create a family and now they'll think I don't even enjoy them.

The thing is, I DO enjoy them.(perhaps you've noticed my obsession with taking their pictures?) I DO think they're crazy cute and super squishy. However I DO NOT enjoy myself in that season.

So, why is this a good thing? Because we don't add to our family the way most people do. And if you ask any person working in adoption or foster care they will tell you there are waiting children. "But they're older" is always added with a hesitant expression, assuming you want a baby.

So, as soon as we're ready, (this is not an adoption announcement) we can figure out what's next and walk confidently knowing we don't want to be put on the infant adoption waiting list.

Turns out my quirky not-normalness is actually meeting a need,thankyouverymuch.

All that to say, if you're a mom of an infant, whether it's your first or fourth and you're taking a few extra deep breaths to get through the day, but your friends aren't, it's okay. Or maybe it's not, I'm not totally sure. But at least you know of one person who said it out loud. If you and I were sitting at the park and I asked you how motherhood was going and you broke into tears, I'd sympathize. I wouldn't remind you to cherish these beautiful fleeting times, I'd pull a bottle of wine out of my diaper bag. Cuz that's just the kind of classy friend I am.

14 comments:

Carey said...

One of your bests posts ever!

Anonymous said...

You've written some awfully good ones, but that MAY just be the best yet!!! - Luv, Aunt Pam

Chrissy said...

If you can make that a diet coke and some reese's, you're golden. I' a fan of babies...18-36 month olds? not so much.

amanda said...

I love you for this. I'm not a mom (obviously, at least to you) but I have nannied a buttload of infants through the years (a buttload equals 5 or 6, btw). And even though I too love squishy little humans so much my heart physically hurts sometimes when I hold one, I admittedly do not carry much grace or patience when it comes to infant needs. I usually spend 95% of every crying spell begging God to miraculously grant them the ability to speak so they can just TELL me what they want and the other 5% is usually me shedding a few tears of my own. Haha All that to say, people are already a little surprised when I say I'd PREFER to adopt rather than have my own so you can imagine their horror when I confess to wanting to adopt older kids particularly. They always give me the "Ohhhh my gosh that would be so hard! Imagine all the pain they've experienced! It would probably take years for them to recover." Which is when my eyes glaze over and I want to say, "Gosh, you're right. Let's just go ahead and leave the really damaged goods on the shelf and grab a newer model" I always keep said sarcastic thought to myself of course. Who knows if I'll be able to have my own kids anyways, but I'll take what God blesses me with. And if they're under the age of 3 then I'll just be praying a little harder. ; ) Love you all, big and small. And so honored to know you and see your family grow... However and whenever that may continue to happen.

Jill Yoder said...

This was fabulous! I would definitely be up for the wine! Pretty much any night this week in fact. Unfortunately ( that's gonna come out wrong) the passenger in ma belleh would not be happy, so I'll settle for an IBC root beer so at least psychologically I'll be there!!! ; ) Kudos for voicing your confession out loud.

Kait said...

I'm not a baby mom either. I love other people's babies but I also love sleeping through the night.

So we adopted older kids and have loved every minute of it. Except the ones where we were wondering how early was too early to drink wine.

kc whitney said...

Great post! Isn't it crazy how we can feel so guilty about admitting the truth about ourselves? Especially when so many people feel that way. It took courage to say it outloud, so yay for you!!! You have 2 cute little kids. And I'm sure you are an amazing mother; God chose you for them! :) I have to agree. I LOVEEEE being a mother, but that newborn stage is tough! I always wait for them to walk and talk then they are "fun"!!

erin said...

Love it! Great post friend. In just a few short weeks I'm gonna need some of that wine and I love that you will understand.

Anonymous said...

I always tell people I don't really like my kids until they're a year old. But, I'm lying. It's more like 2 1/2 or 3 years old. 3 year olds are wicked funny.

Deb said...

I LOVE YOU!

Hudspeth said...

I LOVED this post! It is refreshing to actually read the truth for a change. I actually don't like the baby stage either. Long days and nights with no sleep, food or shower many days. It is so worth it in the end but it is HELL going through it!

Thanks for honesty.

Hudspeth said...

I LOVED this post! It is so refreshing to read something honest these days. I don't actually like the baby stage either. Long days and nights with little or no sleep, food or showers. It can be overwhelming but it is worth it in the end.

Thanks for your honesty :)

Gina Dankel said...

I am so not a baby person either. In fact I'm dreading the next 2 years b/c I'm due in April. That seems really sad to say, but you gave me confidence to say it. I like sleep, and I don't like crying--who doesn't? I have a feeling there are lots of moms like this

Anonymous said...

You don't know me but I am TOTALLY with you. We may also be expanding our family with waiting children--elementary age, likely. I can't wait. I love that we are able to have a bigger family but we don't have to have crying, fussing, needy babies to do it :) (I guess they'll be crying, fussing, needy CHILDREN, haha :)