TSS: PLEASE SECURE YOUR OWN MASK FIRST (and other impossible rules of parentood)
My husband and I were watching a documentary, recently, that mentioned a statistic where people with children were less happy, overall, than people without. As much stress and emotion as parenting brings, I just can’t see my life being BETTER without my little boys. That said, there are some rules that I often find hard to follow when participation in the this lovely game we call parenthood.
1. “Lift nothing heavier than your baby. Yes, Pam, your newest baby.”
You know those staples should be a big old, gothic reminder that I should be taking it easy and I am; I promise! The thing that makes this restriction hard is that my first born son is still my baby. He may be closer to four years old than four days old but when he gets tired and cranky and spins around and knocks his cheekbone on a stool, there is a force stronger than a riptide current that pulls me to pick him up and make him feel ok. I will follow this one as I know I’ll be restricted longer if I don’t follow it. It’s just very hard with a bigger guy who also needs his mommy.
2. “Sleep when baby sleeps.”
Ha! You expect me to stop, for one second, watching my new little man eat, sleep, poop and breathe? He’s been on the inside of me for close to nine months and without the advent of clear pregnant bellies, I’ve had to imagine him until this point. I have managed to sleep a bit in between camp outs next to Gavin’s SCN bed but it’s really way more fun to watch him sleep.
3. “Remain calm.”
This one goes out to MY mom and my coparent, The Daddy. While I have been focused, primarily on the health and wellbeing of my sons, I, myself, have been known to cause a little concern among family members. Now, I will say that the two people highlighted here are two of the most amazing crisis control folks I know and have handled this entire situation much better than I would have. I’m still not sure that I could get my wife through ten hours of labor then watch her go through an emergency CSection nor could I appropriately handle a phone call from my co-parents (my daughter’s inlaws) that informs me that my first baby is going into an emergency CSection but without all of the details. Oh, please let me be the parent that my mom and husband are, to balance my fear with appropriate response.
When all is said and done, I know that staying calm, relaxing and taking care of me first will always be the appropriate action. This will be especially hard to remember as we’re headed home, today, leaving Gavin here for a few more days. I’ll do my best to be good. Still, though, it’s hard so wish me luck!