Life With Baby

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” – Annie Dillard

I am trying not to be worried that my house will never be as clean as I want it. Crumbs are not poisonous. They are not specks of doubt flung around announcing my inability to manage my life.

I was telling my partner – I need to think in terms of sanitation..the house must not pose a health hazard – rather than trying to actually keep it clean. I can understand a bit more now where good old Betty Friedan was coming from.

My sweet angel wants to be held. Always. I am not of the cry it out school of parenting. Or the school that thinks you can spoil your baby. He needs what he needs. He need reassurance. He needs my arms and my breast and my heartbeat. Still adjusting to his life that is his own and not 100% woven together with mine. As I said in an earlier post: It is flattering, but exhausting.

Yet. I want to life a life that is about love and peace and gentleness and kindness. Maybe I am some sort of cliche, but these things actually have meaning for me – they are not words – but a life that I long for and believe in. And it cannot be lived if I am running around like a mad woman muttering about papers that are not written or sleep that is not had or crumbs that have not been dust-busted.

So, I try to lose myself in my mesmerization. Let myself feel it. The soft skin. The wonder of our boy. The way his eyebrows are just little fuzzes that I can rub against my cheek while he is sleeping on my shoulder. Just let him sleep on my shoulder rather than try to put him down in order to do something else.

The way his breath smells sweet. The magic of watching him learn how to giggle.

How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.

So I will do what I need to do – the work, the school, the cleaning, the errands – as I can. But when I cannot, I will smell his sweet baby breath. Sit and wait for the wild turkeys to come and get the corn we have put out for them.

Pray.

Breathe.

Cuddle.

And try to let go.

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5 Responses to Life With Baby

  1. Jess says:

    And enjoy it! There are lots of ways to “wear” your baby these days, better than when mine were bitty. Then at least you can have one hand free. :-)

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you for the nice comment.

    Ah, yes, we are learning more and more about the world of baby wearing. I do not see how parents of infants do it without it. We are so lucky that there are a good range of carriers these days. We just ordered one that is good for a back carry….

    :)

  3. Dana says:

    Our little one was the same way—she wouldn’t even sleep by herself for 4-5 months after she was born. You are doing the right thing by holding him and loving him. He’s learning that you will always be there for him when he needs it.

    Early parenthood is like boot camp, I think…it’s the hardest part of a very long process, but you’ll get through it. Just breathe. :)

  4. Barbara Stevens says:

    Hey, Elizabeth. I love all your essays, but I especially am giggling over the one from June 2nd when you are trying to accept that crumbs on the floor are not poisonous, when you acknowledge that Elijah-holding and cuddling is more important that keeping the house spotless. I wrestled with that very issue over and over again. Still do! The kids won out, but I always still fretted that having a clean house WAS part of being a good parent. What a conundrum! Hugs to you as you cuddle, Barbara

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