Sometimes you just have to let go.
Sometimes you have to change your expectations and attitude.
Sometimes you have to embrace the suck.
Welcome to motherhood. Where the rules are often made up, life changes on a dime, and the particulars no longer matter.
Like that one time I spent 4 months getting up every 45 minutes to nurse because that’s what my baby now wanted and became so sleep deprived – I was literally walking into walls.
Or that one period when my baby’s first three teeth came came in all at once. (What a nightmare!) Tylenol, teething tablets, and frozen bananas didn’t even come close to calming him and there’s nothing worse than watching your child wail in pain – and you can’t do anything about it.
Each and every period of difficulty seems to be never ending. Sometimes I cry buckets of tears, I yell at myself and my baby in intervals, and even yell at God. Why was this happening? Why couldn’t He just give me a break? Is this really too much to ask?
And then the answer came: “Just let it go. It doesn’t matter, anyway. Just let it go.”
“Screw You! I’m so tired, I can’t do this, I can’t just let it go! How am I supposed to just ‘let go’ of not sleeping? I won’t accept it, I will make this kid sleep!”
“If you say so. Then when you’re ready, let go.”
Weeks and months went by of battling what couldn’t be battled, attempting to force something to my will. This was mine and my husband’s son, I should have known better. All in vain, all futile.
One night after another hour long put down/cry/pick-up/rock/put down/repeat cycle, I simply said to him “Ok, I’ll stay with you, you sleep with me tonight. Let me know when you’re ready.” That’s when the magic happened. I finally embraced the suck, I accepted that I was not in control, and I started to let go of the anger, the frusteration, the helplessness. And things started to turn around, not all at once, but they started.
Our kids are their own person. We’ve become so used to them being our babies while in our womb, we forget they have their own thoughts, feelings, and ideas of how they need to do things. They’re not little adults, they will have plenty of time to get used to doing what other people want and demand of them, so let them be a kid now. As adults we are used to feeling like we have to be in control all the time, and for a tiny little being to render us so completely out of our element, can really stretch a person – and bring up all kinds of emotions. Some of these emotions are negative and may even originate from our own childhoods. Trying not to yell at them the way you were yelled at. Trying to make sure they feel respected, while reminding them YOU are the one in charge. It’s exhausting, draining, and frusterating.
Then, right when you are about to lose it, you somehow manage to realize – it just doesn’t matter. Can our little ones irritate us to the point of checking ourselves in for a psych evaluation? Perhaps. Will it always be like this? No, and when it changes – it’s pure magic.
So you shed some tears, that’s normal. Sometimes you’re shaking in anger, or exhausted in defeat. All normal.
Next time you’re feeling this way, open your eyes wider to see that perfect smile and those beautiful little eyes looking at you with pure unconditional love.
Then you can embrace the suck.
And you let it go.
And it is beautiful.