January 2, 2013

joyful exhaustion, or being mindful of today

Holiday Season 2012 has officially folded, and ushered in 2013. It has been one mind-blowing year. 

I gave birth to our one (and probably only) child. Changed jobs (at the same company). Learned the ropes of daycare, weaning, and multitasking like I've never done before in my life. Embraced many visiting relatives (and went to visit some over Christmas). And generally tried to figure out what life as a wife and mother looks like. 

Honestly, Christmas was an exhausting blur. We flew to Texas and stayed with DH's brother, SIL, and niece. We visited with them plus our son's grandmother, grandfather and step-grandmother. We made some new food discoveries, too: Turns out he loves stewed meat and veggies (the real thing), hates baby food unless it's fruity, and really loves chomping down dried seaweed snacks. Seriously - you must try this on your babe sometime. It's super healthy. I can give him a small sheet to take apart, though it's a bit tidier if I break it up into 1-inch chunks. He also enjoys whole wheat sandwiches filled with cheese or cream cheese. Plus, he's finally mastered the sippy cup.

Sure, it was cool watching my 10-month old son and his 3-year old cousin interact, but we also spent more of our time managing him instead of visiting like I had hoped (not sure what I was thinking there). And my SIL spent most of her time in the kitchen cooking, while my BIL was working 2 of the 4 days we were there. Also got our first taste of traveling with the boy, which even though it wasn’t horrible it was certainly challenging in its own way. We came back with the boy sick with a big cold and DH coming down with bronchitis. Fun. 

We did manage to get out for a few hours yesterday evening to join friends for dinner – other than that it was the three of us. Together. For almost two weeks. With a baby that suddenly crawls 100 mph, refuses to nap properly and entertain himself, and is recovering from a nasty cold. I was ready to pull my hair out.

DH and I talked about how incredibly exhausting it is right now, with our son so full of energy and getting into everything we don't want him to get into about every 45 seconds. And he's starting to prop himself up on his feet, which means walking (and running away from us) isn't far behind. 

If I sound like I'm complaining, well... partly. But I'm also excited to see him approach the next big milestone, and he's really happy and full of energy every day - even when he's clearly not feeling well. He's just a good baby who loves people, eats well and usually sleeps very well. 

If I'm honest, though, I have to admit that I think my current level of exhaustion has a lot to do with my age and only some to do with the challenges of my son's age. It's making me wonder how other 40-plus new moms deal with this. Energy - this kind of energy - doesn't come in a can. Ya gotta dig deep! 

As much as I have tried to focus on the birth of our Saviour - and I have - I've also had really big things in front of me that demanded my attention. Oh well. Such is the life.

I literally pray for supernatural strength on a regular basis, and I marvel at how I am doing as well as I am! God is good and faithful, and I know he didn't lead me to this just to watch me collapse into a state of mental mush. 

2013 will be another transforming year: my son will become a toddler, we'll probably travel again (with some hard-learned lessons under our belt), and Christmas will be even more wondrous because he'll be able to appreciate what's going on.

In the meantime, I have to remind myself to embrace today. Right now, my son is a baby who needs my direction as he figures out how his body works and discovers everything in the world around him. Right now, he drinks formula four times a day and isn't ready for a lot of solid food beyond the easily-mushable stuff. Right now, he's crawling and just starting to stand well. 

Right now is happening right now. Don't miss it.