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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

You can get there from here.

It may have taken almost 2 years, but I finally feel like I'm there. I finally feel like a good parent. I finally feel like I'm no longer completely insane and clueless.

I was there last week after playgroup when we walked home and I quickly agreed to "TABLEBIKESWING!" time in the backyard. I made a couple of sandwiches, sliced a banana, and brought cold water outside for us to enjoy. I watched Aspen open her sandwich and eat only the filling by scraping her fingers across the bread.

I was there when Aspen handed me a fat piece of sidewalk chalk and ordered me to color. I drew shapes and was amazed when she recognized a triangle in addition to star, heart and circle.

I was there when she wanted to use me as a playground and do flips over my knees. I was there when she watched a wasp for a long time and then burst into the Bumble Bee song we learned at the Library. We sang it together three times before the bug flew away.

I often wish there was some way I could have known beforehand that motherhood would be so difficult for me. Not just the fatigue, the learning curve or the tantrums of toddler-hood, but the emotional roller coaster that my life would become. Maybe I could have prepared better somehow.

Other mothers give birth and say the new baby is the best thing that ever happened to them. Other mothers throw first birthday parties and admit to being baby hungry again. Other mothers have three children and plan for three more. I am not those mothers. I fiercely love my daughter. But I am just now feeling emotionally and mentally recovered from her arrival. And it has nothing to do with her at all. She is a perfect little person, she is. It's just that the role of motherhood made my own imperfections so glaringly obvious and huge. It has been a trial to overcome my own faults, to feel so hopelessly alone in this experience, to learn how to be a parent.

But now that I'm there, I hope never to look back. I pray to forget how hard it all was. How hard it was to stand and rock Aspen to sleep when my feet were swollen for a week after labor. How hard the first three months of breastfeeding were. How hard it was to function on four hours of sleep. How hard it was to find energy to make and eat food for myself. How hard it was to be judged for being "less than." How hard it was to feel like I was failing my new family.

Maybe someday I can forget enough so I can do it again.


  1. Liv, you are a wonderful mother! unfortunately parenthood doesn't come with a good manual, I know that there are plenty of times that I feel like a giant failure at this whole motherhood thing and most of the time I just have to step back and say hey my kids are still alive and growing so at least i'm doing part of this right! Having another baby is a big step and i'm partially terrified of the third on the way and what his effect will be on our family dynamic. Theres no shame in doing things at your own pace! and I'm glad that you finally feel like you've got it figured out!!

  2. That is awesome you are feeling better about being a mom. No matter what someone says, motherhood is a daily learning experience. No one is prepared for all that comes with being a mom. It is difficult for everyone at some point. I would like to know in which manual it says that you have to have another baby within the first two years after giving birth (I would be totally breaking that rule). Even Elder Anderson says it is a personal decision between spouses and the Lord. It is no one else's business. You are such a great mom. I really admire how much apart of Aspen's life you are, as well as maintaining a life of your own.

  3. I think most mother's would tend to agree that it takes a significant amount of time to feel like a good parent. It takes seconds of having baby placed in your arms, but it takes time to learn the how to's of parenting. Each child is different and therefore different challenges arrive. I am one of those mom's that get's baby hungry at approximately 9 months. Hence the fact that my boys are 17.5 months apart. I actually got baby hungry again right about the 9 month mark. Fortunately Andrew had been snipped otherwise I would have fiercely trying to persuade him to have another. I feel that I am a better parent when the children are younger. Now that Jesse is truly trying my patience it has been difficult for me and to top it all off I can't just focus on him and how to deal with all the new curve balls because Bodee is now all over the place. Not that my trials are harder than anyones I just can't wait to feel like a good mother of two children. Hopefully that will come soon. I to feel like my weaknesses were pointed out after having multiple children. I pray that one day they will be my strengths.


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