Dolphin Noelle And Reflections on Motherhood
Since becoming a mom, a curtain of worry has dropped over my life. I live with a constant ache in the pit of my stomach. Nearly all of the things I find to worry about are unfounded: is Noelle gaining enough weight? Is she eating enough? Will she take her naps? Is she cold? Is she too hot? Should she chew her fingers like that? The list can get pretty ridiculous.
As one of my friends so astutely observed about her own little boy, "As soon as one thing clears up, there's another thing to worry about."
Just as I had gotten better from the stomach flu, Noelle got an ear infection. Just as soon as she got over the ear infection, she developed acid reflux. What is this constant anxiety that mother's have to live with? It's dizzying.
I had no idea the weight of responsibility motherhood is. Before Noelle was born I was wrapped up in thoughts of baby clothes and cuteness. Shortly after she was born, I remember looking at her from across the room and being utterly overwhelmed by her need. I knew that in one short hour she would need me to feed her, and then she'd need me to do it again just another two hours after that, and after that.
There was nothing I could claim for myself anymore. Not even the necessities like sleep and food. My needs were no longer priority, not becuase I was so alturistic, but because my daughter was so demanding. Just by essence of being a newborn.
The thought that I would ever take a shower again, let alone be posting blogs with adorable videos of my daughter squealing seemed like a mini-miracle.
Many have written about the role of motherhood with much more humor or gravitas than I intend to, but I will ask one question: Who dragged me into this underground society with all it's rites and rituals, with it's brutal and exhausting initiations?
Oh! That's right - me. I went willingly, but I won't say "knowingly." ;-)