This week has been a bit emotional for me. My husband went back to work and I was a bit anxious about how I’d handle being home alone with the baby.
Even with a few sleepless nights, I somehow managed to get through the last few days without having a breakdown.
Having a second child seven years after the first has been an interesting experience. I can see how some parents would naturally compare their kids to one another since they’re each so unique, but since it’s been so long since my first son was an infant, I honestly don’t remember much about those early days.
What I do remember, quite clearly, is how difficult it was for me to adjust to being a first time mom, especially after I went back to work, full-time. The juggling of both career and motherhood was not an easy balance for me. I suffered from postpartum depression (not diagnosed early enough) and felt stressed and anxious fairly often.
Circumstances are much different with Baby #2. Motherhood is my full-time job now and so far, it’s been much less stressful, and much more fun, than the first time around.
I went for a walk with the baby a few days ago which turned into a mini-adventure for us. Just before reaching the 2-mile mark (our halfway point), he woke up screaming. I had fed him before our walk began so I knew he wasn’t hungry but he also wasn’t tired since he had been asleep for a little while.
Seven years ago, I would’ve stressed out about why my baby was crying and what I would do or where I would go since there was nowhere within sight to sit down. I most likely would’ve been in tears myself, questioning my every instinct.
Luckily, we were close to a little bakery on the boardwalk, so we stopped inside. I had never been there before and there was a comfortable couch and recliner there which made me feel right at home. I purchased a coffee and sat with the baby while he continued to fuss for about twenty minutes. I wasn’t in a hurry. I had nowhere to go and nothing on my to-do list that couldn’t wait.
Seven years ago, I would’ve been stressing about having to be somewhere or having things to do that would keep me from simply enjoying the quiet time with my baby.
Finally, he filled his diaper (hence the fussing) and I was able to change him and continue our walk as he fell asleep again, content and clean!
When we got home, I noticed a tiny hummingbird flying from its nest which was on our neighbor’s balcony. It stopped me in my tracks and brought me back to January of 2004, when I first came home from the hospital with my oldest son.
When I was pregnant with him, I discovered a hummingbird which had built her nest in a small tree right outside our front door. Around the time my son was born, I noticed a tiny egg in her nest and every day, walking outside with him in my arms, we peeked at the little egg and waited for it to hatch.
After the baby hummingbird was born, it stayed in the nest for several days before it was strong enough to fly on its own. It was bittersweet seeing the empty nest just a few days later, knowing that the baby and mom were both out enjoying their world and thinking about how quickly our offspring grow up.
From time to time, I’d see the hummingbird near that tree and over the 6 years that we lived in that apartment, it would come back to visit and remind me of those precious first moments with my son.
I just looked up the symbolism behind hummingbirds, reminding myself that at one point (after my first son was born) I had intended to get a tattoo of a small hummingbird on the back of my shoulder. I had forgotten all about it until this week.
Because of their ability to hover and take their time drinking nectar, hummingbirds are often thought to be reminders that life is meant to be savored.
Yesterday, my son and I came home from school to find the hummingbird in front of our door (on the welcome mat). It was clear that he was dying but had left his nest (or possibly couldn’t find it) to die in a dark, quiet spot. It was a sad, ironic moment, recalling what the hummingbird symbolizes and realizing that this week has been all about slowing down and savoring every moment, that life is too short to stress over the little things.
It’s something I need to continue to remind myself.
Happy Healthy Hip Parenting
Peace Begins in the Home