January 2012

Because They Need Me

January 26, 2012

Early one morning over a good cup of coffee, I was talking to Joel about why Landon had gone from being a great sleeper to nursing 6-8 times a night in the last few months. I was tired, emotional and so very ready to just throw up my hands and have myself a good old fashioned temper tantrum.

Landon was one of those babes who slept all day and night. He was the type of infant that you never ever discuss because other mothers will hunt you down and hurt you for getting as much sleep as I did in those first few months. But I was warned that he would turn, and turn he did. My sweet infant has become a wide awake baby, and my lack of sleep has begun to catch-up with me.

I had gone looking for answers everywhere I can think of: doctors, friends, lactation consultants, herbalists, etc. I wanted an answer on where my good sleeper went. I wanted to know why he is suddenly in need of nursing all night long, and if there was something wrong that I could fix.

I received wonderful answers, and crazy answers, and everything in between (one of our doctors actually tried to convince us that our then 9 month old was manipulating us.)

Then in an instant my husband brought it all home; “He just needs you, Heather. This is the part of attachment parenting that gets tough, but it is also the reason that we attachment parent in the first place. He just needs you”.

It really wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but at the same time I knew that it was exactly what was going on.  When we talk about connection, it is our children who are the biggest examples of it. They are so bound to us, so connected, and they need us to physically be there at almost every moment in their days (and nights). To know that I am Landon’s safety net, his sense of well being in the world is an honor, even though it may also be a sleep depriving honor.

As I am finding out, connection with a child changes drastically over the course of the years, and although Jacob still asks me for snuggles and love, I can tell that every day he feels safer and safer to stray away from me and into the greater world. I am proud of him for that, and I know that one day Landon will do the same, but for now he is my reminder that while I may be tired, these days will not last long, but they will hopefully be of the greatest importance in my little one’s life.


Two Simple Things

January 24, 2012

I have always been an advocate for finding time to nurture ourselves, no matter if it is 5 minutes on the yoga mat or an hour long soak in the tub at the end of the day. I would like to think that I am a pretty good mom, but I am certainly a much better one if I have remembered to take a few moments out of my day just for me.

As my family is expanding, and there are now three little ones running around (okay, two running and one making a darn good attempt), time is getting a little thinner.

The other day I sat down with my journal, set the timer for 60 seconds, and wrote a joy list out. This is an exercise that I love to do because it is both a reminder of all of the blessings I have in my life, and it is a way for me to see what is important in this moment to focus on.

Perhaps the best part of a joy list is that it brings up small things that make me happy, and simple quick things that I can do to make the day a bit better. When lots of water and the smell of lavender showed up on the top of the list (under sweet Landon kisses and Jakey hugs, of course), I found an easy way to incorporate them into my day.

Just after I wake in the morning, I fill a huge mason jar full of cut up oranges, cucumbers and ginger and place it in the fridge to stay cold. A quick glass here or there makes me feel like I am getting a refresher in my day, while getting the water I need as a nursing mama. As for the lavender, that goes in a bowl of fresh water with two washcloths, and goes over the eyes or face when the stress of the day begins to show itself.

It takes 5 minutes of my morning to prepare, but as simple as these two things are to make, they have a long lasting impact on my mood throughout the day. Maybe they are just my reminders that there is always joy in the simple things.

What simple things bring you joy today?