Sunday, January 15, 2012

Let Sleeping Darlas Lie

I was guilty and anxious before I had a baby.  The situation has not improved at all.  It’s actually gotten worse.  Especially on the days I work from home.   I want to give 100% to Darla and 100% to work.  Neither is possible and I end up feeling like a horrible failure as each only gets about 30% (don’t ask me where the other 40% is.  I think I lost it somewhere in my second trimester

Today was shaping up to be one of those frantic afternoons (darting between feeding Darla, doing laundry, setting up the bakery’s insurance and, maybe, squeezing in a bathroom break) when my working day came to a grinding halt.  After attempting to logon to my email, I found that the Internet was down.  I reset the modem several times.  I had no other solutions beyond this, so I started walking in circles.  I stopped walking when I realized that I had forgotten to pay the bill.

“That’s an easy fix,” I thought and called in my payment.  The automated system told me it would take half an hour for my service to be turned on.  I was at a loss and resumed walking in circles.  My plans for a frantic day were nothing without the Internet

Darla smiled up at me from her high chair.  She rubbed her eye and tugged her ear.  There was my answer.  I was being summoned to begin the most stressful part of my afternoon: getting Darla down for a nap.  This involves a lot of deafening howls and countless trips into her room to coax her down from standing up in her crib.  After a half hour, I would most likely give up on a crib nap and just put her in the car to fall asleep so I can run errands. 

Today, I didn’t feel like getting into the ring with Darla, so I decided to let her fall asleep on our bed.  After 15 minutes of shrieks and trying to keep Darla from sitting up, I gave up and gathered her into my arms.  I lay her head on my chest and she stuck her thumb in her mouth.  Within a minute, she was fast asleep in my arms and I lay back while she sighed deeply on my chest.  As I listened to her breath, sadness came over me.  I realized that laying her sleeping body across my chest on a warm afternoon with little strands of light coming through the window wasn’t going to last forever.  Her little roly-poly body would only be able to lie on me for a finite amount of time before she learns that she and I are not the same person.

For a moment, I thought about all the work I should be doing besides holding Darla in my arms.  This was a useless thought.  One year from now, was I going to regret not folding the laundry?  Probably not.  Would I regret not taking advantage of an opportunity to rest with my daughter?  Definitely. 

I hugged her tighter and felt incredibly sad that I couldn’t lay there with her forever and incredibly grateful for the fact that I forgot to pay our Internet bill.  I bought myself a chance to be 100% a good mom.   I closed my eyes to just let it all soak in when Darla lifted her head and poked my eye open.   

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