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The Mother Compassion

Posted by Patience on February 17, 2009 at 7:19 AM in BabiesPatience
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It's been a week of babies around here. Two separate friends welcomed tiny people into their families and lives. Jorge and I went to deliver a meal and chat with the new parents. The mom looked so tired and little wrecked. I had this wave of compassion come over me.

How is she doing it? It's so hard in the beginning. You are so exhausted, you did such a big thing and now you are keeping someone else alive.
I had similar feelings when I went on a getaway with a friend who has two under two. Then I saw my very pregnant sister this weekend and wondered how she managed to pull a birthday party off so close to the end. I was in awe and had total respect for each of these women.

I'm not sure why but I was so struck by my observation. The funny part is, I have done this myself, like four months ago. It barely occurred to me I have stood in those places before. When you are there, you just press on because that's what we do as parents. We keep going, loving, living. You have no idea how remarkable it truly is until there is some distance. I sometimes scoff at the idea that parenting is the hardest job in the world but in the world but in many ways it is. So pull out the old baby pictures or look at the one you are holding today, remind yourself how amazing you both are.

What do you remember about the early days of parenting? Tell me in the comments.


Carrie writes...

Truthfully, I remember very little about the first days of parenting with my son. I had to nurse him every hour and a half, since he was so little, so that meant very little sleep for two weeks. And my husband and I just sort of survived. After that, things definitely got easier :) We're hoping to not repeat that this time, as we have a toddler that might actually need to be taken care of occasionally...

It's amazing what the human body is capable of doing, isn't it?

katrina writes...

The thing that I remember the most was not getting enough sleep. My daughter would only fall sleep in my arms and when I would lay her in the crib she would wake up and cry and want to be fed again. I didn't have time to eat, sleep, or shower. My mother-in-law is genuis and would take my daughter from me right as she was getting sleepy and fall asleep in her arms so I had a little TLC time for me as well. Babies are such blessings, and they grow up WAY TOO FAST! You really need to enjoy the sweet moments together, and cherish them in your heart forever.

Amber writes...

I remember very little of the early days with my first. It was all sort of a sleep-deprived haze of crying (me and the baby), breastfeeding struggles, and wondering what I had gotten myself into. In fact as I neared the end of my second pregnancy I felt increasingly concerned about those hazy memories. But when you're there, you just do it, and somehow you get through it and have a marvelous little one to show for your efforts.

martha writes...

I remember the early days well. They were easy compared to now! Then, he slept, ate & slept again. Now, he's a wonderful, active "lil man". I think the next time I will take "maternity leave" from the office AFTER the baby is 6 or 8 weeks old. I don't ever want to miss a first smile, giggle or coo again!

Rose writes...

I remember the first couple weeks of my baby, i thought i was in haven, before i know it he start crawing and walking, i would love to do it all over again and spend more time with the second one.

Sky writes...

Oh I miss those brand new baby days. I love the cries. To hear a newbie cry, my heart just thumps. It's such a sweet and wonderful sound.

If you'd ask my husband, crying was his least favorite part!

Valerie writes...

Granted it was just three months ago, but I remember a mix of feelings like "What did I do to deserve such an amazing gift?" and "What the mess have I gotten myself into?"

I think you're right about having to be a bit removed from it to process what you've just gone through. Perhaps that haze of the first few weeks is a gift in itself. Being unaware of how hard it is helps you push through it. And then you can be so proud when you reach the other side.

VMama writes...

So, so true...

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