Tuesday, October 9, 2012

On Surrender

There is thing that no one tells you about the first year of your kids life, that survival depends on you bending to their tiny wills. And the newborn is a pro at eliciting this surrender, they are so tiny and cute and special that you will later say that you were honoured to get up six times in the night to nurse and cuddle them back to sleep. I've even said that I miss those special night moments, when the child is finally sleeping through the night.

See - for this first year it's essential that you put their needs first for their survival, it truly doesn't last long in the grand scheme of things, but for now the best way to get through it to try to surrender to it as gracefully as possible. This is not easy. It's a big wake up call to the true nature of motherhood, if you're feeling poetic about it you could say that it pushes you to understand how to give, how little is really required for you to survive, how love will make it possible for you to push past all your limits. If you're not being poetic- the truth is that baby owns you. In the nicest possible way of course, and they are falling for you too- learning that you cradle them in just that way, and that your smell and feel means safety and contentment.

It's a kind of a gift, this call to surrender, and a bit of a pain too, and it's difficult to negotiate.You have to distill down what you need to refill your well (because you do have to do that too- you can't just run on nothing for a year and expect it to be okay)- to try and understand that you will be you again, that in fact you are still you- just a different you, with a little less time and sleep, and messier hair. You have to learn to snatch inspiration in small bits, to humble yourself, to distinguish need from want; to figure out how to surrender to motherhood gracefully.

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