Tuesday, November 20, 2007

No Success

Hello all... I write to you today from the frumpiest pants imaginable. For you I have decided laundry can wait.

The topic today... Childcare-search + New Moms + Old Dads -Second-childing. Sounds scintilliting doesn't it.

I spoke with my husband's second cousin today. She sounded a bit harried and tired with a noisy 3 month old in the background. My heart went out to her as she apologized for having to run. My "no worries" rang a little hollow and she had sort of an audible blush of nervous motherhood. She is a real dear. When I first had my second child I got a lot of 'aren't you sorry' about my first parenting experiences. A lot of people will ask you if, comparably, you wished you'd appreciated how easy it was to have just one.

Bullshit.

What I feel is that when I had just one I had a different 'handicap' than juggling two and it was acutally harder. When I had one I knew nothing. I mean at least with the second I knew how to breastfeed and swaddle and do elevator drops and dare I say it CIO a little. I knew how to serve my boobs in public and generally how to treasure little things. With my first I was always learning -- I still learn by the way thus this post -- with my first I had not yet experienced success and for me, at least, no success is akin to depression. Surprise, Mo-Wo is type A!

Do you know what I mean?... no success...

You worry they won't walk if they're a month late to it since you have not yet reared a 'walker'.. you fear they won't talk... or eat their vegetables. That these things simply won't happen. The sleeping recriminations can eat both of you alive. I was thinking about these dynamics as I hung up the phone. I recalled them as I read about the Juniper's latest sleep wars and Mad's daycare woes.

My thoughts lie in reference to a bygone hazy rosy mythical time when I was first back to work and my dear only child went to N's daycare. It was a time we weaned effortlessly and when she had really perfect manners (thanks N.!). It was the time she was ahead of the curve for every developmental milestone and before I realized how little that matters and, in fact, how I fear that parental pride can do some damage. In that time long ago I felt like a successful parent. Many mornings now when I try to juggle two little ones deadlines on my own I can thank that feeling for the depth of my self-flagelation. Sometimes I wish I'd never known that 'success'.

I have mentioned before my belief that the only thing new parents really need is unconditional support. As I am weaving my way back home to my desk in January. As I try to open our family up, warts and all, to a new childcare provider. As I urge myself to 'let go', as one wise soul puts it. I wobble and weep at times. I scramble to 'know' to find the right answer to choose the path of success for them and for me. Then I try to forgive myself a little bit, take the leap of faith and cannibalize a bit of that resilience my children ooze from every pore.

Let's face it new or not... we all need the unconditional support. All the better to deal with the fact that any success is fleeting, if real at all.

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8 Comments:

Anonymous CresceNet said...

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8:51 PM  
Blogger Johanna said...

Wisely put.(I know I promised to be silent after my buffoonery, but this post was particularly great)

8:51 PM  
Blogger Alpha DogMa said...

Hey wait a minute. Crescenet, you said the same thing at my blog? Did I mean nothing to you? Do you say those pretty and foreign words to all the pretty bloggers. Well now I feel so cheap. So used. I SHALL NOT PUT YOU IN MY BLOGROLL.

Yes. Just give support. And CIO all you want.

11:13 PM  
Blogger Lumpyheadsmom said...

Unconditional support, yes. Also the reminder to go easy on ourselves every once in awhile - we're our own worst critics.

10:07 AM  
Anonymous crunchycarpets said...

having more than one child just leaves old fears behind for new one's....oh and the guilt that you aren't paying enough attention to all the milestones like you did with no. 1.

Oh wait..that was my mom.

10:39 AM  
Blogger Bon said...

i've wondered about this...whether, no matter how crazy two might be, if it could ever get as hard again as having one for the first time and really, truly not knowing if one would ever, ever sleep again...

2:59 PM  
Blogger nonlineargirl said...

Hmm, I might say no to any nanny without a banjo. How else will your child get a scholarship to the best university, unless she (and he) learns these skills early.

Then again, maybe I'd just go with what crescenet said.

1:18 PM  
Blogger Granny said...

For what little it's worth, you always have my unconditional support.

Life is hard enough without being second guessed with every move.

Take care of yourself.

6:21 AM  

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