Friday, December 26, 2008

A New Kind of Holiday

This year, Christmas felt different. And I bet you're expecting me to say that it felt more magical, more exciting, more special with a baby in the house. Well, that's not exactly how it felt. It felt more... tedious. 

Maybe it's because the little man didn't get the memo that he was supposed to sleep in. Sleep deprivation does tend to hang a cloud over any occasion. (By sleep deprivation, I mean mine. Not his.) Or maybe it's because I underestimated the number of diapers the punk would go through, especially if the snowstorm forced us to stay the night in Salt Lake, and was therefore preoccupied with thoughts about my child's excrement instead of letting myself relax and enjoy the frivolity of the holiday. (We didn't have to spend the night, but it did take us 90 minutes to get home instead of 45.) But whatever the reason, I have a feeling Christmas - and other holidays, vacations, and friendly gatherings - will never be the same again. I am now a parent, and therefore, a responsible party. I no longer get to stuff my face and play with my siblings (and sibs-in-law) without wondering if my little dude is hungry, messy, cold, or safe from the curious dog.

Interesting how life changes in an instant. Before getting married, I vowed to never become a boring fuddy-duddy who goes to bed early - or worse - stays in on the weekends! And before having a child, I wondered why parents tend to plan their entire lives around their kids. As in, "We had better take off. Junior absolutely must take his afternoon nap at three o'clock sharp." Aren't the parents in charge? The answer is no. The parents are not in charge. Parents exist only to serve their children. To make sure they are warm, safe, satiated, clean, and devoid of air in the digestive tract. And these things need the same amount of attention on Christmas as on any other day. 

I guess it's time for me to grow up.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your a mom now... get over it!!

Brit said...

re "anonymous"'s comment, you can try your whole life and never really get over it. You are changed forever as a person once you cross that threshold into motherhood. It's hard when they're little, Mei. But if you stick with it to provide that security, and stability, and safety that your lil' guy needs in order to thrive, eventually he will in turn do the same for you. And I'm not talking like when you're an old geezer, I mean in a few years; even a few months. Like when he looks at you and gives you his first smile. or when he can finally sleep through the night (it's closer than you think, really) When you watch him come in the living room and see the presents Santa brought him and his eyes light up. or when he opens the presents you give him and his smile widens as he says, "thanks mom! you're the greatest!" or when he runs to you with a boo boo and you are the only one to calm him down......

there are so many times when it is so hard; and no one who has been there doesn't think so, and no one who hasn't been there doesn't understand it. But the dividends will be more than worth it. Hang in there.

And for future reference, I don't think many kids sleep in on Christmas.... :)

Sarah Garner said...

So true... HOWEVER... you now forever have an excuse to sit around watching cartoons on Saturday morning again, sit at the pool or park all afternoon (you have to make sure jr. has a fun childhood right?) and to make cookie dough and eat it without cooking it. You are, after all, responsible for making sure the little twerp gets to experience all the fun parts of childhood right? And he can't do it by himself!...TAKE THAT growing up!

Bretzing Fam said...

I second Sarah's comment. I live to make sure my kids have "good memories" of me. So I get to sort of be a kid again. Today I was sitting with Trevor thinking " I am such a good mom" While we played geo trax, "he must really feel special that I am taking so much time to play with him." My bubble burst when he said..."um, mom...you can go do the dishes now." I felt like walking a way with my fingers in the "L" shape stuck to my forehead. So much for that!

Tara said...

I know how you feel! In some ways your life will never be the same, but in some ways it gets so much better.

I distinctly remember thinking as I walked through the Christmas party food line, "how much can I fit on this plate .... I know I won't be back!"

Heather said...

The joys of motherhood, and yet we wouldn't change a thing about it!

Quela said...

Welcome to the club!!

Melissa Edwards said...

That is the reality that every new mom must go through. You stick to the baby's nap schedule not only for their sake of napping, but for your sanity also. It is crazy how the new, tiny baby changes your life in an instant. But it is wonderful!

Becky Rhead said...

Oh Meili, the grass is always greener on the other side isn't it? I have really hated holidays that last year or so. I am convinced holidays are more fun with kids. Maybe Christmas wasn't great this year but next year, you are going to love watching your 1-year-old attempt to open presents. You are going to love dressing your kid up for Halloween. You are going to love making Valentine boxes and buying cheesy Sponge Bob valentines.

I go hang out with as many kid as I can on holidays (including waking up at 6:30 am to watch my future nephew open presents on Chistmas morning). Children make the holidays more fun. Really...what is more fun than forcing your kids to wake up at midnight on New Years just so they can bang pots and pans?

Habs said...

I imagine you are experiencing a drastic contrast from pre-baby to post-baby life. The holidays probably intensified the differences. It's true that you are now a responsible party. What a ginormous feeling to have. Remember to take some Meili time to breathe a little! Love you.

Debra W said...

Welcome to the wonderful, zany, selfless world of motherhood! Oh yes, and a very heartfelt congratulations! I was wondering if you had your baby yet!

Enjoy your wonderful, new little person!

Hugs,
Debbie

suzanne cabrera said...

Hahaha...what a cute present! Hope you can catch up on sleep soon....

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