Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Soaking it Up

Daniel just left for work. I just fed Gracie and put her back in her crib till she wakes up for the morning--

This prompts some early morning thoughts, so bare with me.

She was still so very new in this picture, like a week old.

Yesterday I was talking to my mother in law about how teeny tiny Gracie used to be and where she's at now. She's now walking everywhere, and she gets pretty frustrated when she falls or when she needs help getting up.   She is super independent, has learned to throw quite the huge little fit when she doesn't get what she wants, doesn't like to be fed if she can do it herself, she now has FOUR teeth and what gets me the most is we really think she is starting to talk.

Look how teensy she was!

As Gracie continues to grow and continues to hit these milestones, it makes me wonder:

Did I soak it up enough? AM I soaking it up enough?

When I look back on the past ten months, I remember it just being her and I alone for most of the day, that's what it's still like now; just Gracie and myself. 

You would think I would be over-soaking with how much time we spend together; drenched in fact.

But, it's very easy to get caught up in the duties of life, and you lose the tiny things. 


It breaks my heart to think about what I missed when I was in the other room doing some chore. It breaks my heart that somedays I feel like Gracie is the chore. Somedays I just barely get through the day. As sweet as Gracie is, and she is such a sweetie, she can also channel that energy for evil. There have been days where she has literally cried or screamed at me for 80% of the day. 

Teething is hell and it's taking us all down with it. 

As I remember how horrible a mother I have been: how I haven't made butterfies out of her footprints, how I chose sleep over taking in her cuteness, how I didn't do the "every month in the same chair" pictures, how she has spent more time than I like in her playpen some days because the house is a mess and bills need to be paid. I don't like that there are days where I have put Gracie in her crib with some of her soft toys to play so that I could get a few more minutes of sleep. 

I am constantly wondering: Am I playing with her enough? Do I take her to the park enough? Am I helping her enough? Am I letting her be independent enough? Am I hugging her enough? Am I giving those squishy cheeks enough kisses? Do I tell her I love her enough? 

In those moments that have been pushed aside, I am so incredibly worried about what I have missed or what I haven't savored enough...

Every single day she changes. It's crazy. I notice new things she is doing every few hours. I am always noticing new things about her and thinking "When did she start doing that?!"

She just started scrunching up her nose when she smiles. I mean...nose scrunchies! It's the cutest thing in the world, but she only does it when she's super happy and laughing a lot.

Would she have done it sooner if I played with her more? Would another trip to the park make her happy enough to insight the nose scrunch? 

What will happen when she does something new and I miss it because I am too wrapped up in what needs to be done. What if she starts standing up all on her own, and I am doing the dishes and I miss it?

I am so terrified of what I will miss as she grows up. She is only the age she is once and I don't want to miss it.
all strapped in and ready to go! ;) 

As Daniel and I talk about a new baby, and when we want to expand our family, I am worried about what will be over-looked for a new baby. Will Grace's needs and wants be overlooked for a baby with a wet diaper? Will Grace feel like she's being abandoned for a new baby? These kinds of thoughts make me not want to have any more children. I never want Grace to feel like she doesn't mean the world to me. 

As she gets older and becomes a teenager, goes to college, gets married...will I remember these nose scrunchies? Will I remember how she loved a fuzzy frog puppet? Will I remember how she pets her face every so slightly when she sleeps? Or how she lights up when she sees me as I walk in to get her in the morning? Will I remember? 

I guess, what I am getting to is...being a mother is hard.

Finding that balance between being a wife, holding your house together, and still being present for every moment you possibly can be...is really hard.

Constantly questioning yourself, and your abilities--it all comes with the title. 

As time goes on, and Gracie gets older...it all comes down to trust.

I have to trust that I have been the best mother I can be. Acknowledge where I messed up, or what I missed...but I will always know that I loved this cute little girl with everything I have.


xo,
Tanika

11 comments:

  1. I love love love how honest and open you are on your blog! From reading your blog I can tell you are a great mother! Gracie is lucky to have such great parents!

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  2. Oh Tanika, you are a wonderful mother! Gracie is a lucky little girl!

    I was expressing some similar thoughts to Justin the other day. Adelyn has recently started some new quirks - kicking her right leg the entire time she is fed, giggling when we put diaper cream on, etc - and I'm so scared that we're not going to remember those little things about her. I just try to give her my best each day and soak up every moment, especially the small and simple things.

    Don't be so hard on yourself, you're doing great!

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  3. I'm not a mother, but from talking to other mothers it seems these feelings are totally normal. But don't be so hard on yourself. You literally can't be there every moment. And that's ok, because they also need to do things on their own. Maybe if you weren't feeling guilty about missing out on something, then I would question your mothering ;) But since you are, I think that's a good sign of how much you love and care for that little girl.

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  4. Oh.My.Gosh! Love her she is adorable!
    Great blog here so excited to follow along!
    Your newest fan,
    Ashlee@ABpetie
    http://abpetite.blogspot.com/

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  5. Lady, you amaze me. Gracie is so beyond blessed to be your daughter. I know I feel the same way that you do sometimes. I ask myself the same questions. I wonder if I am giving Joshua enough love and attention. I have no doubt that you are soaking up what needs to be soaked up. And of course you'll remember the quirks--you blog about them, you take photos of them, etc--you've recorded them and you are helping Grace write her history while she is still too young to write in on her own. You are an unbelievable momma. You really are. Loved this post. :)

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  6. Your little girl is so cute!

    I'm a new follower! Coming by from the giveaway!

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  7. Tanika, I hope to be as wonderful of a mother as you are! Grace is a fantastic kid, and you are an amazing mother!!! XOXO

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  8. This totally hit home with me. I'm alwayssssss on my phone or computer blogging or doing something. Sometimes Bubba will just play in his play room by himself for awhile and it's good for us both; he's learning to entertain himself and I'm getting work done. However, I do think I need to find a better balance because sometimes I put too much into the blog and we don't get this time back with our babies.

    Thanks for the reminder :) xoxo

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  9. Being a mother IS hard! I often, okay, daily, have every single thought you have had! But I wouldn't trade it for the world, being a mommy is the best experience I have ever had and probably will ever have :) Just remember to cherish what you have, here and now. It helps me get through my days!

    Kayla (NGF ;)
    http://doublethalove.blogspot.com

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  10. you can chill! love makes up for everything we do and don't do as moms. and the beauty of love is it is infinite..it doesn't get all used up on just one kid..in fact the opposite happens..love multiplies. so sit back, relax and enjoy the moments when you can...
    I am your newest follower...pls follow back if you can.

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  11. Tanika, I've been feeling the exact same way and just recently posted about it too. I know I can get so caught up in keeping the house in order, making sure we're all fed and then blogging (and the social media that goes along with it) takes a LOT of time. So this post truly resonated with me. I do recognize that I'm being hard on myself as I'm sure you're probably just being hard on yourself as well but I think it's a normal part of being a GOOD mother...to question those things so that we're constantly trying to improve and do as much as we can, the best that we can, for our children! Be encouraged! Take care :)!!!

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Thanks for taking the time to say something back! :) One sided conversations are never any fun! :) Thanks for reading!