in my arms

Lately I find myself often (very often) holding a child in my arms as I gaze helplessly around me at all the things in my house that need doing.

As I stand and sway to get Beatrice to sleep, I take stock of all the books, doll clothes, harmonicas, random puzzle pieces and plastic tea cups littering my living room floor.  I stare at the pile of unpaid bills, the creatively stacked towers of dirty dishes threatening to topple, that half-finished knitting project that will probably never be completed, and the laundry spilling out of the hampers (how can that be, when I sometimes feel like the only thing I do is laundry? *sigh*).

When I’m holding Adeline, cuddling her through one of the many daily meltdowns of a two-year-old, I admit I’m often thinking of that email I need to send to a friend, or a blog post I’d like to write, or one of the innumerable sewing projects in my head that I’m longing to work on, or how I really really need to scrub the bathtub (sometimes her meltdowns happen in the bathroom).

Sure, I have a baby carrier.  Ok, I have several baby carriers.  And I love them and use them a lot.  But there’s only so much I can do with a baby strapped to my chest.

So I try very hard very often to remind myself, when it looks like I’m getting nothing done, that I am actually doing something really important, something that needs doing.  I may not be making much in the way of sewn and knitted items, or baked goods, or other tangible things.  But I am creating bonds of love and trust that will help my daughters grow into compassionate and competent people, bonds that will hopefully hold this family together through whatever the future may have in store for us.

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12 thoughts on “in my arms

  1. Oh, I know that feeling so, so well. You are doing such good, important work now, that which will not come again. Sooner than you can imagine you’ll have more bits & pieces of time do do all of those things and life will still feel so full. Every age, I swear, has its ups & downs & beauty & heart-melting moments.

    But when you’re in the thick of each of those days, those moments, isn’t it sometimes all you can do just to remember to breath? Wishing you many moments of calm breathing and finding all is right in your right now.

    • Thanks for your beautiful words. I remember when I had my first daughter, I couldn’t imagine that there would ever again be a time when I would get anything done. And, as you say, slowly but surely it got easier to find little pockets of “spare” time. So having lived through it once, I know in my head that things will get easier . . . but as you say, sometimes in the thick of it I really have to make it a point to remind myself!

  2. Loved this post. I love the pictures, too. So sweet the little one in your arms. Those first few months are such a blur. You do feel like you’re just surviving most days. But, like you said, it’s such an important job that you’re doing just holding baby and sister and just loving them in the midst of the chaos! I think I would get better at that with each child, just letting the mess go and being in the moment. It’s so hard!

  3. if i lived there, i would come scrub your tub for you and fold your laundry, and abram and adeline could play together. 🙂 alas, here i am. so instead i will just say this: a home isn’t really a home unless it’s lived in.

  4. oh – i remember those days – a brand-new guy and an 18 month-old gal, and i never felt on top of anything. the next two years will be the busiest, messiest, laundriest . . . and then it will slowly ease . . . mine are 5 and 7 now and they can dress themselves and use the bathroom and get their own snacks and pick up (when i ask them to!) and help with all sorts of things – and it’s fun to do it together. 🙂 for now, just enjoy holding those little girls. before you know it, their arms and legs will be sooooo long and it will be hard to fold them into your lap . . . holding a baby is just one of the most lovely things – be in the moment. 🙂

  5. Beautiful post and so true. Looking at my two “babies” who are now four and almost one I wish I could have just let the laundry pile up for a whole year. I don’t remember the laundry or the dishes, it is the holding and gazing that I remember. PS – I LOVE that green top!!!!

  6. Pingback: the summer that is | making life

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