Motherhood, Ask for Help

My mom holding Wallis for the first time, she was only an hour old.

It took me 7 months to finally cave in and ask for help with Wallis and working. I am very lucky (well most of the time) that my parents live about 20 minutes from me. This is a newer development as for a very long time they lived 10 hours away. Even though I realize how wonderful this is, it was still very difficult for me to lean on them.

I am not someone who leans well. This is just one of my personality traits, to do it all by myself. I like to be in control and I like to wear myself down to bone dust apparently. I don’t know why I am this way…well I kind of do. It’s a combination of being a perfectionists, and coming from a home that was not stable.

My parents were very young when they got married (enough said) and we moved a lot. These are some of the things that contribute to my need to control. I am working on this, because I realize that I am the only one actually being damaged by this need. Everyone else does what they want to anyways, and I am usually left feeling like my head is going to explode.

Another reason though, is that I really love being with Wallis. I love all my time with her and I never actually feel overwhelmed by her, as I do with everything happening around me. Wallis is like a buoy to me, I look at her floating among the loud shifting water and feel peace. Yes, she asks a lot me, more than I’ve ever been asked of in my life — but I have fulfilled this role happily, gratefully. It’s everyone else and everything else that I am struggling with…poor Andrew.

This is what happens to moms though. Our children become our everything and everything else becomes too much. What do you mean I still have to feed the rest of you? What do you mean I still have to clean all the other rooms? What do you mean I still have your laundry to do? What do you mean I have another job besides keeping this small human alive? The world keeps spinning around me as I look at Wallis and sigh.

I felt genuinely frustrated that I couldn’t ask people to do all those other things and let me and Wallis be. My mother was persistent though. She sent texts that said, you need to share. She sent Andrew countless videos on Facebook (I am not on FB) about the importance of grandparents in a child’s life (even though we see them ALL THE TIME) but apparently, she needed one-on-one time too. My mom’s retired and willing and her guilt finally wore me down…also Andrew really wanted me to give in too.

So with a grudge in my heart, I started letting my mom watch Wallis once or twice a week for a few hours, and truthfully, it has been really lovely to see how Wallis has bonded to her and to my dad. It’s good for Wallis and it’s good for my parents. I had to admit that to myself, even if I still get emotional when forced to drop her off (I take a few of their cookies as penance for forcing me to do this before I go, ha!).

My mom plays the piano wonderfully and she and Wallis play it together. They sing, dance and spy on the neighbors. Wallis also naps very well there (grumble grumble) and my mom LOVES to rub it in. I tell her, it’s because Wallis is so homesick, her body is in survival mode and she sleeps well to stay alive.

For me it has been good too. I actually get to spend those hours working totally uninterrupted, which if you haven’t had that happen to you in awhile…it’s pretty amazing. I have panic moments like I’ve forgotten Wallis somewhere quite a few times during the day, but that’s what keeps my ticker ticking.

All parents deserve a break to catch up on work or even who we they use to be. Right now, Wallis is at grandmas and I’m going to go to take a walk…alone…and feeling kind of giddy about it.

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