The Great Dilemma


I have an inkling that I’ve stumbled upon the ultimate Great Dilemma of new Mamas, particularly first time Mamas. Quite simply, it’s the dilemma of choosing whether to “Eat or Sleep”.
The “Eat or Sleep” question comes into mind mainly first thing in the morning. It’s usually after a long, hard night and right after Kaia decides to go back to sleep. If I’m lucky, I know that I will have a few cherished hours to do SOMETHING and, at this hour, it’s usually “OK, do I sleep first or eat first”? Both are things I desperately need but can’t seem to figure out which I should do first…never knowing if Kaia will sleep as soundly as I hope. And so the struggle continues. There are many times in which my tired body chooses for me and I snuggle back into bed. It’s these times that I don’t end up chowing down until around lunchtime, because when Kaia wakes up it’s time for HER to eat.
This reminds me of of a portion of the beautiful poem called “The Invitation” by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.
“It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after a night of grief and despair weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children”.
Admittedley, I’m not bruised to the bone, nor would I describe any of my nights as despairing…However, for the first time in my life, I think I truly get the point of this passage. As Mamas, we really do “do what needs to be done to feed the children”. Of course, we do this in more ways than simply physically feeding them…I think of my Mother, who raised four children alone. I think of those weary times in which she would come home from work and crash on the couch. Somehow, we also always got to band or sports practice, dinner was always provided, lunch was always made for the following school day, laundry was washed, and kisses were doled out. I cannot imagine how challenging some of those times must have been and yet we never knew it. My Mama didn’t complain. Ever.
Sometimes, I wonder where she mustered up the ability to be so resolute in her raising of us. I can’t even be that determined to eat right, much less maintain enough patience to raise four children with grace, humor, respect, and unselfish love. I guess I’ll have to learn if I intend on expanding our family! I’m sure those lessons will present themselves in bits and pieces along the way…it just seems too overwhelming to have to learn all at once. I think I’m learning that this is one of the reasons that we don’t “figure it all out” in one divine moment of clarity. Instead, we have many tiny moments that end up being sewn together to create a brilliant masterpiece of a lesson. I guess life’s lessons are like a puzzle…we search for a few more pieces to complete the picture. Funny thing is, sometimes we end up realizing that the puzzle picture was right on the front of the box and if we just would’ve studied it a bit longer, the pieces would have fallen into place. But noooo…we keep trying to make that one funky shaped piece fit into the puzzle, even though we know it just doesn’t look or feel right. I’m trying to make Motherhood and Kaia’s birth experience fit into the puzzle of mt life…and, it’s definately not one of those wimpy 100 piece puzzles.

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One thought on “The Great Dilemma

  1. Oh do I remember those days… To eat or to sleep. My stomach was growling and I hadn’t felt that empty in 9 months but WOW he was sound asleep and I could be too in only a few minutes. So I chose to sleep and what seemed like moments later he awakened for his lunch and mine was put on the back burner once again. I think I know now why breastfeeding mothers lose the weight so fast!!! We’re starving for food and rest because we cant’ just have someone mix up formula and do the bottle while we sleep! What a sacrafice. But it feels like such an accomplishment once you do it! I can totally relate my fellow la leche sister! Hales

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