The 52 Project: a portrait of my children once a week & every week in 2014.
Lena: We’ve enjoyed so many beautiful fires in our hobbity fireplace this winter! Lena is usually the one who asks Elliott to build a fire in the evenings, and then they sit in front of it and read stories before he puts her to bed. The fact that she loves all of these things — a cozy fire, reading books with her daddy, comfort in such simple and beautiful traditions — gives her parents so much joy.
Gil: His sleeping habits have improved a lot over the past few months, but he still wakes up once between 4-6am to nurse, and sometimes I don’t know if he’ll go back to sleep if he nurses at 6am. This particular morning last week, he didn’t. We welcomed the sunrise on the balcony as I sipped my coffee and he unloaded all the clothespins from the basket.
(Side note: Gil also took his first steps last Thursday! We were Skyping with Elliott’s family, and I was trying to keep Gil amused and quiet. I spontaneously stood him up and then beckoned him, and he took a couple faltering steps towards me… and did it over and over! He’s also saying four words now: Mama, Dada, uh-oh, and hi. And his “bye-bye” wave melts my heart every time!)
As I wrote to a friend this week, I’ve been convicted these past few days about my sense of entitlement. I feel entitled to pretty much whatever I want — to travel, to complain, to sleep in, to get me-time, to spend money as I please, to expect Elliott to care for the kids the moment he walks through the door, and so on and so forth.
When I don’t get what I feel entitled to receive, I complain. I whine. I moan and groan about my life, how hard it is, how no one understands. I read mommy blogs and opinion pieces that all affirm my emotions. As I’m sure everyone has noticed, this is a really popular topic right now. My father-in-law sent us an article which does a brilliant job of explaining why young Americans in particular feel this way.
And then I read this amazing blog post which kind of felt like a bucket of cold water to my face. I SIGNED UP FOR THIS. I knew what I was getting into… or at least I had a very good idea. I decided to have kids. I decided to be a stay-at-home mom. So why am I acting like so many things are such a shock, or such a burden, or such an insult? Babies have poopy diapers, so why do I groan when I have to change another one? Children are messy, so why am I complaining about vacuuming? Kids are slow, so why am I always (always) late instead of just learning to get ready earlier? And why am I so quick to blame everyone but myself?
I told Elliott last night that right now there is no other job I want to do more than this one. Not a single job anywhere in the whole world. I want this, I chose this, I signed up for this. Not only that, but I consider myself richly blessed to be able to stay home with our young children, to write and photograph and record these early years, to be an amateur chef and preschool teacher and best friend, to create a peaceful and beautiful place to call home. I thank Elliott often (and need to thank him more) t
hat he is the sole breadwinner for our family right now.
I’ve asked Elliott to hold me accountable to an attitude of thankfulness. It won’t be easy, but I do want this attitude of entitlement to die. I am grateful, I am so thankful, that this is my lot in life right now. So here’s to being a cheerful worker, and therefore a cheerful stay-at-home mom!