Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lesson From a 10 Month Old

If you were to ask what was my philosophy on being a stay at home mom, I'd say that I try to treat it like it's my 8-5 job. Meaning this: If I worked out of the home, the taking care of the house stuff would have to wait until after 5. And if I worked out of the home and Gabriela was in daycare, I would expect that she was being taught and played with during that time. So, despite feeling like I should be doing lots of other things sometimes, I attempt to make my "work day" about my kiddo.

That certainly doesn't mean I don't do some laundry or fix supper during the day. Nor does it mean I give her my undivided attention all day long. (I think independent play is a very important skill and we certainly do incorporate that into our routine!) But what it does mean is that while Eric is at work, I think teaching and playing with Gabriela should be my number one priority. Not checking my email, not scrubbing the house, not preparing 7-course meals to be ready the second Eric arrives home, and not creating wikipedia pages dedicated to my knowledge in nuclear physics and basket weaving.

Sounds like a pretty good philosophy, right?

Now let me go ahead and say that I fail at following through with it probably as often as I succeed.

Some days it seems like there is so much I need to get done or something so pressing that I let the little rugrat crawl around at my feet while I try to accomplish some other task.

And sometimes she gets whiny and wants my attention, and I attempt to appease her by tossing a toy her way or singing and talking to her while I focus my efforts somewhere else.

Yesterday was one of those days. Since it isn't really something she can "help" me do yet, I often wait to clean up from breakfast or lunch while she naps. But yesterday I had other things I wanted to accomplish during nap time. As I filled the dishwasher, hand-washed a couple pots and pans, and then got distracted sorting through some mail and preparing some things to be filed, Gabriela was constantly underneath my feet. She kept pulling herself up, holding onto my legs, and whining to be picked up. After all my efforts to distract her failed and I could no longer listen to her whine, I picked her up and, exasperated, asked her what she wanted.

Her little face lit right up with a giant grin the second I lifted her to my hip. Then (and this is the part my heart melted into a big pile of mush and I promised her she could have a pony, I don't care what her Daddy says) she grabbed both sides of my face with her chubby little hands, turned my face towards hers, and planted a huge kiss right on my lips. Then she sighed and laid her little head on my shoulder for a cuddle.

It's rare that I get all gushy and emotional, but I have to admit that I was fighting tears.

I guess as much as I like to think I am teaching my child, she is teaching me just as much or more: completely unconditional love, pleasure in life's simplest moments, slowing down and enjoying each day, being a mommy is an (the most?) important full-time job. These are things my little Gabster teaches me every single day. Sometimes she teaches with uncontrollable laughter, sometimes by a smile, sometimes through a great big spontaneous slobbery kiss and cuddle. But everyday she teaches me. For me, it's been the greatest I-never-expected-that element of parenthood. (Definitely beats the heck outta meconium poop and explosive vomiting!)


Katiebell said...

Wow--did we have similar days yesterday?! Love those sweet kisses (mine were from Kara though!) that put things back into perspective! : )

Vivi DiLopes Adams said...

I loved this post. I love being a mom and I do think it's the MOST important job.
*Sua filha esta' linda. Amei a foto!*

Fabiana said...

oooh meu deus, it is so amazing to see Gab grow up and become more and more beautiful every day!
We´re so happy for u guys, everyday we check out for updates on the blog!hehe Carl is completely in love with Gab (she melts his heart soo much that he´s thinking already about having a little sueco-brasileirinha!!hehe I really hope we can meet Gabriella very soon!
Waiting for you guys to visit us up here!
100000ooo beijos!!!

Fabi e Carl