Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I've been trying to write this post for over a month, but it never comes out right. I struggle with the tone and the phrasing because I don't want anyone to think I am whining (I promise I am not). I don't want anyone to think that I am not happy with my current situation or that I resent anything about it. But, in the end, I usually conclude that those worries are really just part of this post . . . an extension of all my other worries.

Let me explain. I have been watching my nephews (ages 21 months and four years) since February. My sister works part-time and I know that my watching the boys helped her feel better about that decision. I have also had several other jobs watching children of various ages. It's strange to just jump into a situation where you have to take charge of children who have no idea who you are. It takes me a lot longer to adjust and it takes a lot more patience on my end (not something I feel like I have a lot of in the first place). But with my nephews, it is different. I have lived with them (or very close by) since the oldest was one year old. My sister and I are so much alike that they don't really treat us very differently. She's obviously the mama and the one they prefer (as it should be), but it's nice that I can provide a similar feeling of security and comfort when my sister is away. I love the relationship I have with the boys and wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

Having said that, this year has been hard. I'm good with children and I know what I'm doing. People would see me rocking the baby to sleep in the halls of church and say things like, "You'll be such a good mom! You already know how to do it!" and "It will happen for you." I would smile and nod and pretend like I appreciated hearing those things. I didn't. I wanted to scream.

There was a point where I was watching my nephews and a little girl who was six months old. She would scream whenever it was time for a nap. She would scream whenever I wasn't holding her. She was cute, but she was a screamer. I would hold her and Bug (my youngest nephew) would get jealous and I would have to hold him too. Some days we would sit on the couch and all three of the kids would fight over space on my lap. Some days they would all nap at once and I loved all three of them. Some days I would just cry right along with the screaming. I never knew what to expect (except the screaming). To top it all off, I decided to start potty training. I just got so tired of the diapers. I don't know what I was thinking, really, but eventually it worked and I had fewer things to worry about.

Thinking back on that now, the thing I remember most is just feeling crazy and hoping and praying that things would be different with my own children. I have very realistic views on motherhood. If this year has taught me anything, it has definitely wiped away any remaining naivete in that regard. I know it will be tough and I know I will continue to doubt myself and my abilities. But I also know now that it will be different with my own children simply because they will be mine. I know there will be more of those "oh you're so cute and cuddly why did I ever have any worries ever" kind of moments...those are the moments I'm so grateful to share with my nephews.

I guess my point is that I worry too much. I will always worry too much. That is not something that will change when I become a mother. In fact, I will worry more...but that is okay. I know it will be different because I will be doing what I chose to do. I will be living my life on purpose instead of living to get by. I will have these memories of my nephews and they will share them with me and we will have a bond that will never break. I'll tell my children stories about their cousins and how Bug used to love to dance and sing and squeeze me tight around the neck and Monkey used to wake me up with a kiss on the nose and a proclamation that "the sun is up!" I will secretly pray that my children will share qualities with their cousins and that one day I'll look at my own little boy and be reminded of Bug's sweet smile or Monkey's silly faces and not one bit of the stress, worry or craziness will come to mind.


Julie W said...

wow. You are right to worry, and you are correct in saying that when you do have kids of your own you will be living your life on purpose. It is a whole new ball game then. There is nothing like the joy of holding your very own baby that is 1/2 you and 1/2 your lover. It is very very different.

I am sorry you are worrying about your future and what you want. It is a very personal thing that no one can really comfort but yourself. Hang in there!

I will say that Motherhood is nothing like being a nanny, even if it is to your nephews. In Motherhood there is purpose unlike anything else. You will love it, I promise! And if it falls short of what you expect, your husband and you will figure it all out.

Merry Christmas!

Miki and Ed said...

on a personal note as usual i wish i could be with miri and the rest when i was much younger and they were tinier. parenthood is nothing like what u experience. u will know what to do and it will be as u said your choice. your nephews are so blessed to have you and you them. from experience it is a bond i cherish and think of daily.
you will be a great mom and you will be a great YOU.