I'm always amazed when I'm at a doctor's appointment or filling out paperwork related to David and someone congratulates me. For example, being at the dentist and the ladies saying "Awww, you have a 13-month old?" Or when we went to the ENT last year to have David's tongue tie clipped and the surgeon said "Congratulations, you guys!" We were there to fix a minor medical problem and what she saw was a near-perfect newborn baby. That was her perspective.
In the middle of the most mundane (or even distressing) moments, people remind me that I have a CHILD. When we have to spend days or months renewing visas, we don't always remember that...oh yeah, there's a reason for all this...and he's pretty adorable! When I'm boarding a plane with the little
rascal noisemaker cutie, I might have a pretty tiring journey ahead of me, but look at all those smiling faces admiring his chubby cheeks and toothy grin.
That is one perspective: in the midst of all the messy details, there is a child who brings joy.
But unfortunately, there are hardships that need attention, and that are lost in the light of giving attention to that child.
People may look at David and see a sweet baby. I love babies, too. But when I look at other mothers now, there are a lot of other questions running through my head.
If it's a newborn, I may wonder how her labor was.
If the baby has teeth, I wonder if he/she has bitten Mommy yet.
Did the mother get all of them dressed and looking like that by herself, or did she have help? Does she have stretchmarks under those cute clothes?
I guess my point is that at 13 months post-partum, I still feel post-partum. And I project that onto other mothers, too. Even though David is going to be a toddler soon, I feel like I am still getting used to having him around. If the first several months were survival mode, then now is the time when I'm able to stop focusing on survival so much and able to add some more normal tasks back into my routine...with him in tow. I am able to enjoy it, too.
It's always good to focus on the blessings in life, especially when people can offer each other a positive perspective. But I think it's also important to remember that people who have experienced major changes in the past year or couple of years (love, loss, childbirth, adopting or being adopted, miscarriage, illness, moving, job changes, etc.) might still be learning how to cope. There is more going on than what's on the surface!