Lessons on Love From Baby K

Hi Papa K,

I remember when I first started bringing Baby K into our bed.

We were about four months in and the nights were brutal. We were up for hours feeding and rocking and bouncing to no avail, only for him to finally doze off in the wee hours of the morning because we held him in some weird position that we’d never tried before. We could never figure out what in the world was going on because every night was different and what worked one night, would most certainly not work the next. We were sleep-deprived, clueless, and oh-so exhausted but, also somehow, deliriously happy and filled with so much love. We finally caved and let him sleep in our bed and of course, he slept like an angel. While the full night’s sleep was something I was incredibly grateful for, I have to admit, I secretly looked forward to opening my eyes each morning and seeing the two of you sleeping soundly next to me. Those quiet moments feel so content and complete; it’s a reality I could never have conjured up in my wildest dreams. Perhaps, that’s why I still struggle with letting him go into his own space.

As expected, we are paying dearly for our moment of weakness. We’re now almost nine months in and every night Baby K becomes an explorer in his sleep and the bed is a new land he must explore every inch of before the sun comes up. So, we find ourselves where we once began, sleep-deprived, clueless and oh-so exhausted but, also somehow, deliriously happy and filled with so much love. One night as we prepare for bed, hoping to get a couple of hours of sleep before the little one’s adventures begin you say something that gets me thinking. 

“I can’t believe that I’m only turning 30 this year, we’ve hit so many major milestones in the last year, I feel like I should be turning at least 33.”

Your musings couldn’t be truer. We went from carefree and in love with plans of getting married and starting a family (someday soon, just not quite yet) to married, with a baby in the middle of a global pandemic. It was quite the transition, to say the least. Undoubtedly, making sense of all the madness and somehow making it work has required A WHOLE LOT of learning, unlearning, sacrifice, growth, and most importantly, love. I find myself constantly at the intersection of woman, wife, and mother. My new reality is trying to navigate those three identities, meeting each one’s needs while allowing each facet to flourish. Needless to say, sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail miserably. And, often when I fail, it is the wife and woman that suffer. However, I have learned a thing or two in this journey and the thing I hold dearest is how the selfless and unconditional nature of motherhood has taught me to extend myself and you a love that is boundless and uninhibited. Here are some lessons on love that loving Baby K has taught me: 

Love Takes Time

It has taken us months to figure out Baby K and we’re still learning who he is and how he wants and needs to be loved. In the same way, it has taken us years to figure each other out and how we want and need to be loved. Love is a continuous journey. It is constantly evolving and the best we can do is to take the time to learn who the other person is growing to be and learning together what good love looks like for the both of us.

Love Is Patient

I know this sounds like a cliché but it’s true. We have spent hours on end trying to figure out what Baby K needs solely based on the non-verbal cues he gives us, now that requires A LOT of patience. We need to be able to extend each other the same courtesy. Allow room for human error but always be willing to take accountability and make amends. Always remember that we might not get it right the first time around, but, the key is to have the patience and the willingness to put in the work until we do. Given that our communication skills are way more sophisticated than Baby K’s, I’m pretty sure we’ve got this!

Love Is A Soft, Warm Place

I’ve never seen either of us lose it with Baby K, apart from that one time both he and I were sobbing uncontrollably (you handled that like a champ, by the way). We always know when to say “can you take over? I need a minute.” We only allow him to see the best of us. He only knows warmth and love from us and that’s how it needs to be, for us too. I’ve learned that all our interactions should come from a place of love and warmth. Even when in conflict, it’s important to try not to be combative, instead, share opinions and thoughts and come to solutions together. Know when to take a step back and promise to revisit an issue when we are both in the headspace to hear each other out. Always try and present the best versions of ourselves to each other, even when it feels almost impossible.

Love Brings Forth More Love

This one is simple. The more you water and feed something the more it grows. The more time we spend time with Baby K, the more we get to know him and the more we grow fonder and more deeply in love with his gentle spirit and infectious laugh, amongst a million other things. As much as we are constantly carving out time for him, we mustn’t forget to carve out time for ourselves. In all the craziness that is our new normal, there always has to be time to tend to and nurture the original love; ours. That is the foundation that our little family is built on.

All this to say, I will always love you. I just hope I keep getting better at it with time.

Love,

Mama K  

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