It's 3:24pm. I'm standing in my son's darkened bedroom, with only a ribbon of brilliant sun light streaming in between curtains drawn. This tiny five-month old child rests on my shoulder, asleep, as I bury my nose in his sweet, natural, baby-scented shoulder. I'm close to tears, moved by the knowledge that these moments are numbered, and one day he will be a Big Kid who doesn't want to spend time in Mama's arms.
A month ago, I fought every nap time and bedtime mentally. I dreaded the chore of putting Baby Bird to sleep. He fought, and fought, and fought against sleep. I couldn't understand it; his eyes would be drooping and he was clearly so exhausted. Then, K. would come along and next thing I knew, Baby Bird would be fast asleep. Worst of all, with the horrendous combination of post-partum depression and anxiety I was battling at its peak, I let myself believe it made me less of a mother.
At some point in the last month, I talked myself into relaxing. I decided that even on the worst days, I would just go with the flow and know in my heart that it would not last forever. That mindset has changed my world. Not every day is awesome and smiles, but every day is manageable and comes equipped with its very own end. Happily, this has translated to nap time. I've truly come to (mostly) love the quiet moments where I sing softly to Baby Bird as he drifts off on my shoulder. His tiny body relaxes into mine as we sway gently back and forth, and I am left to my thoughts about how wonderful my life has truly become since he arrived in it. Because I am relaxed, he can relax. On the odd occasion where he still fights the sleep, I don't sweat it.