Letting the little things slide

Recently in conversation with Mr. C. and some family I recounted a tale that happened when Mr. T. was still in hospital that really got me thinking. Something that I had actually forgotten about but re-telling the incident got me thinking to some of my own behaviours and how insensitive I may be sometimes.

It happened one day as Mr. C. and I were driving home from the hospital late at night. We used to arrive at the hospital bright and early each day, trying as much as possible to drive in before traffic hit, and leaving each night well after all the downtown workers had gone home to their beds. For the first week or so we stayed over night at the hospital, until a nurse took Mr C. aside and advised that it would probably be a good idea for us to go home at night since we lived driving distance to the hospital and that we really needed to rest since we may be a while. I think I’ve mentioned before that going home at night was always the hardest for me. I felt like I was abandoning my baby. I was leaving him alone up there, in that little incubator, all by himself. I was his mother. I was supposed to be there…always. I felt terrible. My logic knew that I wasn’t physically capable of sitting beside him for 24 hours straight. Obviously I needed to sleep. I needed to eat. My heart, however, felt like I should not be going home until I could take him with me. Mr. C. and I drove out of that parking garage into the dark, cool fall air every evening with a heavy heart. Tears in our eyes, pain in our soul we drove home most evenings silently, counting the minutes until we were able to go back.

It was about 11pm and we were on the highway heading home after a long emotional day. There wasn’t much traffic as it was late, but there were cars on the road since it is a big city. I guess someone felt we weren’t driving fast enough. Suddenly we both noticed headlights flashing very close behind us. Mr. C checked his speed and we were in fact going the speed limit, not under, not over The car continued to follow us very closely from behind. My heart started to beat a little faster. I asked “what is he doing?” Mr. C. just kept driving and told me to ignore him. The car then pulled out drove around us and slid in right in front of us. It then slowed down very very slowly.

The person driving this car was obviously in a hurry to get somewhere. He or she obviously felt as though we were driving wayyy to slow. He or she obviously felt as though it was their responsibility to teach us a lesson and show us that we were driving too slow in the slow lane of the highway. What the driver of this car didn’t realize was that we had just left our newborn baby tied up to monitors and tubes in an incubator where he was fighting for his life. What they didn’t realize was that my belly was still swollen from giving birth yet I had no baby in my arms. What they didn’t realize is that my heart was physically hurting, a part of my soul was being ripped from me so his “lesson” was falling on deaf ears. I remember feeling angry, feeling like I wanted to scream and shout, kick and scream.. Like I wanted to shake the driver of this car and tell him how the fact that he was stuck behind a “slow” driver on the highway may be a bit unfair but it  paled in comparison to what every parent that just left their baby at Sick Kids was experiencing. I wanted to write a letter to the paper hoping that maybe the driver would read it and realize what he/she had done the night before and would think twice before doing it again, but I had more pressing things to deal with that that. So I let it go. I went home, slept a fitful lonely sleep, and returned to my son the following morning, the incident long gone from my mind.

Until this evening when I recounted the tale. I remembered the pain I was in and how this persons actions just intensified it. My mind couldn’t handle it with everything else going on. What I realized in that moment is how many times  I may have behaved in an insensitive way. Where I have flipped someone off for cutting me off while driving. For driving too slowly, or too quickly. For not behaving the way that I feel they should. I’m sure we all have done it. Someone at work makes a mistake, doesn’t reply to our email, asks us a question that we’ve already answered and we get short, snippy, frustrated, maybe even angry. We honk when someone is driving too slow and wave our hands madly when someone goes before us at a four-way stop. What probably never or rarely crosses our mind, is what is going on with that person. Maybe they are on their way home to their sick child. Maybe they just lost a loved one Perhaps they are going through a terrible divorce or just lost their job. Maybe his wife is in labour or she just got a call that her father is in the hospital. Whatever the reason is, we don’t know what is going on in their lives. Believe it or not, the world doesn’t revolve around us. Of course, sometimes people cut us off because they are jerks and feel like the own the road 🙂 but sometimes it may just be because their minds are elsewhere.

My lesson learned is that the next time someone does something that makes them seem like they are being a royal pain in the butt, I will try to think of what they may be going through and cut them some slack. Try it and you may be surprised at how your heart starts to lighten up a little when you let the little things slide.

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Letting the little things slide

Recently in conversation with Mr. C. and some family I recounted a tale that happened when Mr. T. was still in hospital that really got me thinking. Something that I had actually forgotten about but re-telling the incident got me thinking to some of my own behaviours and how insensitive I may be sometimes.

It happened one day as Mr. C. and I were driving home from the hospital late at night. We used to arrive at the hospital bright and early each day, trying as much as possible to drive in before traffic hit, and leaving each night well after all the downtown workers had gone home to their beds. For the first week or so we stayed over night at the hospital, until a nurse took Mr C. aside and advised that it would probably be a good idea for us to go home at night since we lived driving distance to the hospital and that we really needed to rest since we may be a while. I think I’ve mentioned before that going home at night was always the hardest for me. I felt like I was abandoning my baby. I was leaving him alone up there, in that little incubator, all by himself. I was his mother. I was supposed to be there…always. I felt terrible. My logic knew that I wasn’t physically capable of sitting beside him for 24 hours straight. Obviously I needed to sleep. I needed to eat. My heart, however, felt like I should not be going home until I could take him with me. Mr. C. and I drove out of that parking garage into the dark, cool fall air every evening with a heavy heart. Tears in our eyes, pain in our soul we drove home most evenings silently, counting the minutes until we were able to go back.

It was about 11pm and we were on the highway heading home after a long emotional day. There wasn’t much traffic as it was late, but there were cars on the road since it is a big city. I guess someone felt we weren’t driving fast enough. Suddenly we both noticed headlights flashing very close behind us. Mr. C checked his speed and we were in fact going the speed limit, not under, not over The car continued to follow us very closely from behind. My heart started to beat a little faster. I asked “what is he doing?” Mr. C. just kept driving and told me to ignore him. The car then pulled out drove around us and slid in right in front of us. It then slowed down very very slowly.

The person driving this car was obviously in a hurry to get somewhere. He or she obviously felt as though we were driving wayyy to slow. He or she obviously felt as though it was their responsibility to teach us a lesson and show us that we were driving too slow in the slow lane of the highway. What the driver of this car didn’t realize was that we had just left our newborn baby tied up to monitors and tubes in an incubator where he was fighting for his life. What they didn’t realize was that my belly was still swollen from giving birth yet I had no baby in my arms. What they didn’t realize is that my heart was physically hurting, a part of my soul was being ripped from me so his “lesson” was falling on deaf ears. I remember feeling angry, feeling like I wanted to scream and shout, kick and scream.. Like I wanted to shake the driver of this car and tell him how the fact that he was stuck behind a “slow” driver on the highway may be a bit unfair but it  paled in comparison to what every parent that just left their baby at Sick Kids was experiencing. I wanted to write a letter to the paper hoping that maybe the driver would read it and realize what he/she had done the night before and would think twice before doing it again, but I had more pressing things to deal with that that. So I let it go. I went home, slept a fitful lonely sleep, and returned to my son the following morning, the incident long gone from my mind.

Until this evening when I recounted the tale. I remembered the pain I was in and how this persons actions just intensified it. My mind couldn’t handle it with everything else going on. What I realized in that moment is how many times  I may have behaved insensitively. Where I have flipped someone off for cutting me off while driving. For driving too slowly, or too quickly. For not behaving the way that I feel they should. I’m sure we all have done it. Someone at work makes a mistake, doesn’t reply to our email, asks us a question that we’ve already answered and we get short, snippy, frustrated, maybe even angry. We honk when someone is driving too slow and wave our hands madly when someone goes before us at a four way stop. What probably never or rarely crosses our mind, is what is going on with that person. Maybe they are on their way home to their sick child. Maybe they just lost a loved one Perhaps they are going through a terrible divorce or just lost their job. Maybe his wife is in labour or she just got a call that her father is in the hospital. Whatever the reason is, we don’t know what is going on in their lives. Believe it or not, the world doesn’t revolve around us. Of course, sometimes people cut us off because they are jerks and feel like the own the road 🙂 but sometimes it may just be because their minds are elsewhere.

My lesson learned is that the next time someone does something that makes them seem like they are being a royal pain in the butt, I will try and think of what they may be going through and cut them some slack. Try it and you may be surprised at how your heart starts to lighten up a little when you let the little things slide.

And Baby makes 5????

Mr. C. and I are at that point in our family time line where the question has arisen…will we be adding to our brood??

Hmmm…this is a big decision…a tough decision. How do you know? How can you tell when your family is done?

Before we had any children we were always sure that we wanted a big family. No, I don’t mean Octomom big…more like 3. That was my magic number. I wanted more than 2 but 4 felt like a little too much so we kind of settled on 3.

As soon as Mr. T was born I was sure I wanted more. I was still sitting in my hospital bed just hours after giving birth when I looked up at Mr. C. and said ” I can do that again” I felt as though I had found my calling. That after years of trying to figure out my place in the world I had found it. I was made to have babies, to give birth, to be a mother.

With the exception of our emotional and frightening start, Mr. T. was an amazing baby. He slept well, he ate well, he did everything he was supposed to do. We went to Mom and Baby playgroups, did Mom and Baby yoga and had fun together every single day. I loved being home with him that first year. I relished in my job as housewife and mummy. Dinner was always on the table. Mr. T was always well cared for. I was in heaven.

I couldn’t wait to add to our family and when Mr. T. was around a year old Mr. C. and I got pregnant. Sadly, that baby wasn’t meant to be with us and we miscarried just 6 weeks in. For a fraction of a second I was afraid. My mind suddenly registered that having a baby wasn’t just a given, it wasn’t my right as a woman. My anxiety ridden self panicked that maybe I wouldn’t be able to have another baby and for three months following I cautiously looked for any sign of pregnancy, which unfortunately can be confused with regular period signs.

Then finally 3 months later my fears were squashed by those wonderful double pink lines. My little Ms. J was about to enter our world.

Motherhood to one baby is one thing..motherhood to two??? A totally different beast. My days were not peaceful, organized days filled with lullabies and baby cuddles. They were rushed, chaotic days trying to balance a brand new baby with a difficult, independent toddler. Ms. J didn’t sleep well, there were nursing issues and she was quite the sensitive little princess. Yes, we still made time for play dates and art projects, but there were no breaks. Not a moment to myself. Between a screaming baby and a tantruming two year old I just needed some quiet in my life.

Now here we are with an even more independent 3.5 year old and a curious toddler who has her own ideas of where she wants to go and what she wants to do. We were warned of the ‘work’ involved in having children. How tiring it can be to take care of children, keep the house, make dinners, do laundry etc…it is physically tiring, yes. We were not, however, prepared for how mentally and emotionally draining it can be.

Needless to say, we are tired, both physically and mentally. So the question again, is should we grow our family or are we complete?

Mr C. says he’s done. He’s drained. He’s getting older and is not sure he can start over. So we debate the issue together often.

Do we really want to start over again? We are slowly but surely working our way out of the baby days. Most nights are sleep filled rather than sleep deprived. We are heading towards napless days, so we are able to get out more and do things together as a family. School is coming. Independence! Yay for independence. Mr. T. and Ms. J. can play together, entertain each other. We no longer need to be on them 24 hours a day. We are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of daycare costs…no we are no where near done with them, but we see the light..trust me..it’s there!

So, do we want to go back to midnight feedings? Waking up every 2 hours..if you are lucky! If you even get to sleep at all! Nursing..oh nursing…was not my best memories of motherhood..I did it cause it was what was best not because I enjoyed it. Peeing with a baby sitting on the floor beside me. Showering with a baby in a bouncy chair beside the tub. Fussing, crying, spit up. Having to work around nap times and feeding schedules. Am I prepared for that again?

BUT am I ready to give up on the magic of a new baby? That new baby smell??? I could sit with my babies heads right under my nose breathing in their perfection for hours. The feel of their warm little bodies, snuggled up against me. Moulded to me while we rocked together in a quiet nursery in the early morning hours. Hearing them say “mummy” for the very first time.Their little fingers wrapped around mine. There is nothing in this life that can ever compare to that feeling.

To never feel a human being kick me from the inside? To not feel the rolls and waves of MY child growing inside me? To never hear “It’s a boy” or “It’s a girl”? I don’t know if I’ve had my fill of these moments of true bliss.

I never imagined I could love the way I love my family. My love for Mr. C. multiplied by the thousands. My children have brought me an unbelievable amount of joy and peace. For the first time in my life I can honestly say that I understand selflessness. I know what it feels like to have a human being be your heart. To be the reason you breathe. I found something that I’m truly good at. Being pregnant, having babies, being a mum. It’s something I love and am good at. So am I done?

Let’s face it..I’m not getting any younger. My baby days are coming to an end. If we are going to grow our family it has to be done soon. We were blessed. As I said before, having a baby isn’t a right and we have been given the gift of two magnificent gorgeous babies. Do I want to tempt fate? We had a close call with Mr.T. How will I deal if there are complications, if a new baby has health issues? Should I be grateful for the two that I have and call it a day? This is probably the toughest decision that I’ve ever made.

To be 100% honest, my family does feel complete. I feel like this is us. Our little family of four. Maybe we are done? I guess I should never say never, who knows what the future holds?Image