Driving three hours up to to the Wildflower Triathlon with a 9 month old, my husband and friends to camp in our conversion van for the weekend seemed like a great idea until it was 1:30am and little baby Reese wakes up inconsolable and carries on long enough to wake up our fellow tent campers all around us.
Back up… up until a week ago, we’ve been sleeping decently well considering we have a baby. Broken sleep, but sleep none the less. And then baby girl decides she is going to sit up, pull herself up and have a raging party, minus the glow sticks, in her crib.
Having a kid is the biggest practice of non-attachment that I have ever experienced. As soon as it seems I’ve gotten something down, we’ve created a rhythm or a pattern, baby develops a new skill, grows a new tooth, learns to scream, doesn’t sleep the same, doesn’t eat the same. Holy hell! The one thing that is guaranteed is change and change makes me bat-shit crazy!
So waking up to baby girl at 1:30am isn’t what it was a week ago. I used to be able to nurse her or dad would give her a bottle, put her back down and peace was had by all. Of course this doesn’t happen when we are camping in a van. We were up for probably two hours with Reese crawling over me, me trying to nurse her, dad trying to soothe her and nothing was working and I was losing my shit. In that instant, I decided that camping with a baby was a horrible idea. I was mental gymnastics figuring out how I could transport us all home in the middle of the night so that everything could be easy.
The morning came, as it always does. This time, with the need for a bit more coffee than usual. And the night came also as it often does, with dread “tonight is going to be awful again.”
Change is inevitable though…and the night was rather smooth. I adjusted my reaction from the night before and let baby Reese sleep with me right away. That gave us all a peaceful and restful night sleep.
I’m so glad I didn’t leave the night before because the weekend was amazing, less the sleep part. It seems to always happen like that. I’ve been invited to something so many times and thought “YES, I want to go!” And as it gets closer and I think rationally about the logistics, I go from a HELL YES, to a NO WAY!
Being a mom and doing all the same things I used to do isn’t easy. It’s not easy for most moms that I talk to and yet, giving ourselves (and our littles) these experiences usually end up being so life-giving, there are lessons learned, and adaptation that is always possible. We have to call on our support system, ask for help, realize that it’s going to be a bit messy and we are probably going to explode a few times. If we set ourselves up that way at the beginning, we can set all of us up for success.
So, do the thing, take the trip, or whatever it is you are thinking about…even if you know it’s going to be a little dicey. No matter what, you will learn something. And that’s what this journey is all about.