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On Motherhood: Up and Away

by - Wednesday, March 24, 2010

This, then, is the art of motherhood, and it is not an art of the mind: to hold on and let go, at the same time.
-- Her Bad Mother

This is where I am at these days. Chloe and I are in a new routine - I'm back at work (working from home luckily), and she is shuffled between daycare, Grandma, and home with mom or dad. Its a tough transition and the little one knows that she no longer has momma all to herself like she's had 24hours a day, 7 days a week for the past 13 months. So we struggle. Chloe has never been the clingy sort but these days there are times when she will wail if I put her down. Our nighttime routine is broken and we are muddling our way through sleepless nights peppered with comfort nursing and sobbing until we bring her into our bed. Sometimes I wish it all away and look forward to the days when Chloe is more independent, adjusted, weaned.

And then there are those times that I can't hold her close enough. That I can't wait to lay down beside her, hear her hum along as I sing her to sleep. These temporary moments are anchors in our day, quiet and still. The rest of the time is a whirlwind. She is a toddler alright, doing laps around the main floor, trying to squeeze herself under furniture, poking, prodding, tossing, eating, touching, roaming, yelling, laughing, examining, experimenting, discovering. I sit back and marvel at all the new things she's learned. But it breaks my heart just a little bit too to watch her grow up, watch her grow away.



Read this.

Found via reader jbhat (thanks for the recommendation) and domestic reflections.

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  1. I can so relate to this. Motherhood is such a weird mix of feelings, isn't it?! There are times when I just want to hold and hug my boys and times when I just wish they would go to sleep or leave me alone for a few precious moments. At the end of the day we are very blessed. :)

  2. Jennifer I have received the most gorgeous book and I just can't wait to dig into it...
    thank you.
    As for this post...I feel it too...the holding on and the letting go. Every day.

  3. You are not alone. Everyday I struggle with this. All crazy emotions juggling up in the air. But I wouldn't trade it for a second. What we mommies stress about eh?

  4. We're going through the same thing over here. You love them so much your heart could just break. But those nights - boy are they long!

  5. We're going through the same thing over here. You love them so much your heart could just break. But those nights - boy are they long!

  6. Such a sweet, beautifully written post!


  7. Oh how I ache for you. I have been reading a book about attachment parenting and they have warned me of the time when baby wants no one but you. especially when you go back to work and there are others watching your little one. Do you have a ring sling? The doctors who wrote the book say babies that are "worn" more have an easier time being independant and go down for bed easier. The book is called "The Baby Book" by Sears and Sears. I am not looking forward to the time when I have to go back to work!

    Take Care,

  8. *hugs*

    It's so hard to watch them grow, but yet so exciting too. I laugh and cry much more frequently than before becoming a mother. Maybe it's just hormones...

  9. What a well-written post. Totally sums up my experience. I'm about a year ahead of you though (my girl turned 2 in April) so I can assure you that it does get much easier. I feel sad every day that I leave for my job (in an office - boo!) but her life is so full right now with playmates, exciting adventures, and a newfound obsession with Daddy (since he's working from home and much more present). The sleeping will get better before you know it and the attachment will stay strong even if you're not around as much as you were before. When I'm home, my girl wants me and only me :-) Sounds like you've organized a pretty good care set-up though and Chloe is surrounded by people who love her. Change is hard but you'll get to a good (or manageable!) place soon.


  10. Aw. I'm so touched that my words resonated. Because, YES. It is so that, isn't it?


  11. Lovely post, I'm sure you're going to be so happy to look back one day and have these little things in writing to remind you of all the different phases and the feelings that came with them.

  12. JackieShmackie8:38 AM

    Thanks for breaking my heart with your last line, "... watch her grow away." Ugh. My eyes are welling up. I'm the mother of a 28 month old and two month old and time is going by too fast. Love your blog!

  13. Anonymous2:54 PM

    Very thoughtful article. For a fresh take on building strong careers and families, check out Getting to 50/50 -- on how men and women share roles with all sorts of good results -- including a healthier sex life. The book also debunks some common myths that cause many moms to back away from their jobs. Authors Sharon Meers (a Goldman MD now in tech) and Joanna Strober (a private equity exec) share their often funny tales of combining work and family. Definitely a book worth checking out.


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