What I learned from rocking my kids.

I'll never forget the evening my parents purchased Mike and I our first rocking chair. It was about eight years ago and the excitement and anticipation from both sets of grandparents for the impending arrival of their first grandchild was at a peak. We all took a collective shopping excursion to none other than Babies R Us (because, for some reason, shopping anywhere else for your firstborn is akin to heresy) and just bought up half the store during one of their "not-so-amazing" sales. Little did I know, in my mom-to-be-ness, just how much time I would be spending in that chair....and just how much I would eventually come to hate that chair during the colicky fog our firstborn put us through those first months of parenthood.

But after four children, and with number five right around the corner, that chair has taught and will continue to teach me so much.

For starters:

soak it all up

The smells, the softness, the cuddliness of each new life does more for my soul than any "moms night out" or solo trip to the store. The soft breaths and kissable cheeks right next to my mouth has entrapped the sweetest memories in my mind for each of my four children. It's the peacefulness of those moments and the savoring of every second then that I sometimes flashback to when I encounter a rambunctious seven year old version of that sweet cuddly child....who is now forever un-cuddly.

let the tears flow

If only I could've somehow recycled all the tears shed while in this chair over the years and put them to good use. Baby tears, mommy tears, helpless, hopeless, tired tears. They frequently flowed when one or both of us had had enough.

the times I really had to pee

You know the feeling, (and we all definitely know the often times unforgiving ridiculousness that is the post-partum bladder) you've been rocking baby for at least 30 mins and suddenly, you just gotta go. But you know if you move, if you so much as dare get up and try the circus act of peeing with a freshly dozed off baby OR if your baby is still on the boob and you even so much as shift and awaken the peaceful nursing time bomb, it's over, jack. You just may have to start all over again. You just may have to just forget all the other things you were set out to accomplish later on because you just may add another hour or so to this process. So, I cannot tell you how many times I've writhed sat completely still in pain because nature called and I'm essentially trapped.

anxious and a time-waster

Some moms have more of a struggle with this than I do, but every now and again I would get anxious sitting there rocking my baby again only to dream about all the stuff I could be doing that's entirely more productive. There's always laundry staring me down. Then there may be something around here that needs cleaning (I'm being completely sarcastic here) and there's dishes or a pie to bake or mail to go get from the mailbox!!! Anything but this...this time-sucking activity that may or may not produce the desired result, a sleeping baby.

a stretching machine

Most of all, the little rocker has taught me more than I cared to know about myself. As I've put probably as many miles on it as a 20 year old Honda, it's really made me tear away at the many layers of myself, some of which I am ashamed to know.

I know I'm extremely loving and compassionate. I know I'm impatient and selfish. I know I'm introspective and overthink sometimes. I know I like to feel sorry for myself and dream bigger dreams than sitting in a chair rocking a baby. I know that honestly, I'd really rather not be doing anything else, actually. I know that I was meant to be a mother. I know that I was meant to bare and raise more babies than the average mother does. And I know I have a lot left to learn as my relationship with my rocking chair is far from over.

Love, Alicia

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Ps. Props to the baby wearing business for creating some fabulous baby wearing contraptions so that I can spend less time in this rocker. You "rock". :)