I know I've made mistakes in the two years and eight months that I've been a mother, but I'm in a new zone now - a tricky time when it feels like the repercussions of my actions and decisions can have long-term consequences. Though he can't articulate his feelings, my Jacob is keenly aware that life is about to change for him in a major way. He's been acting up, working to rule, and crumbling into a mommy-stay-in-my-room-forever mess each night at bedtime.
Making matters more difficult (there's always something, no?), I threw my lower back out a couple of days ago (perhaps early signs of labour?) and haven't been able to be myself with Jacob since then. Tonight, the pain was so bad that I couldn't handle the emotional outbursts and cuddle demands that have become the norm with my toddler as of late. I behaved badly and raised my voice at him out of desperation, believing that somehow he would mature 10 years in that instant to understand why mommy just needed to lie down right now. Of course, yelling at him only made the situation worse (obviously). For some reason, I think I decided at some point that it would be better to get him used to mommy being around less often in the few days before he becomes a big brother. It hit me all of a sudden though, that I couldn't have gotten it more wrong. When I'm recovering from major surgery with a newborn in my arms is when life will teach him the things it needs to teach him. What I need to be doing now is pushing through everything to give him as much of myself as I can. Pain or no pain, immobility or not, I'm his mommy and he needs me now more than ever. I got a grip, swallowed my pain and general inability to move as a massive pregnant woman about to burst, and knelt down at his bed to talk and hug and cuddle. That's all it took for him to become a little ball of sunshine, adorable enough to devour. He asked me to please not yell at him next time, at which point I swallowed back an ocean of tears, which erupted when I left his room and only recently subsided. Lesson learned: as a mom, always err on the side of giving too much of yourself rather than suffering the regret of not having given enough.