Every time I small Krista’s baby smell, I’m reminded of when Vito was a baby. Funny, right? They look nothing alike, and yet so much about her reminds me of those days five years ago when I first became a mother. I had no clue what I was doing, despite the many books I’d read and websites I’d scoured. I only knew that I would provide the best possible for Vito: care, clothing, food, products, anything.
Now that Krista is here, I find myself at the starting line of motherhood again. She is very much like her older brother in her general cuteness, but she’s a lot different in temperament. I remember Vito being a very good natured and satisfied baby, no matter who carried him. But Krista is a high need baby. She prefers me over anyone else, and often cries when I leave her sight. A day with her is a seemingly endless cycle of hugs, kisses, cuddles, nursing, napping, carrying, and more hugs, cuddles… you get it.
I struggled with this as her temperament became more obvious, perhaps around her 4th month. It was exhausting to be needed. The endless cycle of carrying her, entertaining her, feeding her, nursing her, and being there for her has had me — at some point — in tears. (In fact I kind of lost it the other day; she’s been teething and grumpy and clingy, you see.)
Times like these, I’m often tempted to compare my two kids. Why can’t she be more like her brother when he was this age? It’s a mental struggle I’m dealing with, and every time I fall into the comparison trap, I stop and remind myself to stop comparing… to be sensitive instead, to appreciate the cycles of her neediness.
My friends remind me to enjoy her clingy-ness. Lately I’ve been looking at it with more positivity (#makeitblissful, Martine!). I think I’m much better, and even while she’s crying out beckoning for me to return, I see it as something I need from her more than what she needs from me. I need her appetite for affection, her need to be touched, cuddled, embraced and nurtured. I need her seemingly endless cycles of hugs, kisses, cuddles, nursing, napping, carrying, and more hugs, cuddles… (lather, rinse, repeat — it kind of has that rhythm to it, haha!)
I need it so that I can be the mom she needs me to be.
This essay is inspired by Cycles, Cycles Sensitive and Cradle Natural. I used Cycles and Cradle for my first baby’s needs, and have begun a new cycle of utmost love and care as I use them for baby Krista. Cycles is celebrating 10 years of uncompromised, natural baby care. For more information, visit cyclesbaby.com