Last night, I went out with two of my three sisters for a few hours and left Dennis home with the kids. Dennis had been sick this week and, for some reason, I just felt really weary. So, after I got dinner together for the fam, my sisters came and picked me up and we headed out for a bit. We went out for sushi (something I don't make and Dennis doesn't eat, which was my only real request in figuring out where to eat). And then to a bookstore, where they read magazines and I read a couple of chapters in a book I've been trying to get through. It was very nice and when I arrived home, I felt refreshed.
While I'd been gone, though, Dennis had been worked over. Emmeliese was fussy and had been crying -- really crying -- off and on for the three hours I'd been gone. Annalivia and Daniel were fussy, too. (An aside -- I've decided it's one thing to deal with newborn fussiness which is tiring enough. It's quite another to add to it, at the same, time fussiness from two kids who should know better. That's just exhausting.) Consequently, when I arrived home, Dennis, who hasn't been feeling too great, was feeling a tad fussy, too.
Anyway, when I came home and saw that Dennis was overwhelmed and Emmeliese was still awake and fussy, I took Emmeliese. And I took off my shirt and her clothes, snuggled her in the crook of my arm in a little ball and fed her, skin to skin. She took about 20 minutes to do her typical routine of a few cycles quieting down, falling asleep, burping, waking up, eating more, falling asleep again, burping, waking up again before she fell sound asleep on me. I held her for a little while longer and then put her down in her co-sleeper. And there she stayed asleep for about 5 hours. Very nice.
Every-once-in-a-while, I get in a funk about my efficacy, purpose, etc. as momma. Sometimes it feels like everyone needs something from me, but that I have a flawed product to offer. Post-partum this becomes a little sharper for me. So, it was nice last night to take a breather and then come home and be able to do exactly what at least one member of the family needed and thereby, provide relief for another member of the family, too.
I was thinking about it this morning and realized that maybe this is what the momma role is about for our family. Maybe I'm less the cog in the wheel of family functionality and more the lubricant that lets the other parts move against and with each other with greater ease. Whatever. It comes down to this -- I'm necessary. I like that.