There are a lot of things going on around me that make realize how selfish I am. Not in the "you're so selfish, you rotton person you" sense that seems to always crop up when you're in a big fight with someone. But--more in the "not appreciating what you have/been given/worked for" sense.
There are two moms in my March Mommies online group that have babies that are very very sick. One has spent a majority of their life in the hospital with cancer and another is a 2yo who just had a bone marrow transplant for leukemia and his parents learned this week than soon they may have to make a choice about whether to resuscitate him or not. They are living soul-crushing, life-altering existences right now. They may lose their babies.
Conversely, my world is focused on the seemingly important tasks of LM's sleeping/eating habits, keeping my head above water at work and still maintaining some front of being a good wife/housekeeper.
But--compared to the worries of others...these are so selfish. Does it really matter why LM sleeps some nights and not others? Does it matter that TH continues to be less than impressed by my attempts at culinary creations? Does it matter whether LM is meeting developmental milestones or even what the heck is causing his eczema?
No. My baby is healthy. My marriage is healthy. I have a job I am not worried about losing.
It's so hard to maintain the right mindset sometimes. I cannot fathom waking everyday knowing that today I might watch my baby die. But, even knowing this, I continue to worry about my "things". I tell myself to keep it all in perspective. And I understand that these are "normal" mom things to worry about...and moms all over the world are worrying about the same things. However, deep down, they are selfish things to worry about because in the end, I will still have a thriving baby. He might be cranky, stay up all night and never roll back to front...but he'll be here and he's all mine.
My much younger cousin gave birth two weeks ago to a little boy. She's fairly estranged from most of my family due to her antics, addictions and general disregard for my aunt's heart, love and well-being. She has nearly broken up their marriage and caused my aunt numerous health problems. In the last year (at various times), she's been homeless, shacked up with random guys, in/out of the hospital from street fights and yet other times, manages to show up to her minimum wage job. She's bi-polar amongst other things and basically lacks the impulse control that stops most normal people from agreeing to any random thing. She's totally a fit parent (please note the dripping sarcasm). She gave birth and seemed to be ok. Yet--we find out this weekend that the baby had to be rushed from an ER to a children's hospital when he was foaming at the mouth and had blue feet. No one knows why yet.
Again, a baby that is struggling in life and was born into a "home" that is going to contain so many obstacles to growing up healthy--emotionally and physically. I get that I'm lucky to be able to maintain my mental health and provide my baby with a safe, caring home. There are so many people out there that are still yearning for their baby, while so many people don't care for their baby the right way. I should feel blessed with my life.
But that doesn't stop me from complaining about heading back to work tomorrow after a nice long fall break. It doesn't stop me from thinking cranky thoughts that TH never, never, never offers to clean the bottles...even once. I still think these selfish thoughts and say selfish things. Somehow, someway, there is a way in which to strike a balance between be honest about my life/feelings and keeping myself in check when it comes to realizing I'm SO lucky. I'm going to work harder at finding out how to do this. I think it will help me appreciate my life more, love LM and TH more and in general, be a better person.
But man....it's easy to be selfish...but I guess that's normal.
**If you'd like to read more about the journey's of the other babies I mentioned, you can do it here and here.