How it Feels to be Alone with my Baby

How it Feels to be Alone with my Baby

For the last two days, my 7 older children have been spread out among their grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, and uncles across North America, and I have been on my own with our baby, 19-month-old Yonatan.

You would think that going from mothering 8 children to mothering 1 child would mean I am working only 1/8th as hard, a measly 12.5% of my regular effort. You would think that, with just Yonatan to care for, this vacation I am really on vacaaatioooon!

But I will tell you the truth. Taking care of Yonatan, just Yonatan, is very sweet and cuddly and wonderful and…EXHAUSTING. In fact, I think caring for him one-on-one is just as exhausting and draining and non-stop as my regular mother-of-eight life!

The day before we left Israel, my friend, the author and women’s health expert, Elana Mizrachi taught a class at my home. She spoke about women and our wombs, and how, just as our wombs grow exponentially, from pear-size to almost-newborn-baby size, so too we women are, in our essence, flexible and creative.

And that is what I am thinking about now, as Yonatan chews on “Moo, Bah, La La La!” at my side.

How as a mother my heart is flexible and spacious enough to contain each and every one (whether eight or one) of the children in my life, just as my womb once spread so wonder-fully, so flexibly, so creatively, to hold each one of my children in a snug, life-giving embrace before they were born.

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6 comments

  1. That’s really beautiful. It’s so true.

  2. It IS so true! In many ways, I think being home with just my one baby was not any easier than it is for me now with three!

  3. True. You give them a certain amount of your time whether its 8 or 1. Also if it was two kids it would maybe be easier (during the time they play together and entertain each other).

  4. Hadassah

    I am sure your older daughters are helpful and respond to the baby when they are not in school. He is entertained by the energy and activities of the older kids – though I am sure they find it a nuisance to make sure that he can’t get into their stuff. Now he is looking to you for that stimulus. Enjoy your family and vacation time. It will be over before you realize it!

  5. It’s so true! I’m also at home with my 2 younger kids while my older daughters are in a day camp, and it’s more difficult than with them all. In fact, my oldest helps me take care of the baby, she makes up games with her younger sisters, she helps around the house. Having a large family is not as difficult as we could imagine because children play together. Chana Jenny please continue to post, it gives me a lot of strength!

  6. Batsheva

    I agree Chana Jenny! I have 4 and one on the way and everyone in this corner of the world thinks its a ton of work for the mom. The children keep each other occupied and work is a competition if you make it one and they fight about who gets to do it. 🙂

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