OZL loves music. So when a Music Together instructor visited my playgroup (which I kept going to even after the uncomfortable experience with the mom and the miracle RA cure) and I saw how much OZL liked it, I signed up for music classes that same day. Since then, we've been enjoying music class together once a week.
The class is very interactive and a lot of fun. All the adults clap and sing and dance around, and OZL loves playing with (and/or chewing on) all the different instruments and scarves and props. And we really love listening to the music at home and in the car too (it even calms OZL down sometimes when he is upset, which is awesome). We've already signed up for the next semester, and we're very excited about it.
But yesterday, music class was quite a challenge for me. OZL just learned to crawl, which we are excited about, but I guess he is using more energy so he also seems to get exhausted and cranky quicker than usual. He's also teething, and judging by how little APL and I slept last night I think we'll be seeing some new teeth soon. So I've got a tired, fussy baby on my hands.
On top of that, my RA is flaring. I feel totally fatigued and achy all over. And I'm having particular trouble with my hands, which makes doing literally everything difficult and painful. Especially a lot of baby related tasks like bottle prep and snapping those infernal tiny snaps that are all over everything. Which is hard enough when I am at home alone with OZL. It was even harder for me at music class yesterday.
I couldn't hold the instruments properly. It hurt to drum. I certainly had difficulty playing the castanets. My body ached sitting on the hard floor, but I also had trouble getting up to dance and move around and pick up my 22.5 lb baby. I tried to participate as much as I could, but afterwards I just felt like crying.
I know I could have asked for help. I see the same mamas in class every week and we are making friends, and I'm sure they would have been understanding and helped lend a hand with OZL. And I know I could have participated less, because at this point OZL doesn't necessarily know what I am doing all the time anyhow. In fact, he was less engaged with me than usual since this was the first time he was able to crawl to the middle of the circle and select his own instruments, which he was pretty excited about.
But that won't always be the case. Whether I get help and/or participate less, someday OZL is bound to notice that his mama isn't like the other mamas. His mama can't always pick him up, can't always play the instruments, can't always dance around the room or sit on the floor with him. And in a group setting like that, it's hard not to compare your abilities to the other mamas. And, though I know it's totally insane, it's hard not to feel like less of a mother when it is difficult for me to participate.
It's something I will have to try to explain to him. It's something I will have to try to deal with and get over myself. And I'm sure I can. But I can tell already that it won't be easy.