In a span of mere hours you've been immersed in an identity somewhat unknown to you- mother of a newborn. Even if you've been here before, each time is somewhat new- different challenges, thoughts, feelings, and joys. You are cloaked in so much beauty and stress and peace and frustration that you might feel like a muddled mess of confusion. But hear me out- you will make it through.
In this all consuming new world, you've had to shed your old skin. You've been swallowed heart and soul by this being, this innocent, little creature who has no abilities beyond you. And while you may love her and this position, it's okay if you don't always. It's hard. You aren't living for you these days- you are living for her. And while it seems like this is eternity at times, trust me that it isn't. You will eventually sleep for stretches over three hours. You will shower, you will eat, you will cook, and you will clean. You will regain routine and you will do all those trivial daily things that once seemed annoying but now signify freedom. But you will never, ever get these days with her back. Enjoy them.
Because the fact remains, one day she will start to separate and blossom. You will catch up on sleep enough to see through the fog and will be surrounded by a bittersweet tinge. There will be laughing and cooing and smiling. There will be exploring and cuddles and crying. There will be solid foods and reading up on weaning and watching her scoot her little body away from you on the floor. And believe me, you will love every minute. And while you are loving every moment, every cell in your body might be screaming to stop time; to soak this in; to hold on with all your might. But you can't. You have to let go; that's just the way of growth.
And this too will get easier. That skin you shed when you became newborn mother, the one that held all those lovely facets of who you are, will begin to grow back. Please let it. It can be tough to forfeit the feeling of the newness, to forgo the tenderness that people give you when they realize you are the protector of this new little life, but you must. You must take your soul back and revel in your growing autonomy, just as you revel in hers. It's the way of the world and it's vital for you both.
And believe it or not, there will come a day when it's truly okay that she's not so tiny anymore. Where you see other babies and want to sniff their heads and hold their tiny bodies, but handing them back to pick up the one pulling at your leg covered in dirt demanding "up" will be a relief. You'll handle the acceptance of this child's bigness with the realization that they are still really so small, and somehow balance the feelings of needing to grasp on to each and every fleeting moment with actually living and breathing them in.
Right now this might all seem impossible. That's why I'm writing to you beforehand. Before those pesky hormones kick in and lack of sleep takes over. Before you watch her grow and grow and grow, taking picture after picture to hold on. Before you realize that your identity for the past year has given way to her out of necessity, and going back to before isn't that simple. And before that momentum starts to shift and you have to find the before you piece-by-piece so that you can see it's going to be more than okay. You will always be a mother and the journey ahead is so immensely beautiful, much more than you realize. It's just that you will get to be you while on it.
So remember- you are in a gifted period of time, precious but short. Enjoy it. Don't fret about your house or look on blogs at moms that "do it all" or take heart if someone asks you what exactly you did all day.
You gave life; you gave yourself; you gave your all.
**Linking up with The Weigands for On Your Heart.**
LIVE THE MURRAYED LIFE