A friend of mine who just became a new mom, recently stated that she was “desperately seeking a return to normalcy.” Karis is 10 months old now and the first thing that popped into my head was…. “SO AM I…!!!” I was totally empathizing with her. Will it ever “get better?”
Don’t get me wrong. I love my daughter, and ironically, I can’t imagine not having her around. But still, something inside me misses being able to do as I please without the responsibility of caring for an infant. I miss getting up and going… just going. No bags to pack, no breast milk or formula to remember, etc., etc., etc. I wake up when I want, I go to sleep when I want. If I want to make a quick run to Starbucks I just wanna go! No feeding, dressing, changing, burping, or any other “ing” associated with babies and their care. I JUST WANNA GO!!!
What if I wanna take some classes? Go back to work? Attend a workshop? Take a walk? Take a shower? Will I ALWAYS have to have baby in tow and/or look for daycare that costs as much as a BMW? When will things go back to normal? Will they EVER go back to normal?
Then the answer hit me like a ton of bricks… No. Things will never be the same as they were before Karis. I sit and let that thought marinate…. I thought to myself, “Life as you have known it, Rosie, will never be the same again.” For about 6.25 seconds I sank into a state of moderate depression.
I had a choice then to just sit and sulk and throw a pity party. Of which I happen to throw the best pity party in the western hemisphere (my personal opinion). But no, I resolved not to sulk, to put away the streamers and balloons of the “poor me” party and create a NEW NORMAL.
Perhaps you feel the same as I do, overwhelmed at becoming a new mom. But here is one thing I’m learning and want you to remember anytime you are feeling overwhelmed…
Your new life as a mom is so different and challenging but that doesn’t mean it can’t be great.
My daughter has brought so much joy to my world. She’s a great responsibility and I want to make sure I am the best mom I can be for her. So as a new mother I’ve been learning what MY “New Normal” is. It’s a work in progress and is evolving with every new day and new challenge that comes my way. But it’s exciting to be able to explore this “new normal” and to experience all of it’s twists and turns.
So, as you begin creating your great new mom life, it’s helpful to remember these things:
1. Motherhood Isn’t Either/Or, It’s Both/And.
Many times, as new parents we experience a hard day or week and become disillusioned because this was “not how we imagined it to be.” We saw other people’s pictures and stories and think, that’s the way it always is. Or we just don’t anticipate how hard the hard days may actually be.
Some of us parents can take the opposite stance. We imagine a lot of hard days and sacrifice. We think we won’t be able to do the things we once love to do. Or we may think, “I can’t just pick up and go anymore, I’ve lost my freedom!”
One thing we must realize if we want to not just survive motherhood but thrive is that it isn’t either/or, it’s both/and.
Motherhood is both hard work and easy-going, both fun and boring, both full of joy and anxiety, both laughter and sadness, both challenging and simple. Motherhood is a paradox. There are really high highs and can be some really low lows too. And guess what? That is ok.
Being ok with that truth is what will help you build the foundation for your fantastic new mom life.
2. Adjust Your Expectations.
Building on the momentum that embracing the “Both/And” mentality has brought you, begin reimagining what some of your days will be like. We need to begin accepting and embracing the unpredictability of schedules and things going as planned. They almost always won’t go your way. And that’s ok. Learn to be ok with that. Begin to roll with the punches, so to speak.
This doesn’t mean we try to create schedules and make plans. It simply means that we hold those schedules and plans with a loose grip. This is hard for me. But if I hold to tight to plans I will quickly become frustrated and miserable when they change.
Once we begin to shift our mindset, adjust our expectations and embrace flexibility, our perspective of daily life with our baby will change.
3. Own Your Power to Create
I believe we are all made in the image of God. And our Creator God has endowed you with power, through Christ, to create as well. Take a hold of and harness that power to shape the life you want to live with your family. If you loved to travel as a single or married person, adjust your travel expectations and then travel with your baby. If you used to love to get all glammed up and dressed up, adjust your expectations for getting on time to things and get your pretty on!
Every day won’t be easy. In fact, most days won’t be easy. But keep seeking closure, adjusting expectations and then own your power to create the life you want. Trust that the Lord is with you every day. Because He is. You aren’t alone. You got this, mama.