I am starting this at 4am on a Tuesday, and I am not sure when exactly I’ll finish it. That’s because after a few beautifully chaotic and short months, I am still learning how to balance my new life. I thought I was good at multitasking before, and yet again, I’ve been completely humbled. Our sweet baby took my routine and crushed it, and now I’m starting from scratch. Some days, I impress myself with how much I am able to get done around the house, and I still spend time playing with her. Other days, I can’t believe it’s 8pm because I haven’t showered and she needs a bath and everything is covered in spit up and it feels like I have breastfed literally all day. Sometimes, the demands of every day life are impossible to align with the demands of my baby girl, and I wish we ate off paper plates and just threw away our dirty clothes.
These 12 weeks have felt like one long, crazy day littered with naps. I can’t believe Gracie’s been here nearly 3 months. It seems too short, and yet, I can’t remember life without her. I can’t remember what it’s like to not have a car seat in my rear view mirror, or what it’s like to fall asleep without the little snores from pack and play next to our bed, and I think we’ve actually gotten decent at managing date night with a newborn in tow.
In all the chaos, it’s impossible for me not to think of Darla. Watching Gracie grow and change has helped me accept that she didn’t make it, and that its ok to still be happy now. It’s obviously hard for newborns to come into the world. They are painfully fragile and scared, needing so much from mom in order to exist outside of her. Darla would have had all of that in addition to the challenges from how she formed in my womb. As much as it killed me when she didn’t make it, maybe now I am more able to accept why she didn’t. And parenting her sister isn’t painful like I was afraid it would be. I view her sister as this amazing gift that I wasn’t sure would ever happen; an extension of her, but with her own little agenda.
As my third month in motherhood draws to a close, I hear the birds waking up as I type this with one hand. Gracie is sleeping in my arms after her late-night feeding. I am thankful to have life start to get a little more managable; not what it used to be, but a new normal with a little time for things from my pre-mommy life, like cooking and blogging. And yet, I’m trying to be easy on myself. I want to take pictures with my camera, not just my phone, and write in her baby book and sew outfits for her…but I can’t seem to find the time. Not yet. Maybe next month.
I’m accepting that life can’t be perfect like I used to think of perfect. As I watch Gracie’s sweet little head bob around as she gets better at holding it up on her own, I know that although her journey is just beginning, my role won’t always be what it is now. I know they grow fast. I know someday I will miss the late nights and screaming and constant holding…and maybe the dirty diapers. It’s unimaginably hard to be needed so much, but it’s so beautiful to live for more than just me. Oh boy, do I ever love being mommy.