I’m in a fair number of online and in-person mama groups. It really helps. They get crazy drama sometimes, but they are usually a safe place to vent and say aloud the things we’re pissed about no matter how petty they seem because the little things are big things, especially to new mamas. The sweet face of a milk-drunk babe on your chest is delicate and fleeting and glorious, just as not being able to finish your bowl of god-damn mac n cheese is somehow infuriating and tear-worthy. Parenting is a blessed unrest.
So this gal wrote the other day on how hard it has been; missing her old self and desiring to be onto that next place-settling into this new normal. Of being a mother and being okay with it all a bit more. She’d heard it was a one year thing. I didn’t think much of it in the moment and then a night or two later I woke up wide-eyed in the middle of the night and was like YES! I am there and I love it. Thank you! It’s not overall easier or more difficult, and yet somehow everything is getting better. Even with husband-heart issues, lead contamination, oy. I’m just dealing better. I’m folding my underwear again. Yep, that’s what I said. I am not a tidy person by any means, but for whatever kooky reason I just love folding my underwear and always have. Sometime after Eldon was born it just became ridiculous to keep that up and so I didn’t and it really bothered me. I couldn’t keep up with diapers, feeding myself properly, etc. etc., seriously, what was the dang point! Recently, not because I have more time, but because I’ve made it a priority, I started folding it again. It doesn’t take that much extra effort, and it doesn’t make any real practical sense, but it’s something that I enjoy and makes me feel better each time I pull open my drawer, and that little moment is important.
I don’t know when the shift happened. When every little thing stopped being so difficult, but it is truly wonderful. Our house is not clean and I still don’t cook as much as I’d like, but I’m getting there.
Also in these mommy group is a lot of venting about partners. Some of it is hilarious, some deeply painful, all meaningful to the women going through it and those who can relate. Support behind the new mama is a big thing, made up of all the little moments. I am unendingly grateful for Josh, and his New Year’s adventure in the hospital leaving him part-robot (a pacemaker, but that’s how he describes it) is coming soon. We have always been really good at actively participating in the success of this relationship. I own that and am dang proud of it. And there has never been a time where that is more important than this past year when we became parents. When a totally new person became the center of our lives. It has also been so beautiful to find such new-old joy in each other. To be capable of all the old things we used to love doing, in addition to having Eldon, and making time for those things. Sauerkraut, bone broths, gardening, planning, reading, holding hands. Life is yummy and I’m excited for the abundance of summer.
Also he's walking and talking and is just the cutest freaking thing in the world, so even when none of the above feels good or true, I've got that.