I’ve got the house to myself for a minute and an only mildly fussy infant in her bassinet. Let’s do this.
Suddenly, it’s almost Christmas Eve. I’ve been in the warped alternate reality that is life with a newborn, compounded by the presence of a toddler, multiplied or divided or something by a revolving door of family who are helping us. Thankfully, I love my family, so that’s been good. Really good.
[Hold on, fussy infant is now quite irritated infant]
[Okay, I can do this one-handed, because it’s been too long since I’ve written and this is my window and that’s just one of the lessons I’ve learned]
How am I doing? I’ve come to hate that question, because I want to beam and say “oh, tired but so much joy and a new little best friend and #blessed” but it’s not like that.
Frankly, it’s brutal. It’s possible to be blessed and brutal at the same time. I think it actually happens pretty often.
The image that keeps coming to mind is Omaha Beach. Look it up if you don’t know what that is. Yes maybe that’s overly dramatic but that’s how a postpartum mind works. Obviously I mean Omaha Beach without the physical threat of death, but the chaos and bewilderment and constant barrage, all with the knowledge that the only way out is to keep going forward no matter what, that’s all there.
There’s more, though. I catch glimpses of the land beyond the beach — forest maybe? Verdant fields? — and those give me hope, little anchors of faith. Holding my sleeping baby. Getting a good-morning hug from my toddler. Laughing with family. Commiserating with friends who have been there. Having an incredible husband. Hearing my gentle, beautiful doula describe motherhood gently and beautifully with language that can’t be used in a family-friendly blog.
It’s going to be okay. I’m going to be okay, because I know the hard stuff doesn’t last forever, and because I know I’m not alone.
If there are any new moms out there, know that. You are NOT ALONE. That’s almost a cliche these days but it really can’t be overemphasized.
Also. It’s Christmas Eve. There are lights. There are miracles. There’s faith being reborn. There’s a new beginning, renewed hope, before our eyes. There are newborn baby snorts.
Wishing each and every one of you laughter, light, and floods of grace as this year (decade!) draws to a close.
P.S. Thank you Nicole Antoinette for inspiring me to write from the thick of it.