My baby boy is eight weeks old today. I know it’s cliche and all, but seriously — time flies when it comes to kids. These eight weeks have zoomed by me in a sleep-deprived blur. I feel like it was just yesterday we were being admitted into the delivery room and seeing this face for the first time.
But no. That was eight weeks ago. Those images, compared to the face I saw when I woke up this morning…
…blow my mind. He’s already grown and changed so much.
As you’ve noticed, the blog has been quiet these last two weeks. That’s been both unintentional (Dax has had reflux and colic going on which makes for one tired and busy momma) and intentional. I’ve been savoring these precious last weeks as a stay-at-home mommy. When I found that I had some time, I could either snuggle my boy or put him down and blog. Naturally, I chose the former.
A couple weeks ago, I went to a bible study at my church that is comprised of all moms. The newest mom there, I felt a bit awkward and out of place at first. I was the least experienced mother in the circle — still in the throes of nightfeeds and blowout diapers, and nowhere near potty training or choosing a preschool — and felt like I had nothing to offer. Despite my extremely outgoing nature, I spent the better part of the “socializing time” just sitting on the couch, staring at my feet, wondering if I could contribute anything worthwhile to the conversation. I decided that, nope, I couldn’t. Those moms had all been-there-done-that. It’s been quite some time since I’ve felt that strange about being around other people. (That also may have had something to do with my severe lack of personal hygiene but hey, showers are hard to come by these days.)
As we settled in to the devotion, I started to feel a bit more comfortable. A bit more like I belonged. I eased into the discussion and back into my normal skin as I listened to Margo, a good friend and the group leader, read that week’s lesson. It was called, Waiting for Normal.
I don’t remember the specifics of the story, but I do know that it was about a mom who compared her family life — her husband working long hours, never home for dinner, the kids on a weird schedule — with that of her neighbor’s — dinner on the table at the same time every night, the family always together, etc. Sadly, she deduced that her neighbor’s life was “normal” and hers was not. Therefore, she saw no point in trying to maintain a “normal” schedule until her husband stopped working such bizarre hours. She ordered pizza every night instead of cooking. She didn’t enforce a bedtime routine. She said she was just “waiting for normal” in order for life to be worth it.
That devotion was really convicting to me.
You see, when Dan and I first got married, we made an agreement to not have kids until we were in a financial position where I could stop working and stay home with them. Well, as you know, Dax came before we were anywhere near that position. The entirety of my pregnancy and the majority of the first weeks of motherhood, I’ve been fretting over our lack of “normal”. As each day would pass, my maternity leave running out like grains of sand in an hour glass, I would get more and more anxious about the fact that I have to return to work soon because that’s not “normal”. What’s “normal” is what Dan and I agreed on when we got married.
I felt like I was being held at gunpoint and forced to make a choice between my baby and my job. If I chose my baby, everything would be ruined. We wouldn’t be able to afford our apartment, our cars, food, or healthcare. But if I chose my job over my baby, everything would be okay.
Everything, that is, except for the fact that it’s not “normal” and my baby would suffer because of it.
Naturally, the end of the devotion came with the woman realizing that just because her “normal” was different from her neighbor’s didn’t mean it wasn’t “normal”. It was just a different “normal”.
Monday morning, I’ll walk back into my office after having eight wonderful weeks with my boy. The transition will be hard, of course, but the thing I have to remember is that this is my “normal”. I’m not choosing my job over my baby. I’m just choosing my baby in a different way. By going back to work, I’m choosing for him to have health insurance and clothes and diapers and every other baby amenity out there. Just because this isn’t the “normal” I envisioned for myself, it is our “normal”.
And it’s perfect.