On Becoming A Mom

I should probably start with a confession: I’ve been avoiding this post. Like the plague.

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Because in order to write about becoming a mom, I have to start with a few confessions. Like how this is way harder than I thought it would be. And that there were moments in the first few weeks of our daughters life where we both looked at each other and thought, “what have we done?!” Like we’re the only idiots that weren’t aware of what we were getting into.

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I have to confess that I thought life would bounce back to “normal” and that having a baby wouldn’t change everything. It’s humbling to realize and to admit how selfish and naive I really am.

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I foolishly thought that having a baby was like adding an accessory to my life. That she would be this cute little doll I could dress up and cart with me everywhere I go and that things would be simple. I obviously missed that project in health class where they give you the weirdest, whiniest mechanical doll designed to make you lose sleep and stay home from social functions because it’s screaming in order to teach you that having a baby is all consuming and it isn’t easy.

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Ask me how I’m doing and I’ll tell you how much my little nugget did (or didn’t) sleep last night. Ask me what time it is and I’ll tell you when she last ate. Ask me to go see a movie and I’ll need to check the freezer for how much milk is in there (I tried to reason with Adam to take our 5 week old to the movie theater because she would “sleep right through”, but he said it’s bad parenting. Agree to disagree. If we see Jurassic World, no one’s going to hear her crying above the shrieks of the raptors anyyyways).

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I wanted to wait to write until I was “on the other side” of this parenting thing (go ahead, laugh out loud). Like there’s some mecca I would arrive at where everything is effortless and smooth sailing. A post where I would look back over the sweet moments of having a newborn, my words bursting with tender encouragement and positivity. Where I could tell you I got a full night’s sleep, my hair is straightened to perfection and I’m just sitting here in my pre-pregnancy jeans sipping coffee and listening to the birds sing outside my window.

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Because that happens eight weeks after having a baby.

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Instead I’m sitting here with coffee that was hot an hour ago, sporting a messy bun that I threw my hair up in….yesterday, and rocking my pants with an elastic waist band that I plan to wear exclusively for the rest of my life. My only option is to write from smack dab in the middle of the messy, hard reality that is becoming a mom to a newborn, because that’s my life.

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And I won’t give you some little song and dance about how it’s all worth it in the end. I mean, it totally is, but that doesn’t mean you’re not off-roading for awhile. Blazing through uncharted territory at high speeds wondering when the heck you’ll catch your breath or stop second guessing every single decision you make.

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It’s tough. And exhausting. And it makes you cling to what little sanity you have left at the end of a long, weepy day.

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I hear it gets better, easier, more enjoyable and I have absolute faith that it does. I hear then it also gets harder, the stakes get raised, and you go from keeping a tiny human alive to parenting a person who will influence the world, for better or for worse, and every part of who they become starts in your home. Parenting, whether a newborn or a 5th grader, is a wonderfully huge responsibility that we don’t take lightly.

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It’s perspective, endurance and laughing when you get peed on. It’s knowing that you will mess up again and again because NOBODY is doing this thing perfectly. It’s being okay with sleepless nights and coffee-filled mornings, with tension at an all time high and patience at an all time low, knowing that this is just a season. A season in which you may make a lot of brownies and drink a lot of wine, because you do what you gotta do.

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And just when stress starts rising again ….she smiles, melting my heart into a puddle at her adorably tiny feet. Her bright blue eyes fill with delight and in that moment I forget all the things that are hard and sacrificial, because I feel like the luckiest mom in the world that she is smiling at me. I remember how incredibly blessed we are that this silly little girl has taken over our lives, because she is worth everything.

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(Ruthie at 8 weeks)

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As Rue is falling asleep (or as I’m negotiating with God to try and get her to sleep), I hum the tune of “Come Thou Fount” to her (Adam hums the Ohio State fight song…to each his own). It’s an old hymn and a line of it is framed on her wall: “Come Thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing Thy grace…” which, for me, sums it all up perfectly. This baby, this tiny little blessing, does not come without the need for heaps and loads of grace.

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And my heart can be so very out of tune.

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Some days the only needs I’m aware of are my own. I can be wrapped up in what feels like the loss of my identity, the sacrificing of my time, and the need to give of myself continually. I can start to throw myself a pity party before even thinking of anyone else. It’s so embarrassing, but true.

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I need more grace and more Jesus, because I’m self-centered, messy, and I sure can’t do this thing alone.

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Lord, tune my heart to have grace for myself as I’m still healing and mending and becoming used to my post-baby self. Grace when I selfishly want to ditch my life for a day and sit in the movie theater eating giant slushies and ALL THE POPCORN. Grace for Ruthie when she loses her ever loving mind and we just have to weather the screaming storm. Grace for my marriage as we figure out what in the world we’re doing as parents, and we’re striving to do better together.

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And we are better together. Teach me to be grateful for that.

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May I not miss a single blessing or opportunity for praise in whatever season I am in. That my heart would be so in tune, I can sing grace in the midst of days that feel redundant, simple and sometimes overwhelming.That I wouldn’t take little smiles or peaceful moments for granted.

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Because there really is so much joy. And more love than I ever thought possible. 

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View More: http://suzylynnphotography.pass.us/ruthbarcusfinal

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2 responses to “On Becoming A Mom

  1. Pingback: These Are The Days | In It With You·

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