Finding My Balance

biking-at-sunrise

I’ve been going about this writing thing all wrong.

I keep trying to write in the early morning, coffee in hand, fresh for the day… just like I used to before Rue was born.

It hasn’t been working.

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And come to think of it, a lot of things haven’t been working.   I’ve been beating my head against the wall trying to make so many things in my life look like they did pre-baby. But they just don’t. Every single area of my life has changed, either slightly or drastic, and I’m still processing it all. I have a new identity, new role, a new set of priorities.

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So today I’m changing it up. I’m writing during afternoon nap, aka happy hour.

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Because I need a lot of change ups (and occasionally some hard root beer). I need a lot of accepting new normal’s. A lot of making new habits and embracing a life that’s different.

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And I’ll be honest, a big part of my struggle to communicate well, both written and with real, live people is the fact that life hasn’t been very humorous. I need laughter, hilarity and a dash of sarcasm to get me through the day. But there’s not a lot to the early baby days that are funny. Things feel fragile and delicate. Nap times are no laughing matter, and neither is poop when it’s everyyyywhere.

Defeat lurks around every corner, and so does the feeling that I’m not making the right decision, no matter how small the matter is.

Life has felt heavy. And serious. And it’s been incredibly hard to lighten up. 

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I say this with no experience or authority, but I believe the baby days are to parenting like training wheels are to biking. It’s the beginning, and it’s where you slowly learn what the heck you’re doing.

The baby days are HARD in so many ways and forever long. You lose sleep over just about everything and your head is in a fog. Challenging, but it’s nothing like parenting a child with free will and teaching right and wrong and dealing with matters of eternal weight.

I am in no hurry to get to the day where the training wheels are off and Ruthie looks me in the eyes and lies to me. Or defiantly does what I’ve told her not to do. Or makes bad decisions that have terrible consequences.

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Training wheels, preparing us newbie parents for what’s ahead. Slowly easing into it all. And just like the first time I learned how to ride a bike, I feel shaky and unsure. Like I’m learning how to do life all over again.

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It’s about balance, as everything in life is.

Being a mom isn’t the only hat I wear, but it’s the newest and I’m still learning how to wear it. I can’t pretend I’m not a mom and I try my hardest not to let it consume my every thought, even though some days it does. I also try not to harass social media or everyone I talk to with my new-found mom-ness, even though sometimes I do.

I know the scales are tipped. I can feel the imbalance in my life and it drives me crazy. Part of that is just the nature of new, and for SO many things I keep telling myself, “This is a season. It won’t always be this way.”

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I’m learning a new social identity, too, and with that has come a lot of unexpected anxiety and insecurity to work through, too. For my fears and self-doubt, I’ve learned I need anchors of truth and a lot more of God’s goodness. And His wonderful, unwavering peace–I need boat loads of that. I also crave solid, steady friendships. Those are hard to come by and more valuable than a PSL on the perfect fall day.

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I’m also learning how to roll with it, to not freak out over everything. If Ruthie started crying in a restaurant, I used to run out like the place was on fire. These days I’m learning to chill out a bit, or at least walk slower towards the exit.

Play it cool, man.

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And speaking of cool, I was meeting with students on BGSU’s campus the other night and I ordered a decaf coffee at Starbucks.  The kid looked at me like I was an alien. He said it would be “awhile” because they would need to brew a pot. Of course. All these kids are hopped up on caffeine and sugar. And I was calling them kids. I think I just turned 40.

Becoming a mom may have prematurely aged me, but if that’s the worst thing that happened, I’ll be okay. (Spoiler alert: it’s not the worst thing. Losing all elasticity in every body part is. Like when your arm is still waving goodbye even though you aren’t moving your hand anymore? The arm jiggle is REAL).

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So this is life. I drink decaff after 6pm and struggle like a small child learning to ride a bike. But the cutest little girl thinks I’m the greatest thing in the world, and I wouldn’t trade life with her for anything.

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In whatever season you’re in, possibly adjusting to your own newness, give yourself a break. And fight the need to look for affirmation in the masses. You are doing great.

I give myself this pep talk just about every day so I’ll give it to you, too:

Exhale, deeply. Lighten up. Let go of control. Take yourself less seriously and find reasons to laugh. Major in the majors and minor in the minors. Listen to your close friends and accept wisdom.

Because you don’t have all the answers, and no one expects you to. You’ve still got your training wheels on and you’re learning how to bike on a brand new path. 

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Keep pedaling. Keep moving forward. You’ll find your balance soon enough. 

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2 responses to “Finding My Balance

  1. Aw, Kala, I love this! Happy hour. Life being serious and having a hard time lightening up. Decaf. I relate to it all. Love the humor humility here and that you’re cool with finding your own balance in the mom scene 🙂

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

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