8 weeks. It’s been 8 weeks since little MJ was born. It’s also been 8 weeks since I started writing this blog post in my head. Each week I thought I had something nailed down to write, and suddenly it all changed because I changed or my baby changed and life felt different again and again and again. Change. 8 weeks of gut-wrenching, joy-giving, beautiful, messy change. So finally, I decided, I have to just go for it. Because this is my new life. Life where change is likely to happen moment to moment and guaranteed to happen week by week. That’s the life of raising a child, I’m finding. And though my Type-A, structure-addicted personality finds that absolutely terrifying, there is also a whole lot of unexpected joy and blissful freedom in totally embracing this season of constant change.
In the last 8 weeks, I’ve learned…
SELFLESSNESS. I remember Luke and I talking about how face-to-face we came with our selfishness when we got married. All of a sudden you’re accountable to someone besides yourself at all times. But friends, NOTHING stirs up your selfishness like having a baby. For once in my life, I am not thinking about myself constantly. This is new territory (sad, I know, but I’m being honest). It’s hard and ugly at times, but so very good.
GRACE. I’m learning so. much. grace. Thankfully, the good Lord gives us a wellspring of grace that never runs dry. Thankfully, his mercies are new every morning. Because friends, if they weren’t, I would’ve dried up in my desert of guilt a long time ago. I’ve had many moments over the last month where I’ve felt so inadequate and questioned everything. I’ve cried from utter exhaustion. At times I’ve felt guilty for all my decisions because nothing awakens your insecurity quite like being a new mom. So in this season, I’m embracing grace like never before. So much grace. Grace that is greater than the guilt that I’ve felt or the fear that creeps in. And I’m just learning to trust this process and trust God’s hand in baby girl’s life. I find a lot of freedom in that.
FRIENDSHIP. Oh sweet friendship. In no other season of my life have I been more grateful for friends. Friends who hear and share and see my doubt and exhaustion. Friends who have given me permission to cry when it’s hard. Permission to not have to enjoy every moment. Permission to make mistakes. Permission to admit that I don’t know my child the way I wish I did at times. Yes, she’s my baby, but she is also a total stranger in a lot of ways. And like anyone, she takes time to get to know! The nods of agreement have breathed life into my tired soul and given me the space and freedom to feel normal. This sisterhood of motherhood…it’s a beautiful gift.
LOVE. The depth of love I have for this sweet baby girl is terrifying and incredible. I’ve never known a love so fierce and strong. A small taste of the love of Christ. It overwhelms me in the best way. And watching my husband love our baby girl has opened up a whole new kind of love in my heart for him. I see him be protective and bold and tender. I’m so grateful my daughter will grow up with a daddy who treasures her heart.
8 weeks of motherhood. 8 weeks of knowing my husband as a father, 8 weeks of discovering my sweet little MJ. 8 weeks of constant change. So much is new. And on this terrifying roller coaster of parenthood, when I know there is so much I don’t know, when I’m sure there is newness hiding in every twist and turn, I’m figuring out how to trust and be brave. Because when I’m honest, I never, ever want this crazy ride to end.
It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.