The thing I’m coming to learn about parenting is that it does take up all your time, does often require a village, and that it’s totally worth it when your baby smiles for you.
But I’m also trying to accept my shift in identity, and the emotional grief I’ve experienced with that, because it is not something I anticipated. Logically, everyone knows that having a child changes you. You know that your priorities have to shift. What I didn’t comprehend was how deep it went. Until you feel it, I don’t think most people can understand how profoundly your entire being changes.
I did not know that my husband and I would have to coordinate who watches the baby and when, just so that we can each have a small break for 10-30 minutes. I did not know that when you get those spare minutes to yourself you have to do the adult thing and change the kitty litter, pay the bills, and walk your dog rather than take a moment to read or write. I didn’t know that we would need to take turns eating and showering because when they said a newborn needs constant attention they meant CONSTANT. If your baby wakes up from his nap and you aren’t there, he’ll venomously let you know.
And that has been tough. That shift from “me” to “we” and then “three”. I would like to write in my blog at a time other than 6 AM but that’s when I saw the opportunity, right after breastfeeding, while the rest of the world is still asleep around me. And boy am I enjoying this silence.
But he makes the painful identity shift worth it.
Because even with my manuscript untouched for weeks, my NaNoWriMo plans down the drain, and my house messier than I’ve ever seen it – I have a little boy that I’m going to help shape into a wonderful man. Someone like my husband who’ll see me upset and stressed and sacrifice his break so that I’ll be able to take a walk. I’ll help shape a man that is slow to anger, easy to talk to, someone who is loving and kind. He’ll then one day find that special person that makes him feel at home no matter where he is, just like his parents have.
It’s taking a little getting used too, and honestly many tears, but this shift is welcome. I can’t wait to see where the rest of my years on Earth with Jack Douglas Cortes leads me.
PS Even though the first draft was written at 6 AM, it too me until 7 PM that night to edit and upload it. That #MomLife, got to love it.