Tuesday, March 11, 2014

On Those Days

On those days when your throat aches and your nose drips and you know that the best thing for you would be to drink fluids and rest, you do your best to remember to drink at least one cup of water and soldier on because your littlest one is also sick and needs you even more than usual. On those days you trust in the higher One to take care of you because you can't take care of yourself. 

On those days when you are so isolated by this life change that you scroll facebook frantically searching for that feeling of connectedness, of intimacy, you try to be alright with the fact that it is only the next best thing. On those days you hope that the rain will stop and the temperatures will rise and you will again emerge into the land of people and friendships and sunshine.

On those days when you go to change a full and fragrant diaper and in the midst of changing it your child decides it is time once again to poop, and you find yourself and the changing table covered, you take a (metaphorically, of course, because let's be honest) deep breath, wipe your hands off, change the diaper again, strip the changing table and remember that this phase, too, shall pass. On those days you remember that some day you will no longer be someone else's tissue and toilet and you can begin to wear more than sweats again.

On those days when your baby only takes 3 pathetic naps, 40 minutes, 30 minutes and 20 minutes long, you drink in your coffee and the hard-earned smiles from his snuffly, pouty little face. On those days, you remember that he is likely more miserable than you and you choose compassion.

On those days when you get a phone call from the doctor and there isn't good news, you avoid going on WebMD and you wait for the next appointment and choose to take this day by day. On those days you hope and trust that there will be no "worst case scenarios" and you keep doing the everyday survival stuff in the meantime and hope for the best.

On those days when you fleetingly recall that just months ago you had margin and energy and time to yourself and creativity for your seven-year-old and then feel overwhelmed by how much has changed, you remember that you wanted this. That you prayed for this and hoped for this and still want this. On those days, you choose to remember the forest through the trees. 

On those days when you crave solitude with God but know that that is impossible due to this little person attached to you all day long, you remember that God is not distant in your chaos. On those days you pay extra attention to the words you sing to your baby to put him to sleep, soaking in the truths of them and knowing that God is not just worshiped in the singing of them but in the rocking to sleep of that baby, too.

On those days when you feel irritable and hungry and oh-so-tired of constantly being touched, when your introvert self cries out for retreat and then immediately recoils in guilt, you cling to the generous and honest words of an email sent to you the day after your son came home:

"If you find yourself struggling, exhausted, assaulted by doubts or fears, I would find that entirely normal given the incredible amount of emotion of the past years and then the sort-of-suddenness of this gift.  Hell, even when we carry babies for 9 months and have a good sense of their due dates, we can be surprised by the reality that is mommying a young baby, and the way it changes things-- and yet, of course, we wouldn't change a thing.  It can just be hard at first, a big change, a big emotional swing.  Not to worry.  Just do the next thing.  Make breakfast, feed the baby, take a nap, change a diaper, make lunch, keep going."

On those days, you remember those words and you choose grace over condemnation. Choose joy over despair. Choose "now" over "then" or "next". Choose gratefulness over frustration. Choose dirty sweats and thrice reheated cups of coffee and elusive showers and bulb syringe nose battles and twenty rounds of "The Wheels on the Bus". 

On those days you choose life. Right now, just as it is. And you choose it knowing that it's ok that this is the hardest thing you've ever done, that you are not alone and that in that reality you are given the choice to look for the small and beautiful miracles in each of these hard days or to just see the hard in the hard days. 

On those days you choose to find the beauty and the miracles.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry, girl! Hang in there! I will pray for you guys to get better soon - taking care of a sick baby when you are sick and exhausted yourself is so HARD! And don't let any of that Mommy guilt take hold of your thoughts for a second - this is hard work but you know it's worth it! :-)