Embracing The New Normal

Just over five weeks ago, a miracle happened. A new life entered the world with gusty cries and flailing arms. I gave birth to a pint-sized person who forever changed my life on that day. Our family is now one person bigger. Our room sleeps three instead of two. Our bodies produced another body who is now flesh and blood among us. And like with any other extraordinary occurrence, the wake of this miracle has changed more than just the physical. I have a new role, new responsibilities, and a new routine.

I have a new normal.

embracing the new normal

My house is in constant need of picking up. I’m still wearing my maternity jeans. My mom makes most every meal. I have to be careful about bouncing too much during Zumba or I just may wet my pants a little. My hair sees more spit-up than shampoo. I cry for joy at the thought of 3 hours straight of sleep. My thoughts are barely coherent and they most certainly don’t get written down in my journal.

But, ever since that miracle happened, the one so full of hope and joy, I’ve been striving to get back to the old normal. I strive like there’s some magical moment when life will return to its usual stride. I strive like after a certain amount of weeks James will just be an add on to the old normal. In the old normal, I could keep my house clean and have dinner on the table when Tim got home from work. I fit into skinny jeans that didn’t have an elastic waist band. In the old normal, I could jog a 5K without feeling like I got run over by a semi truck the next day. I had time to process, journal, and share regularly in this space. While I’m sure some of those old normal habits will return in time, I’m not sure making that my goal is wise.

Specific goals get in the way of healthy adjustment. They can take the focus away from progress and place it on results. Adjusting to motherhood isn’t some black and white event with a definite beginning and end. It’s all a messy, grey process. I can’t just arrive at adjustment like my little one arrived in the world – hard and fast with a wail and one final push. I need to define my new normal by how I engage the process instead of the outcome.

So, I walked a 5K at the gym. I napped instead of vacuuming because I’m a better mom and wife when I get enough sleep. I read a board book instead of a novel. I haven’t started a strict diet so my body makes enough milk.

I’m participating in the process of my new normal. I don’t want to miss out on the nuances of this season because I was consumed with the past. I don’t want to fight the changes involved with motherhood, this miracle.

8 thoughts on “Embracing The New Normal

  1. I think a challenging part of the first year is that there is so much adjustment in the day to day. Yesterday he napped, today he doesn’t at all. He drops naps, and one day is fussy and the next day somewhere in between, etc.

    As a total control freak, it’s really hard to enjoy the moment and flex with the situation (I’m writing this while my toddler is crying to sleep for his nap, which he hasn’t done in weeks!)

    It’s sounds like you are adjusting to your “new normal” well and taking care of yourself so you can take care of your baby. It truly is such a privilege, even in the tough days.

    1. I’m a control freak too and the variability of James and my day is so difficult. You said it very well!

      I don’t always choose to embrace this new normal. I’m discovering the more sleep I get the more “embraceable” I feel. :)

  2. Great post! I remember struggling so much those first few months. Looking back I wish I would have slept more and cleaned less. I wish I would have just soaked up the miracle of motherhood instead of worrying so much about the things that didn’t matter. Things do get easier and you get in a new routine. And yes, you will do some of those things again some day. :)

    1. I look back on various seasons of my life with some of those “I wish I would have” statements and I definitely don’t want to accrue more of them during motherhood…. I also need to work on my perspective. I am so focused on the now, I stress too much about not being able to do things in the present that I will be able to do in the future.

  3. Emily, my little James son is just past 4 months. I have been blessed by your honest writing about pregnancy and being a mum; thank you! I can relate to so much of it…including the maternity jeans. :D Blessings to you!

    1. Your James is too cute! I love all of his fun facial expressions :) I’m glad my pregnancy/motherhood ramblings have been a blessing!

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