WHY I AM MOURNING THE HARDEST YEAR OF MY LIFE BEING OVER
Let’s be super clear about one thing – this last year was really, really hard.
However, I’ve had years that were full of much more pain, suffering, fear, loss, terror and hardships. But this last year was definitely the hardest.
So why then, am I sad it’s over?
Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely not going through baby fever. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to convince me to have another right now. I’m still getting used to this new life, and I’m not about to switch it all up again. My goodness, I barely have enough time to shave my legs on a weekly basis. And don’t even get me started on washing my hair.
I’m having some pretty serious nostalgia though, about this last year.
We are never going to get this first year back. Not even with another baby. Joey was, and is, Joey, and nothing could ever be the same.
He was so, so hard. Newborn Joey was what we would call, well, INTENSE. And though I can’t exactly explain why, I can explain some of the moments that made it so.
Joey didn’t really sleep. Like, at all, for the first few weeks of this life. So we didn’t really get the whole squishy sleeping baby phase. But once he did start sleeping, it was only at night.
Disclaimer – I completely understand how amazing it is that my baby slept through the night at 6 weeks old and never regressed.
But to be honest, I would have taken a late-night bedtime or a 2 am feeding in hopes of it bringing us NAP TIME.
Ok, now that that’s out of the way, other tough things? Adam had to go back to work SO EARLY (like one week); breastfeeding was NOT WORKING; major baby blues (and some managed postpartum depression); and a few other sleepless days and screaming baby road trips and bouts of pretty serious colds and the flue, and we are to where we are now.
But man oh man, will I miss so many things.
I feel like now that this season is over, we will be back to the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and though I missed that while we were in this season, I don’t really want to go back to that.
Having a baby brings so much slowness to life. Things simply revolve around sleep and food and diapers. So you learn to move slow, in everything.
Rocking baby to sleep is slow, diaper changes are (generally) slow, getting ready to leave to go somewhere is slow, as is getting to that place. Mornings are slow, bedtimes are slow. The slower, the better.
I will miss this slowness. I want so badly to rekindle that in my life. Why do we hurry when we could instead go slow, and enjoy the moment, and not worry about what’s next? We can’t enjoy the time we are in if we don’t slow down enough to see it.
Everyone knows that you’re tired with a baby. But before Joey, I did not understand how to rest. Now, I feel like if there is a moment to rest, I take it. And I do it well. Less time is spent “resting” while on my phone or in front of the TV. My rest includes things like prayer, and sleep, and nourishing my body with food and water. I rest with my husband by having good conversation and I rest with my friends by hearing about their lives.
Being a new mom.
Motherhood was new, and with new comes excitement. And fear. And change. And education. I love all these things. I like feeling the adrenaline of something new, and I like the magic that change can bring. New motherhood is such a huge blessing and privilege, and I so badly don’t want the feeling to pass.
Things like naked butts and water hoses, belly giggles and throwing blueberries, clapping and clucking, head nods and head shakes, new teeth and growing fingernails. It’s so simple and makes us so happy. All our milestones now are huge – like walking and talking and learning the colors and picking out shoes. I will so badly miss the simple pleasures of when a “coo” turned into a real noise and when he learned to grab a rattle, and then to shake it. Watching him learn what music sounded like, or how dancing felt. Seeing him love the softness of a blanket, and the feeling of his hand on my neck while he nursed. So, so simple.
I know there are so many great, great things to come. That toddlerhood has its own loveliness and challenges, just as infants do. And I will enjoy each moment in its own right, and I will look back and feel like this every year that passes.
But right now, I feel as if I need the space to grieve this first year’s passing. I need to mourn the fleeting moments that I so enjoyed.
It’s like having the best night of your life, and not wanting to fall asleep because it will be over, and tomorrow will be different. But I really liked today. It was so, so long, and so, so hard. But oh, was it wonderful.