A few weeks before baby Gray arrived, I found myself in a small panic. The thoughts of, “I’m having a tiny, sweet, beautiful baby!!” had turned to, “Oh wow, I’m going to be a parent….” That thought hit me like a load of bricks and I didn’t know what to do with it. Obviously I had given it some thought, but the reality of the situation was weighing on me and I could feel my chest tightening as I thought more and more about it.
I don’t think scared is the right word for how I was feeling- or apprehensive or regretful. The closest word is probably doubtful. I was feeling doubtful that I had what it would take to care for a child. It’s not that I wasn’t looking forward to motherhood, it’s that I wasn’t sure if I would be capable of it. I mean, I had always avoided babysitting little babies, I rarely volunteered to hold tiny humans and I had a huge aversion to changing diapers. Who was I to up and decide to care for a tiny human?
When I find myself in a hurricane of thought and emotions, I know that what I need to do is just step away and create something. Whether it’s writing in my journal, taking pretty photos or actually crafting something with my hands, I just need to make something beautiful happen. Once I get started, the clouds seem to clear in my mind and clarity often follows.
This particular day was full of these thoughts. I was overwhelmed and didn’t know how to express myself. So David called our friends and cancelled some brunch plans and instead packed my very pregnant self in the car and drove me to my favorite cafe where he insisted I order whatever I want. The curated environment and thoughtful menu options hit my inspiration nerve and as I sipped my mint basil smoothie and munched on herb scones, I began to feel my mind begin to clear a bit.
After filling our bellies, we stopped at a little second hand shop where I found an armful of handmade and antique pottery. At a quarter a piece, I walked out with a $1.75 haul of goods that I knew would be perfect for my collection as well as some gifts. We came home to rest my swollen, pregnant ankles and I dug out some dried florals from a project that had fallen by the wayside during my early days of sickened pregnancy. David went outside to mow the lawn and I began to snip and arrange as I breathed in the fresh air from the open window full of smells of fresh cut grass and spring rain and listened to the soft melodies and harmonies of one of my playlists.
As I worked, I felt all my negative thoughts begin to fade to the back of my mind and instead found replacements for the forefront. I encouraged myself that this role I was about to step into was for me. That I was already “Mom” and could handle all the unknowns that were about to unfold. I was sure that it wouldn’t be easy, but it would be do-able. Somehow, it would all be do-able.
Now that I’m on the other side of motherhood, I know a lot more about myself than I did that day. I know that somehow, once that baby comes out, you become a new person. You just know things you never even thought you knew. All of these intuitions hit you and you find yourself all packed up and ready to go home, tapping your foot for the nurse to come in and sign the discharge papers. You’re not doubtful anymore. You’re not afraid. You’re ready. And in just a couple of short days your entire normal has changed to include the care and keeping of a tiny human.
There’s no better feeling than coming home for the first time with your baby. It’s as if everything and nothing has changed at the same time. The smell that hits you as you open the front door is comforting; just as comforting as the smell of your new baby as you pull them in close to steal a kiss. The joyful memories of parties and laughter through the halls match the joy that swells your heart every time you glance down at that tiny, warm body clinging to you morning and night. It’s all the same and all so different.
But as you settle in you realize that different doesn’t mean bad. It’s just….different. Your priorities have changed but so have you. Now you get why people “ooh” and “aah” over babies. Now you have no fear of diapers and you just want to hold this fragile body all day long. In an instant, this little being changed you forever. In a flash, you became a new person who is now fully equipped to take on the role of “Mom” for the rest of your life.
So if you’re on the brink of a new life change, don’t hesitate. Don’t doubt yourself in the moments leading up to it. You’re strong and full of strength; a strength you don’t even know dwells inside of you. It’s a part of you that’s hidden and will only come out when you let go. Your life is about to change forever but it’s not a bad thing. It will stay the same and it will be radically different, but it will be good. The kind of good that sustains you through the bad. The kind of good that swells your heart with joy.
Whatever it is you’re facing just know- you’ve got this. It may bring rough days, but hand in hand it will bring joy. More importantly, it will bring a stronger sense of self than you’ve ever had before and that is beautiful.
Part of this beautiful moment in my home was made special by my friends from The Potter & Woodsmith. These two understand the meaning of beauty and creativity and more importantly- how the two interact. I’m so happy to be sharing their beautiful work with you all and hope you find as much inspiration from it as I do.
Until next time!