For 7 years, summers were:
sleeping in until 9:00.
making coffee and eating cereal while watching Kelly and Michael.
afternoons spent babysitting a spunky girl by the pool.
reading. reading. and so much reading.
long summer evening walks with my husband, hand in hand, dreaming and laughing.
I was a teacher, so while the school year was intense, summers were blissful. School years were amazing in different ways. I loved what I did, and felt validated doing it. I got to act, direct, and teach. My schedule was packed with helping students, rehearsals, and still time to spend with my husband at home.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because almost 2 years ago, BAM. Life changed. A tiny newborn that was half of me and half of my husband was placed into my arms and in some ways, it felt like life began.
The first several months to a year were messy. I had moments of mourning the life I had seemed to have lost. My feelings were weird. I was happy for this amazing little life God had entrusted me with, but I missed so much of who I thought I *used* to be. Would I ever get to read again? Sleeping in was for sure out of the question. A morning cup of coffee looks more like little sips in between taking care of a wild toddler.
I had to do a lot of processing over the last year and a half. And one day – it finally happened. Acceptance. For months, I didn’t want to claim my identity in motherhood. I was happy to be a mother, but didn’t want to make that my sole identity for fear of losing who I thought I was.
But the truth is… I am a mother. And that is a huge part of my identity. Not the only part of who I am, but a large part of it. And it is good.
Thinking about bringing another little life into this world is sometimes overwhelming. I truly have to take being a mom day by day. Right now my days are filled with a 20 month old. Soon, they will be filled with a newborn and a 2 year old. And then and only then will I have the grace to handle 2 children. It’s no use worrying or fretting over what will change when Lilia gets here because I don’t have grace for it yet.
I appreciate the time it took for me to get to this point. I don’t take hardly anything lightly in this world and I have to process everything. It can make for a crazy mind that doesn’t ever stop to breathe much, but it’s just the way I am wired (it’s what makes health anxiety such a curse). Some moms accept motherhood the minute their little angel is placed in their arms and some are like me and it takes some time to process all of the change. I guess I am speaking for those moms today.
I get you.
And if you haven’t been able to fully accept this new life, if you are open to the Spirit’s leading in your life, acceptance will happen. He will give you the grace and your eyes will be opened to this new life in special ways. There is a light at the end of that darn tunnel.
I have fully embraced my new role as a mother now. My heart is literally so full when I look into my toddler’s eyes that I feel it could burst. He has changed me. And I am proud to be his mommy. I accept this new life God has given me. Do I miss the old one? Yes. I do. But those were moments of grace for that time. Nathan and I have many special memories of our first kidless 7 years together.
But. New moments of grace await.
And I have a feeling they may be even better.