Whew. Nobody ever tells you how hard being a new, first-time mom is, do they? Oh wait, yes they do ALL OVER EVERYWHERE. This is no joke people. And for any mom reading this, I could stop right here, hit publish and probably get a text or a FB message that says “great job on having time to write a one paragraph blog post today!” Because as I type, my precious, almost 5-week old Zoey is being trained to sleep in her crib which means she hates her crib, hates naps and I become delirious, irritable, and pretty much unpleasant around 3pm, if not sooner. So to squeeze in some writing, at the sacrifice of a nap or a shower, basically means I’ve had the most productive day ever. Or, well, at least in the last 5 weeks.
Why? Because having a baby means my role is to be present with Zoey, to raise her well, be challenged by her and work my butt off all day long in the name of Zoey Ai. It means sacrifice to the nth degree. (Is nth really a word?) It means ooohing and aahhing for approximately 4.5 hours a day. It means cheering Zoey on while she poops because that means her gassy fussing will come to an end…for at least 30 minutes or so. It means smiling at the small things and laughing at the even smaller things. It means having a child attached to me, literally, every 2-3 hours. It means nursing in front of people I never thought I would (in my own home, that is…no, I won’t be the lady who whips out the boob at the mall). And attaching an awkward device to myself a couple times a day to pump and store milk. And I don’t shower. Or sleep. Or put makeup on. Some days I don’t brush my teeth…until 11am. And the whole eating processed food breakfast, lunch and dinner because it’s fast and easy. Ugh. Don’t even get me started on that.
And it got me thinking about dignity. I never thought about dignity prior to this season of my life. I am frankly not even sure I fully knew the definition of dignity until I was, seemingly, losing it. It’s like that Cinderella song from the late 80’s, “you don’t know what you got til it’s gone.” Yeah, I felt my dignity was slipping away, one no-showered-day at a time.
And it started to bother me for a half of a second. And then God jumped in and shook me. Well, not really, He doesn’t really do that but you know what I mean. I was very clearly reminded that I was just given the greatest gift in the world. That the joy I have with this little girl far outweighs, um, anything. ANYTHING.
And as I sat on my couch, looking out the window into our lush green backyard as the sun was just starting to make her appearance for the day, the word privilege came over me. Privilege.
This season is not a season of lost dignity, but rather, a season of gained privilege. Like massive privilege.
Because having a child attached to me means I feed her. I nourish her and she grows and develops. I am pretty sure this is the most privileged responsibility we can have as women.
Because nursing her in front of people I never thought I would means that those people love me, love Zoey and aren’t those crazy people who get uncomfortable around a woman who is feeding her baby (sorry if you are one of those).
Because pumping gives me a bit of a break. The ability to have a date night with Rick. The ability to enjoy a glass of wine. To have Ann time on occasion. And the best part is it gives Rick the privilege to also feed Zoey which I happen to think is a great bonding time for a father and child.
Because not brushing my teeth until 11am likely means I used those extra minutes earlier in the morning to finish a cup of coffee. So worth it.
Because not showering and putting on makeup everyday…well, that just comes with the new mom territory in the beginning. And I can always shower at night when Rick is home. And makeup? For what? The walk I take around my neighborhood or the quick trip to the grocery store? Um, yeah right. Makeup is now reserved for things like date night 🙂
I could go on and on but I think my point is made. And gosh, I am so happy God shook me and turned my thought process upside down. This isn’t about my dignity. Or what I look like. Or what I eat (or don’t eat).
This is about the privilege He has given me, has given us.
This season isn’t about me. It’s about Zoey. It’s about raising a beautiful, healthy little girl. That’s the priority, next to my marriage. To feed her, love her, snuggle her, empower her, enable her. To enjoy each and every second with her because in a blink of an eye, these moments will be memories. And if that means missing a shower or eating a Lean Cuisine for the 4th day in a row or ooooohhhing and aaaahhhhhinnggg at seemingly small milestones, so be it.