Love + babies + the reminder to pay attention


We returned from an 11 day trip late last night and this morning I’m grateful for the day off to get prepared for the week. Although, if I’m honest, it’s after noon and most of my day has consisted of playing with Adeline. And that’s fine with me.

Somehow she is already 6 months old and this morning I watched her sitting up by herself, reaching for toys, turning them over in her hands and (of course!) putting them in her mouth. 

Part of me feels like her birth was a distant memory already, yet at the same time she was a helpless newborn just a blink ago. She’s becoming her own person right in front of my eyes and it’s absolutely fascinating and heart wrenching all at once. I want her to stay tiny and snuggly and I want to feel the way she fits right into my neck so perfectly forever. But I also can’t wait to listen to her tell stories, laugh at the outfits she puts together herself and celebrate her milestones with her.

Motherhood is overwhelmingly emotional. My heart is so full of love and I ache for time to slow down, but I know it won’t. 

So instead I’m trying to keep my eyes open and remember all of this. To stay off of my phone and be engaged because time is so precious and so fleeting. Pay attention. Soak it up. Be thankful and full of love.

The Smallest Working Mom Mental Victory

Working Mom Victories

I’ve written this post a thousand times in my head. I think, I want to stay present here and I want to remember this forever. But then I get distracted by the dishes, Adeline needing another rocking to go to sleep, work tasks I’ve yet to do for the day, the ice cream in the freezer.. the list goes on and the post fades away in my head.

But tonight I’m choosing to write.

Wednesday nights are some of my favorites because it’s the end of Adeline needing babysitters for the week. Tuesdays are my longest days in the office – they usually end up being 9 or 10 hour days after office hours and worship team practice that night. Wednesdays are my second office day and the only day we usually get an actual sitter for Adeline. Those mornings are the hardest because the last thing I want to do is drop her off and drive away after I spent all of Tuesday away from her.

But Wednesday nights are the sweetest. I don’t have to fight the temptation to stress and wish the moments would hurry if she doesn’t go to sleep right away because the next day holds nothing pressing. I can soak up the snuggles, the way her head fits into my neck and her sweet little fingers that sometimes stick out from the swaddle sack and hold my fingers. I can breathe in the fresh scent of clean baby and it’s the easiest night for me to stay present. The anxiety of a Sunday morning feels far away and most of my work tasks for the week are already finished. All that usually remains is more practice hours, and on Wednesdays they feel totally doable during my remaining days.

It’s these moments in the fading evening light of our bedroom that I feel overcome with gratefulness. I can’t believe God gave us this sweet little gift that I didn’t know I always wanted. I can’t believe I get to be her mom and I get to struggle with the tensions of work and motherhood and homekeeping and following Christ diligently and loving my husband well. Sometimes those burdens feel heavy and completely unattainable, but I’m trying to live in those tensions and press in to what I know is true. In this season, God has called me to all of those things. And he’s already given me the grace to walk through it with him.

So all at the same time I’m practicing gratefulness for my job that stretches me and requires much of me, while also soaking up these moments with her that are speeding by too quickly. I’m tempted to think I can only do one or the other when things get hard, but thank you, Lord, for the reminder tonight while I rocked Adeline to sleep that with him I can do both. Be present. Be present. Be thankful. Give yourself grace.

You can check out more photos of Adeline’s nursery here.

3 months: What I hope I never forget

3 month old baby

– the way your sweet smile slowly spreads across your lips and into your eyes when you see us smiling down at you

– the way your lower lip pouts out and your cheeks puff up when you finish nursing and are drifting into dreamland

– your little wrist rolls

– the way your fingers fold around mine while you sit in your car seat or on my lap

– when you lie down for tummy time and raise your little head like a pro, swinging from left to right to check out your surroundings

– how you love it when we wipe your drool from your face, giving us a big grin every time only to replace it with more drool

– the way your little body teeters from side to side when you do your “superman” during tummy time. I am anxiously awaiting your first roll over!

– your talkative coos, groans and prolonged murmurs. You love to participate when others are talking around you!

– your morning stretches – you still love to stretch like nobody’s business when you first wake up! You make yourself as long as possible with your arms and legs straight as boards, squish your little chin down and totally change the shape of your face! It is hilarious and adorable.

– your lower lashes have started growing! It totally surprised me the other day because I hadn’t even noticed they had started, but they are peeking out! Your upper lashes are still amazingly long and curled… So pretty!!

– you love smacking your lips and sucking on them with your tongue. You’re always sucking on your lips!

– the way you push up on your legs when we hold you to our chests while we sit down. You love to stand on your legs and show off your strength!

– you still hate being in the car, but I think we’ve finally figured out you just don’t like being alone in the backseat! If mommy sits back there with you, you are so much more agreeable.

– you’ve started grasping objects and I love watching your fingers open and close while you discover.

– your preferences have changed so much since you were born! At first you liked being held cradle style at all times, then chest to chest on our shoulders and now you still like the shoulder position, but when we are sitting and holding you, you prefer to face out to see what’s going on!

Adeline, we still think you’re the bees knees. We love watching you discover the world around you and spend soooo much time repeating your funny baby sounds and faces back to you. We are so thankful to be your parents and can’t believe how quickly time is passing already. You are such a happy baby!

The power of Words

Your words have power

I had my first emotional breakdown since Adeline was born this past week… and it wasn’t pretty. Starting work again has thrown all the routines and knowledge about motherhood that I thought I had right out the second story window. (see this post for proof.)

I took Adeline to the office with me on Wednesday and we ended the morning super fussy and flustered. She was hungry on the way home, so she was crying… which then got me crying because I knew she was hungry and I also felt like I’ll never get a handle on this working mom thing.

I felt like I wasn’t giving anything 100%. I wasn’t giving Adeline 100% or work 100%, which translates also to feeling like a failure at everything. So when I got both of us, the car seat and my three bags in the door (we’re still crying), we nursed and I just straight up cried ugly tears. I let them roll, apologizing to Adeline for making her feel insecure about getting food and telling God that I just can’t do it all. I can’t cook, clean, care for and mother my daughter, work and still have a drop of myself to give to my husband every day. I just can’t.

But it feels like I should.

It feels like I should be able to do all of these things to the same extent that I did them before Adeline, but I’m pretty sure I’m putting that “should” on myself. I worry my coworkers are bothered by Adeline’s needs while she’s there, I worry they won’t think I’m adequately present, I worry she doesn’t feel like her needs are met like they are when we’re at home (she 9 weeks old, I really don’t think she’s making these comparisons…), I worry my bathroom will never be cleaned again, I worry I won’t sufficiently get myself playing guitar well enough to lead again, blah blah blah.

There are so many worries in that paragraph!

All that to say, after I cried it out, I remembered I had an unopened envelope of encouragement cards from my baby shower. The sweet hosts asked the guests to write me notes of encouragement, and then they sealed them up for a future day when I’d need those words.

Yesterday was that day, and boy did I get my crying in for the month! This time, though, they were happy tears. Tears full of remembering the truth that God is in this with me, tears of feeling loved and built up from women speaking truth into my insecurities, tears of reading about the gifts God has given me called out on paper and witnessed in real life from these ladies.

Words have such power.

Use your words to encourage those around you... you never know how deeply those words can hurt or build up!

Thank you for using them to encourage me when I needed it most.

I encourage you today to think about someone in your life you can encourage. Send them a quick text or give them a call and speak some life into them. Call out and affirm their gifts that you’ve witnessed, thank them for ways they’ve loved you or shown up when you needed them, etc. You have no idea the weight and power those words hold. Let’s be a community who look to uplift and encourage each other!

Your words hold power. Let's be a community who is quick to build up the people around us. Click To Tweet

what I hope I never forget (thoughts on motherhood)

What I hope I never forget (thoughts on Motherhood)

The way you look up at me while nursing and your fingers curl around mine

How excitedly you kick your legs and flail your arms when you lie on your back

Your soft baby hair

The way you excitedly breathe in and out as quickly as possible, wide eyed, and fling your head forward when you’re excited to eat

Your tiny body curled up against my chest while you nap: arms limp, mouth open and breathing heavily

The way you coo, sneeze and hiccup

Your baby snores

The first time you cried actual tears… It about broke our hearts!

Your cry/snort when you’re really upset

The way you curl your tiny lips into a little “o” and look at us, like you’re surprised or curious about what’s happening

The way you smile in your sleep.. well, all your expressions while you sleep

How much you love stretching yourself out as big as possible

The way you look like you’re contemplating the world in your car seat

Your smiles and coos when we talk to you

The fact you are the sweetest, most precious and easy-going baby who we are delighted to love. You are so special to us, baby girl, and I love every minute of being your mom. I can’t wait to see who you become, but I’m loving all the little moments we have with you right now.

See more pictures of the nursery here. Sign from SugarKoatedSigns.

To all the moms I judged: I’m sorry

Judging Moms

Before I became a mom, I was kind of judgey about other moms. I didn’t mean to be that way, and I definitely didn’t vocalize those passing thoughts … But I was judgey nonetheless. I’d be all, “I don’t want to lose my identity after I have a baby.” Or “just let her cry it out and get over it.” Yikes!!

I never said these things to any mom, but I thought them.

To all the moms I silently and nonchalantly judged, I’m sorry.

I now understand everything.

1. No wonder all you do is talk about your baby… It’s because she runs your life!!! All of your mental capacity is taken up by counting how long it’s been since she nursed and how long you have before she wakes up! Your eating, sleeping and going anywhere depend on these things. Plus, she is really cute. 😉

2. So going back to work is hard and scary and you don’t want to do it? Me either!!! And I have an awesome, flexible, part time job that I love! Six weeks flies by, that’s for sure.

3. You look like you haven’t slept in a few days. Well, apparently babies don’t have an adult-like sleep schedule for quite some time and you wouldn’t know that unless you’re googling everything possible about your 3 week old child. Also, listening to your baby cry just about wrecks you. I feel you. Rock those top knots and yoga pants, girl.

4. Sorry I (inwardly) scoffed when you admitted you weren’t reading your Bible (Guys, I promise I’m not a total hater)!! No offense, Lord, but when I’m reading anything these days, sleep puts up a pretty darn good fight. And I usually let her win. I’m sorry. (PS I’ve been reading Numbers and Deuteronomy so that DOES NOT HELP.)

5. For the first time in my life, I actually forget to eat, too. I never understood how that could possibly happen to ANYONE, but it does. Somehow that same forgetfulness doesn’t apply to coffee, though…. That’s basically my first priority every morning. So just try to go for something more substantial than Cheez-Its, I guess.

6. You’re late, again. Well, when going anywhere with a child, you must multiply how long you think it will take to get out the door by three. Always. Absolutely no exceptions, unless you are superwoman and then you must teach me your ways.

7. WHO CARES ABOUT YOUR WEIGHT. Like who stinking cares?! No one. Not even judgey pre-mom me… So stop worrying about it. We’re all looking at your cute baby anyway:) (And for the rest of you, DO NOT COMMENT ON ANOTHER WOMAN’S WEIGHT. WHEN IS THAT EVER OKAY?!)

8. MOM GROUPS. All of a sudden, this weird phenomenon totally makes sense. I actually want to go sit with other moms and their kids and talk about mom stuff. And I think it’s fun!! (Who am I anymore?!)

 

In all seriousness, Moms, I love you and I’m glad to have joined this weird cult of moms and mom groups. And I am truly sorry for how much I have inwardly judged or thought “I’d do ________ differently when I’m a mom.” Turns out, cliche is true… you just don’t know what’s going on in someone’s life until you’ve walked a mile in her shoes. Or, in my case, started wearing the same kind of shoes. Mom shoes.

All that to say: You go girl.

PS Happy Mother’s Day!! I’m so excited to be celebrating my first as an actual mom myself. What a huuuuge gift I couldn’t even fathom until God showed me through Adeline. She is literally my treasured gift, and so is owning the title MOM.

Now go show some love to the moms in your life this weekend!