On Being Enough

The other night I was staying up way too late scrolling through pictures from the the end of my pregnancy / labor / delivery / bringing Duke home, and I was overcome with the feeling I first had when we brought him to our apartment. I remember being so anxious and excited in the car on the way and then when we got home I felt so uneasy and unsure of what to do.  What would our lives be like now?! In those 3 quick nights in the hospital, everything had changed. Our lives were totally different walking out than they were walking in {a lot less painful too} and it just felt so weird to be released back into the world so quickly! 
There was some strange comfort I felt sleeping in the hospital bed with Duke wrapped like a burrito next to me because bassinets are stupid I couldn't imagine not having him near me after carrying him for so long.  We had a constant stream of nurses and visitors and it was exhausting but I was riding such an adrenaline high that coming down to reality and our home, though comfortable, felt a bit daunting.  Now life had to begin again and we had to figure out this whole parenting thing for real.

My mom stayed with us for the first week to ease us into our new reality and it was awesome.  She cleaned constantly, cooked meals, and gave me endless hours of worry-free snuggle time with my boy.  My dad came in towards the end of the week to meet his grandson and we enjoyed 4 days worth of constant family time.  It was fantastic.  We took Duke out to his first restaurant at just 5 days old and I felt really good being surrounded by everyone.  When the time rolled around for them to leave, I was a bit of a wreck.  Dennis was already back at work and now this meant I would be alone day in and day out with my sweet boy.  I was completely freaked out. 
I'm sure all of you mamas out there can relate that those early weeks are a total whirlwind and I was probably struggling more with the feeling of not knowing what to do all day than anything else.  It just didn't seem possible that my new job was to spend every moment with this perfect little boy; feeding him, loving him, snuggling him, etc.  It was everything I could possibly want and I felt like I couldn't possibly deserve it.  Where were all the people in their neat little cubicles that I had been managing for months?  Where was the computer and constant barrage of emails?  When were the conference calls?  What on earth was I supposed to do?

Dennis would get home some days and I felt like a kid who was so proud of all I had accomplished..."Look babe!  I did the dishes AND the laundry!"  "LOOK!  The baby is alive and happy."  "Don't worry, I didn't sit on the couch all day..." "Uh, yea I may have watched 13 episodes of Scandal, but it's because the baby was cluster-feeding all day."  I felt like I had to justify every action, even though my wonderful husband couldn't care less.  Was I happy?  Was the baby happy?  OK, deal.  Then it was a good day.

It really makes me think about the meaningless things we utilize to place value to ourselves.  The constant pressure of feeling like we have to always be doing something to matter.  The useless art of always being busy.  Taking care of and raising tiny humans is more than just doing something, and it should be enough.  We shouldn't have to justify our days filled with giggles and playtime by adding in that we also conquered a list of household chores.  Why do we feel like we have to?  Why does it seem like a day behind a desk is more important, more impactful, than a day spent on the living room floor with tiny humans?

I've been home with Duke for a short nearly 6 months, and I know that as the months and years go by and we enter different seasons of our lives, ones in which I might not be able to be at home with him full time, that our priorities will continue to shift to meet the needs of our family.  I also know, that we will always strive to put our family first, to make sure our unit is taken care of, healthy, and happy.  I pray that we don't fill up the days/months/years with meaningless activities just to seem busy.  I pray that we are intentional with our time together and stop feeling like we have to justify the way we spend it.  Being a wife and a mama is the greatest blessing and the greatest joy in my life, and it's enough.

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