New Mom Reality
Each day I look forward to the possibility of a power walk in my neighborhood. That may not seem like a lofty goal for a fitness instructor, but at seven weeks post-partum, it’s good enough for now. One day, struggling to push my jogging stroller uphill against the Albuquerque wind, I got a reality check. My daily (if I’m lucky!) 30 minute walk with my, sometimes sleeping, sometimes crying, baby is a metaphor of my new mom life. The uphill walk against the wind is like my daily climb up New Motherhood Mountain. My baby girl is just 7 weeks young and naps are still inconsistent. I watch and wait for her lashes to close on rosy cheeks and her body to still. Stealth like, I slip on running shoes and sneak out the door before she realizes she’s out of mommy’s arms and snuggled in her stroller. I have learned it is quite the accomplishment to move a sleeping baby from one position to another without disturbing precious slumber.
However, as a member of the new mom club, I feel most accomplished when I have dinner ready before my husband walks through the door. I’m not talking about frozen pizza like Monday! Just last night we feasted on delicious grilled chicken (I love to grill!), baked sweet potatoes, and sautéed veggies.
But here’s the “new mom” reality check: a meal that used to take me less than an hour to prepare now seems to take an entire day– New Motherhood Mountain!
My new routine of nursing, rocking, shhhhing and entertaining my baby meant that I marinated, chopped, and seasoned off and on all day long! Nevertheless, I was super proud of myself. Another “new mom” reality check: I wasn’t just proud of my meal, I was proud of my mothering. And to be honest, I was even proud on Monday when we ate frozen pizza and on Tuesday when we ate the leftover frozen pizza.
Learning How to Climb
The last seven weeks this fitness instructor has been learning how to climb. Each morning. I start in the foothills in this new season of family life but always I’m headed toward the mountain. Most days I struggle with fatigue as baby and Mommy are yet to sleep through the night-– New Motherhood Mountain! Still I climb. Diapers, dozing, nursing, cuddling, crying, tiny smiles and cooing-– all are found from the foothills to the mountain peak.
In this new season, I’ve made a new discovery. I have found that there are refreshing winds of grace that greet me each day for the climb that might take all day. And for that “new mom” reality check, I am grateful.
What are some reality checks you’ve faced as a new mom? Do you have a favorite tip for a new mom in the early weeks? Please share!
Originally published June, 2016.