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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Time, Space and a Whole Lot of Grace

It happened when we were first married.

This creepy, crawling feeling that this was all so simple. Too simple. Am I doing this right? Am I wifing correctly?

And what does it mean to be a wife? A partner? Does it mean pouring his cup of coffee before I pour my own, even if he doesn't know? Does it mean letting him rule the Netflix subscription? Or deciding together if we have enough money in the account to justify another road trip or a Stitch Fix to spruce up my professional wardrobe?

Does it mean changing my name? Taking an afternoon to tackle the DMV and Social Security? Does it mean morning routines and rituals – praying together before I leave the house in the morning? A hug? A kiss? Always goodnight?

It meant all of that, sure. And I'm still learning what it means, admittedly. There's the groceries, the bills, the careers that don't always align. The give and take. And bless it, the coffee every morning. But there's more.

For so long I wanted someone to sit beside me. To watch and observe. To affirm me in this new season of sharing a life with another person.

Now we're two years into forever together with a brand-new tiny human in tow.

And in the hospital I felt the same crawly feeling.

Only this time the stakes seemed so much higher. There I was, wrestling with a squirmy baby, aches and sleeplessness, fluorescent lights and a cruel need to close myself in the room and cry.

Meanwhile foddered with loose-leaf instructions on how to keep said squirmy baby alive.

No pressure.

So often these last few weeks I've longed for a supervisor of sorts. 

Not a doula, or a lactation consultant, per se. But just another person to sit quietly and observe 24/7. To say, "well done, stupendous burping method, A-plus" or "kudos to you on that particularly thorough wipe-job."

Or just, you know, what you're doing is passable. You're hitting the marks.

While there are books, podcasts, and methodologies so numerous they begin to contradict each other, what I'm learning is that there is no one right way to mother. Just like there isn't one right way to be someone's wife.

There is no formula for perfection. No way to be correct. No milestones to achieve. No levels to unlock. No report cards to send home to your parents.

I remind myself of this the days where everything seems out of sorts. On days where – thank God – there is no report card. Because if there were, it would only be a blinding representation of how much I was getting wrong.

But there is time. There is space. And there is a whole lot of grace as I learn and weave through the uncomfortable bits of being a mom.

I'm thankful for this at the start of every day.


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