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Approximately 3 months in . . .

Oh hi . . .Courtney, the author of this blog here . . . it’s been awhile . . . like a long while.  During my break, I became a mother to Ms. Haris Olivia Lindsay.  And I’ve learned a lot in the past 90 + 4 days…

  1.  Only do what’s necessary and important.
    1. Lolly gagging and procrastinating are thankfully not allowed when you have a newborn.  However that’s for the first 6 weeks, all I had time to do were the necessary . . . survival level: eat, tinkle, and take care of baby.  No sleep is not included in that list, if you get it awesome, consider it a mini vacation.
    2. Oddly, enough like anything once you become more comfortable, and as she’s getting older, stronger, more steady and more on a schedule, lolly gagging can nuzzle it’s way back in, if you’re not careful.
      1. And sometimes like all times there’s so much to do, best to prioritize.
  2. I had more time than I knew before becoming a Mom, I just didn’t realize it, because I was too busy wasting it on social media updates or thinking about things versus doing them.  And possibly are society is full of I don’t have enough _____ and works for a scarcity view point, so we think we’re always lacking something.  We have what we have . . . and it’s more than enough to not have an excuse for not doing ______
  3. Repetition is amazing!  It’s how we learn and how we teach our children.  And it’s how we develop our habits.  For nap time and bed time – I lay Haris down awake to semi awake, turn on white noise, turn all the lights off, and walk away.  Now it didn’t go smoothly the first time or even every time, but consistency is amazing and sticking with it will make it easier for all of us I believe.  She laid down last night like a pro.  This does not mean she stayed down the entire night, I can guarantee that wasn’t the case, but hey it’s a step in the right direction, so I’m thankful and happy – baby steps.  I wonder when I’ll stop being repeatedly shocked that repetition works – it’ll also work for losing weight, building relationships/new habits, and more – we can all say duh.
  4. Not knowing can produce fear, and even finding information is not that same as knowing.
    1. I’ve never been around a baby before really.  I have nieces and nephews, but they didn’t live close and/or I was off in college doing college things.  So the fact that the hospital let us go home with a baby was concerning.
      1. Obtain knowledge, off to reading books I went (before and after Haris’ birth I’ve been reading, googling, and interviewing other moms)!
      2. You’ll get a lot of advice from everyone and eventually you just have to make a decision.  Swaddle, not swaddle, don’t wake a sleeping baby, wake the baby, etc., etc.  It’s a debate out there on the internet, and every argument and expert has a pro/con that sounds right and plenty of sites will make you think you’re doing major psyche damage if you do anything wrong . . . it’s amazing humanity has made it this far right?  Wonder what we did before we knew . . .
        1. Make a choice . . . we’re humans, we adjust.  The consistency/repetition is probably more important, so the adjustment can take place.  There’s more than one way to get a desired result.  We get stuck in trying to decide the “best,” way and bouncing back and forth, it’s hard for a baby to know what to do with constant change.  Best will probably be our own opinion anyways.
      3. Obtaining information isn’t the same as knowing, so don’t expect your confidence to come from information.  I find my confidence in motherhood is making up my mind, sticking to a decision, and learning more of who she is every day.
  5. Discipling her, is disciplining myself first
    1. Putting Haris on a schedule, actually meant putting me on a schedule.  The benefits are great – I can predict what she needs easier and when.  She eats approximately every 3 hours, so when going places I have a pretty good indicator if I’ll be breastfeeding her while we’re out or hey we’ll be back home in plenty of time.  And her naps being scheduled lets me plan my work – writing, acting, etc., and helps my focus – I’m on a human’s time clock, because when she wakes up, she’ll need me, and I’ll be there.
  6. I’m not as picky as I once was . . .
    1. Several family members and friends have been over to help.  They’ve folded laundry, washed dishes, prepared a meal, walked Douglass, went grocery shopping, watched Haris so I could take a long shower/a nap, etc.  They have been such a help and blessing to us and every moment of it is appreciated.  I use to care how the dishes were stacked, or how towels were folded . . .no more!  Who cares as long as it’s done.  The only thing I’m picky about is how Haris is being cared for.  Everything else seems like small potatoes, and I’ve learned that getting out of the way (micromanaging) allows me to learn a new way to do things too.  Although, I still like my toilet paper roll to roll over, never under!  Ah!  Lol!
  7. Ask for help
    1. I’m still working on this, but ask.  Closed mouths don’t get fed.  And more people are willing and wanting to help than I know.
  8. My life is not my own
    1. Never is this more apparent than becoming a 24 hour caregiver.  I think this is why many mothers go through baby blues or worse, postpartum.  You’re sleep deprived, you’re eating whatever is edible in the pantry/fridge, your time is not your own anymore, and before he/she was born you actually had plans of doing things when you brought him/her home, since a newborns are “always sleeping” (lies!)  Motherhood is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.  Before giving birth I imagined a newborn sleeping and me writing a script during my maternity leave and really hammering away at some personal endeavors.  Again, I’ve never really been around a baby, so it was shocking to find out they don’t sleep all day, and you don’t sleep much at all.  Writing a script?  Ha!  Now the newborn phase isn’t forever; however, my life was never my own.  We are not here for ourselves, but for one another, even our gifts aren’t for ourselves.  Imagine a person with the gift of making beautiful paintings, and he/she only hung them up in their room and never allowed anyone to see them.  Seems pointless right?  So does living for ourselves.  We’re meant to be in relationships, love one another, be giving, and share experiences with one another.  Life is more rewarding when we’re more other focused than self-centered (there’s a balance in all things though).
  9. Enjoy
    1. One day I was playing with Haris and she was just a laughing, smiling, and cooing.  It was a beautiful moment, and I looked at her and said, “I just enjoy you.”  And I thought that’s what our goal should be with all of our loved ones, enjoy them.  All of them, their laughter, their quirkiness, the conversations, their love, all of it.  It’s a blessing to have them to enjoy and a blessing to be enjoyed.  I don’t know, I don’t think there’s a better compliment or purpose than to bring joy to someone’s life just by being.  And in that moment everything just kind of eased up.  Who cares if the dishes are dirty, dinner hasn’t been cooked in weeks, so what, we’re not starving.  Things aren’t the same anymore, days are not totally predictable and dictated by my schedule, but they sure are a whole lot sweeter.  And I find that as long as I enjoy the people in my life who I love, most things . . . just don’t matter.

Photograph by Ashley Nguyen

“As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you can not understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.” – Ecclesiastes 11:5

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1

“See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and a streams in the wasteland.” – Isaiah 43:19

2 replies on “Approximately 3 months in . . .”

Love this, sis!! I wish I had written down more about Bailey when she was smaller- and now! I’ve never been a “writer”, so I have less confidence in writing, but if I’m recording my baby’s life, seems like it’s more of a family archive than anything! You inspire me!! Love you!!

Awe, Faithy, thank you sis! I love you too! I never thought about it being an archive . . .ha! I like that. You should be confident in your writing – the things we shrink from are sometimes the things we should dive into. XOXO!

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