So, in case you hadn’t heard, Curtis and I had a baby! Baby Victory is 7 months old now, and I have been a full time employee at Baby Victory Ministries. I earn employee of the month every month for the most Mama Milk produced. My goal within this ministry is to fit in some more showers and overall more consistent hygiene skills in the near future.
In between breastfeeding and naps, I’ve been slowly submitting to a more simple life. Less hurry. Less anxiousness. Less “doing” and more “being.” Being with hubby, being with baby, being with God in the midst of it all.
And still there’s been this nudge on my heart to write. To finish my book with what will be the most beautiful of endings (inspired by our fertility journey), as well as simply to write just to write. Just because I enjoy it and find myself doing it in iPhone notes, instagram stories, on napkins, and countless journals. I probably have enough small instagram stories and short paragraphs scattered across journals that could fill up a book anyway, so why not move towards the goal of finishing the book? And sharing this thing called writing, in which I find delight?
So I’m responding to the nudge of the Holy Spirit and have started a new practice. “If Victory is sleeping, I’m either writing….or also sleeping.” One of the mama rules of thumb that I have finally experienced for myself is that there are some things you can do while the baby is awake, and there are some things you just can’t…or maybe shouldn’t (cuz’ you always CAN do something, but it might not be the best practice for your sanity). If I REALLY want to, I can shower while the baby is awake. We can bathe together. If I want to clean or garden, Victory can be there in a baby carrier, or really just helping me smell the roses moreso than actually pulling weeds. But when it comes to writing, little Miss doesn’t want to take any part in it, in that she wants to take part in EVERY part of it. She is in a phase where she wants to be touching EVERYTHING I’m touching- so writing in front of the computer screen is a no-go.
She’s been asleep for maybe an hour because sleep was just not happening earlier today. Babies are funny like that, right? They’ll seem all regimented for a couple days and then surprise you with their growth spurts, changes in appetites, and insatiable needs for cuddles. When you’ve waited for a baby for ten years, I will respond to the cry for cuddles every time.
So, what to type in the unknown amount of time I have left before she wakes up? Well, since the goal is just to get back in the practice of writing, is it ok that I just tell you that we’re doing well? To elaborate, no one’s life is perfect, but we are finding great beauty in the things that are simple and at home. This means not always having the energy to go out to a restaurant to eat, so instead sitting in the sunshine on a blanket in the front yard for a picnic. It’s going to a family get together feeling gorgeous because I washed my hair and let the natural curls fall the way they wanted to instead of obsessing over hair products and curling irons. That day I went to the family get together, my niece told me that I have “Mom hair” now. I’ll tell you what, when you’ve waited so long to have “Mom hair”, you take it as a compliment! For me, commenting on my simplicity is a compliment. Because it means I’m celebrating that fact that I am less anxious about things that simply don’t matter right now.
There’s been less makeup. Less fancy living. My nails are growing long and unpainted. I’m a hippie compared to my days I was in our Boston church, wearing high heels, dresses, a painted face with perfectly curled hair. I traded that for wearing slides with socks (something 20 year old me would have never approved of!), and sweat pants that may or may not match the t-shirts I pick out, which is something you don’t worry about when you’re going to wear a nursing cover over them for a large part of the day. And can I tell you, I genuinely love this “Mama me.” And I believe that on the right day, I’ll wear a pair of heels that matches a dress that matches the earrings perfectly again, and I’ll love that version of “Mama me” just as much. But I don’t long for that version of me. I long for simplicity that let’s me take in as much of my new family as much as possible.
Speaking of new family, Baby is awake! Let’s wrap this up. It’s funny to think how childless 20 year old me cared so much about how I looked, I believe both for myself and for other people. It does feel good to look good. But “Mama me”… cares so much more about what’s the right fit… whether it’s how comfortable something is, how convenient, sometimes how beautiful depending on the occasion, and ultimately how my choices fit into the will of God.
Yeah, I just made a jump from clothes and physical appearances to Jesus pretty quick. Baby is awake so can’t think too much more about that transition. With the limited time I have now, which is basically minutes of wake windows, I have to make lots of little decisions like “Now that baby is awake, “Do I shower, do I clean, or do I read her a book?” And then there’s the big decision of “How will I honor God even in these simple things?”
The answer to that latter question has been “intimacy.” Activities that are bathed in intimacy. Breathing in intimacy deeply like it’s the necessary oxygen after climbing a mountain. And saying no to all barriers to intimacy- cutting them out, and breaking them down like the idols they are- because frankly, if it’s not intimate I don’t want it.
I’ll have to write about that next time. The intimacy thing. We’ll get into that next nap time.
Thanks for reading, truly.