Our New Normal

Childbirth and change. The two words go hand in hand, do they not? The moment you get pregnant, people start reminding you that “everything’s about to change”. Some are kind enough to add “for the better” on the end of the popular phrase. And you know it’s true, it has to be – you’re literally about to add an entire new person into your life and home and routine. There are the obvious things {your nights, your time}, but when we brought our little bundle of joy home, the age old adage that so many had repeated to me while I was growing her was abundantly true. Everything had changed.

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My usually very clean and neat house can become a disaster zone in exactly 2.5 seconds. I swear sometimes I turn around and wonder how all this stuff got strewn around my living room. Burp clothes and blankets are the new throw pillows and staged coffee tables, didn’t you know? Not to mention the outrageous pile of laundry that gets moved from the basket to the couch back to the basket about ten times before it’s folded. Don’t talk to me about actually putting it away. But honestly, I’m not worried about it. I’ll take a sleeping babe in my arms over a pristine house every single day. There will come a day when that’s not the case, so I’ll soak up these newborn snuggles while the dust and laundry stares at me for a little while longer.

Date nights look real different now too. Perfect curls and makeup are traded for messy buns and yoga pants. We sit in bed with our girl snuggled in her swing next to the bed and eat pizza and try not to laugh too loudly at Ace Ventura. But we’re intentional with our time together while she snoozes, and it’s just as sweet as our old, baby-less dates. Sweeter maybe, because we get to lean over the side of the bed and talk about her perfect lips and how she got her daddy’s nose. Kid-less date nights are important, really important in our minds, and we’ll get there. But this is our new normal for right now. And it’s beautiful.

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My clothes still don’t fit, and that’s okay. My stomach isn’t flat, and it’s covered in tiger stripe-esque stretch marks. Reminders of the miracle that occurred underneath. Showers are hurried and legs remain unshaven for far longer than they ever have before. Makeup and straightening irons are a luxury. Leggings and tank tops have become my uniform, I’m still wearing the maternity clothes that have replaced my relatively large wardrobe that’s been untouched for almost the entire year. I know I often look tired, because I am. I won’t always be this exhausted {I repeat the phrase to myself often}, and over time my body will eventually bounce back, but this is all part of the process. So I embrace it. I do my best to ignore the {possibly imagined} second looks at my pooch when I’m in public without my daughter and joke about needing an “I just had a baby” t-shirt to wear. I snuggle our girl next to my huge, engorged boobs and laugh as I remember the days when I thought a C cup was big. I thank my body for what it’s done, what it’s given us.

This is our new normal. A messy house, pizza-in-bed date nights, and a much softer, bigger body. And I love it. Every single fragment of it. I wouldn’t trade it for the neater, more planned, tighter days of old. I remind myself that it won’t always be this way, she won’t always be this small. She’ll actually never be this small again. Our normal will probably change in a month. And six months after that. Parenting and flexibility. Two more synonymous words, am I right?

What did your “new normal” look like after giving birth?

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