Tuesday, July 12, 2016

This Amazing, Exhausting Thing Called Parenthood

Before we even thought we were ready for Joanna, I used to find reasons to stay busy. I couldn't sit on the couch for longer than 15 minutes before I thought of a reason to get up. Occasionally Brad would get me to sit down on a Friday night and watch a movie with him and before we got through the introduction, I had fallen asleep. I was a go, go, go! kinda gal and he was definitely a laid back, go with the flow kind of guy.

Sometimes I wish I could go back and tell the younger version of my self to slow down and sit down on that couch. Or to just to enjoy the silence (minus the two dogs and the cat) for a little while. Don't get me wrong. I'm still mostly the go, go, go kinda "young lady" (I don't think its fair to call me a woman until I'm over 30... but even then I'm sure I won't think of myself as one) but now I do appreciate slowing down.

When I have lots of energy, I'm signing us up for classes or races or bugging Brad to get ideas of new things to discover in DFW. I'll admit it, I don't really like to sit still. But when I'm tired from the long day of parenting, working, commuting and cleaning up the kitchen after dinner, all I can think about is how I want to sit on the couch. Nowadays, my couch time requires for me to be hooked up to a breast pump and I get a few minutes to myself to get some reading in.

When I'm tired and I look over at Brad and I can see that all he wants to do is sit on the couch. But here is right there with me, knee deep in the mud. He is getting bottles and lunch and diapers ready for the next day.  Or feeding the dogs or cutting up some fresh produce. My heart just smiles. It smiles because even though this "new" life of ours (not so new anymore, we've been in Dallas for 7.5 months now!) is incredibly exhausting.. I wouldn't trade it for anything else.

Brad and I were talking about that word the other day, "exhausting" and what it really meant to us. I guess it means that we are falling into bed every night (or every morning for him, when he is working). It means that we are doing everything we can to provide for our family. It means that we are making memories every moment we are together, not sitting on the couch vegging out. It means that we are running or exercising or going the extra mile to eat healthy. It means that my mind is constantly thinking about something...

I need to text the pet/house sitter to confirm for this weekend
I need to send that follow up email for my project
We need to remember to bring a pack of diapers to school in the morning
We need to give the dogs a haircut
What's for dinner tomorrow night?

There is one place that I try my absolute hardest not to let those "I need to..." thoughts come into my mind. It's when we are sitting on the floor with Jo in the middle of our living room. There is this large grey/black/white mat that is the "safe zone". We sit, we lay, we roll, we read, we crawl, we play, we talk about anything and everything with Joanna. Our living room is a kid zone and I love it. Just a big open space where we can be in the moment with our girl.

Joanna 8.5 months old
drooling like a monster
Joanna 9.5 months old fetching toys from her basket

I could have never imagined what this life would be like. I could have never imagined or even truly believed the joy motherhood would bring me. Or even wifehood for that matter (I'm sure I just made that word up but AutoCorrect didn't fix it... ha). I always thought that I would have enough energy to do ALL the things! And somedays, like today where I have a little free time to think about all the things we do to clean up from today and prepare for tomorrow... I dwell on how exhausting it all feels. But I also sit back and think about how blessed we are.

Blessed to have each other to tag-team all of our duties. Blessed to have a child which fills our house with laughter and love (and laundry!). Blessed to have 3 pets who constantly show us love (and Joanna too!) and SHED quite a bit of that love all over the house. Blessed to have a brand new mattress to lay down my exhausted body on every single night because our old one just wasn't cutting it.

Mama Stephanita

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