About three weeks into this whole parenting thing, I hit a wall. Everything and everyone rubbed me in the wrong way. Most of the time I wanted to punch my man in the face for no other reason than I thought he sorted the mail wrong. A lot of this was due to sleep deprivation, which thankfully, is getting better daily. Another chunk of this was due to the fact that I jumped right back into work post-baby. Being a business owner means you don't truly get a maternity leave. You get to be part-time (read part-focused) but a full stop isn't in the cards. But I'm fairly certain, a tiny portion of the onslaught of emotions/chaos that is brewing inside, is suddenly, overnight, you step into a new role. And you are left thinking, "what the f, welcome to motherhood"
The thing about having a baby is your world changes but you are still the same person. Snuggles, kisses, and an overwhelming urge to shout from the top of the rooftops, "MY BABY IS THE CUTEST, BEST, AND MOST LOVABLE CREATURE IN ALL THE LAND" take over. The responsibilities skyrocket. Now, I'm in charge of keeping a human other than myself alive. My body is held hostage by an infant who somehow has a bottomless pit for a stomach. The diaper pail gets full at an alarming rate. There are doctors appointments, nap times, and gas, and crying (from all parties). It's a whole slew of change and joy and confusion- beautiful, hard, exhilarating, and exhausting confusion.
But in the midst of it all, I'm still the same girl. My mind is still full of ideas for Bristol Lane, a running to-do list for the house, and thoughts on finances, growth strategies, and goals. Only now, it is also full of feeding schedules, finding the best nose suction device, and tummy time. Because of this dense fog of information that is constantly being added to, I wound up going to the doctors office on the wrong date and at the wrong time TWICE in one week. How embarrassing. This is when the frustration hits. I'm a high-functioning, type A, go-getter with lofty expectations of myself and others. Feeling well when I'm not doing well in the areas of my life is a big challenge. Enter motherhood- split attention, a new role, and a perpetual lack of sleep mean that, at best, I'm hitting 60% of any one area out of the park. It's enough to drive a woman mad, or in my case, just make her mad.
Then I remember this: the jugging act of balancing two businesses, a marriage, a church community, friendships, family, travel, our home, and this new life will always be there. The laughing at 2am because your daughter threw up and pooped on you in the same breath while your husband watched in shock is fleeting. The first smile, first bath, first walk in the neighborhood, first everything, those moments are rare gems. I won't say it makes feeling pulled in multiple directions easier. I never thought I'd be trying to schedule flower deliveries around when I need to pump. But I also never thought that the most joyful part of my day would be to watch my babe nap on my chest or singing made up songs while I change a diaper. To quote Jim Gaffigan, I still feel like I'm drowning then someone handed me a baby. It does, however, help me shift my mindset and recalibrate my expectations. This may not be the most successful season of my business or the most goal achieved year. But I'll be collecting precious jewels of moments to hang around my heart. Poop-smeared jewels, but they sparkle none the less.
It doesn't take much to calm my frustrations- a snuggle with my babe and a few sips of Dr. Pepper make the manic melt away. Dancing around to a song together, folding her onesies, or watching her enjoying bathtime are also pretty great cures. So yeah, I never thought I'd be trying to schedule flower deliveries around when I need to pump. But I also never thought that the most joyful part of my day would be rocking with my babe on my chest or singing made up songs while I change her diaper. Is motherhood a challenge? Absolutely. Throw in any other item (like running a business, having a social life, taking a shower) and it is a glorious mess. But I'll take the snot-sucker, sleep scheduled, bow-filled mess any day over productivity. The multitasking lasts a lifetime but so do the memories and, quite frankly, the memories are the better investment.
Now, if you will excuse me, my darling, strong, and magnificent child needs to eat again. We will call this moment a milk covered ruby.