I’m writing this on my phone while sitting in a parked car, in my garage, in total darkness. The baby fell asleep on the drive home (after screaming for 20 minutes), and I just need to sit and absorb the quiet for a bit. She’s sleeping contentedly in her car seat and I dare not wake her just yet.
There are lots of aspects of parenting that no one can appropriately warn you about: the fatigue, the emotions, the feeling of spit up gliding down your shirt…
But the thing I never expected and continue to struggle with is a lack of down time. Time to do absolutely nothing. Not to blog, talk on the phone, cook or clean. To be lazy and selfish and free from any demands.
As an introvert, this kind of quiet is essential to survival. It’s how I recharge and restore energy–an endangered resource these days–and center myself amid the chaos of this new life. The moments are fleeting when I can actually mentally let go and simply marinate in the moment.
When the baby was born, people constantly offered to come watch her so that I could go out and get things done. That was hugely helpful and kind, but what I always wished they would say instead was, “Let me come pick up the baby and take her for a few hours so you can sit in your house and just be still.”
She is my world. She needs me. And I cherish being needed. This is a sacred duty, motherhood. But it’s hard not to lose myself in this process from time to time.
So, it’s Saturday night and I’m sitting in a dark garage with a sleeping baby, and oddly enough, I’m perfectly ok with that. These changes and challenges are pushing me to bend where I’m rigid, and stretch where I want to be stagnant. It’s uncomfortable a lot of the time but the reward is so, so worth it.