A few seconds ago, I had this five paragraph story going about the journey we’ve been on since we became parents of 3 girls. It detailed the chaos, the confusion, the sleep deprivation, and the ultimate redemption we’ve experienced in the last two months. And then, when I stopped to give it a read – I literally cringed.
Man, the delete key is a beautiful thing…
I will never be able to convey what this transition has meant for me physically, mentally, and emotionally. (Moreover, I don’t think my hubs would appreciate me sharing some of our darkest hormone-induced-sleep-deprived parenting moments with the entire world.) I’ve always said that other people’s perceptions don’t have to be my own reality and I can’t – in good conscience – share my own experience for fear that another parent may take it as the sound truth. I’ll tell you this much: some days were really really awful. Other days seemed easy. And then there were a few days that I don’t know if I’ll ever remember because I was just too tired to be mentally present. Undeniably, though, is the incredible love that a new baby brings to a family. Quinn has exceeded any expectation I had about what it would be like to have another baby in the house; and I am more alive than ever with the love she has added to my heart. This chapter is incredibly difficult and overwhelmingly joyful all at once. Every. Single. Day.
What’s really brewing inside me these days is an intense need to raise the bar I’ve set for myself in life… Shoot, it’s the need to throw away “the bar” by all societal definitions and take some new chances. I want to invest in friendships both old and new, let go of some lingering insecurities, and set forth in this new year with purpose. I want to stop living up to success in the eyes of the world and start succeeding for myself and my family. Having Quinn has made me aware of how fast the chapters in life read. We always say that it goes by in a blink, which we’ve learned to accommodate by snapping a million pictures and reminiscing of times gone by. But our journey of having babies is now over, and we have transitioned into this new adventure of raising our family. I’m fully aware that in only a moment, we will turn the page and realize that the raising part of our story is now an accomplishment in our past; and I want nothing more than to remember it fondly and with little regret.
Foremost, I want my girls to know that their parents intended to break the mold in one way or another; that we love them with all we have and live for them with each breath. I want my girls to see that generosity will fulfill them far more than greed; and that investing in relationships will reward them in ways that material investments never can. When I’m old and grey, I just want to know that our contributions to the human race were humble, compassionate, determined people who left this world far better than they found it. Oh, and laughter: I crave excessive laughter for these children. Be it in the company of friends or in the face of danger, I want them to laugh with joy and with confidence. I want the world to remember their smiles.
Instead of sharing with you the dark days of newborn-ness and the details of my struggles… I’m turning over a new leaf and challenging myself to live with intention. If I took anything away from the “survival days” of parenthood – it’s that life is too short to count the hours until bedtime. That the challenges I face are so very temporary; and if I rise above them with grace – they will shape me into the mother (and the person) I am so adamantly striving to become. I don’t want to remember these days as a defeated “new” mom, I want to remember them for the wonderful blessings they hold. By focusing on living with a purpose; I can breathe life into the words that I share… rather than immortalize my personal tragedies within the confines of the written word.
So, Hello, 2017.
Hello, 3 beautiful girls.
Hello, motherhood and marriage; hello, happiness.
These next chapters hold incredibly great things…Of this, I am most certain.