I was woken up by the baby’s crying at 4:50 am, and it was the non-stop, continual kind of cry, which meant my baby was hungry. My beloved husband got up from our warm cozy bed and went to the crib. He took the baby out and brought him to me. I fed him. Then the baby went back to sleep, so did we. 7:00 am, my husband got up for work. 8:15 am, I got up to start my day by feeding my baby for the second time of the day.
This is often what our mornings look like. Caleb now can sleep from about 8:00 pm till 5-7am, depending on how his last feeding of the day went, or if he’s feeling well with his stomach. He is a great content boy. I really don’t have much to complain.
It’s been almost 4 months since me becoming a mom. The new title and role have already changed me so much. The more time I spent with my boy, the deeper I felt love towards him. I love his language of smiling, laughter and crying. I love when he farts and burps and everything else in between. My day looks so different from before-baby-era. Basically, it got divided into several cycles, to accommodate Caleb’s “feed, wake and sleep” cycle. There is no longer a big chunk of time completely for myself.
The flip side of it is that I’ve been learning about organizing and prioritizing my time and days better if I ever want to get anything done. I think I’ve got a bit of perfectionism which has been challenged a lot after the baby arrived. I soon learned that I can’t expect the rooms to be clean and tidy all the time, nor can I do multiple things at the same time. I have to learn to let go of some unrealistic expectations for myself, such as tidying the room, folding the laundries, cooking a nice meal or two, having a peacefully napping baby or calmly playing-by-himself baby and studying French or writing a blog, on the same day. The reality is that each day usually looks so different with doctor appointment, physio appointment, friends appointment, church activities or a sleep-refusal-baby. Sometimes, I found myself just rushing from one thing to another without a break. It can create much stress for me. I need to remind myself to take a pause and breathe and switch my mind to God who gives Peace.
“Be kind to yourself. Speak Kindly to yourself.” This is one of best advises I read especially for this season. It’s from Brené Brown’s book The Gift of Imperfection. I tend to think or say things negatively about myself when I did something failing to meet my own expectations, which was really bad because it can easily lead me to think or say negatively about the people around me when they didn’t do things the way I wanted. The truth is, I’m loved and have been kindly treated by God. I am allowed to make mistakes and there will always be forgiveness. Therefore, in agreement with my Creator and Savior, I should treat myself kindly and accept the imperfect me. And only from this place of self- compassion, I can have true compassion and love for others. So when others mess up things, I would be able to say, “Don’t worry too much, I’ve been there. We learn to get better each day. ” Love is the greatest gift to give, but I have to first have it in me. I desire to model this to my son. I believe cultivating and leading a life of authenticity and love will be the most valuable legacy one can leave to their children.
It takes a Lover to teach us about love. I can never love myself if I’m not loved. And I can never love others if I don’t know how to love myself. But as I said, I’ve found this endless true love a long time ago. The Love of God. Last night, I had some trouble falling asleep. Caleb was coughing before he fell asleep and woke up in the middle of the night crying. I comforted him and fed him again, and he went back to sleep. But I started to sink into this feeling of fear and anxiety. I was worried about his health and safety during his sleep. Though I was tired from a long day, I couldn’t sleep and felt miserable. Finally, I woke my husband up and shared with him my feelings, and asked him to pray for me. He kindly did, so did I. I rejected the spirit of anxiety and fear, and asked God to fill me with His presence and peace which surpasses understanding, and asked Him for protection and healing of Caleb… Afterward, I meditated some scriptures of who God is and soon fell into a sweet sound sleep. Then I had a dream of worshiping God with many others. In my dream, I could feel God’s strong presence, the feeling of being completely embraced and giving goosebumps all over. I felt joy and peace in His presence in my dream. I woke up next morning, refreshed. So did Caleb. He’s doing so much better.
What a kind God! His presence is everything I need. There are peace, healing, and restoration in His presence and it’s the best antidote for any fear. Thank God for teaching me that I can turn my every tendency of stress or anxiety into an opportunity to experience His power and love. I know I will need so much of Him in this new journey of motherhood.
I used to feel sorry for my mom friends in my 20s, as I couldn’t help noticing how busy they were every single day. I used to feel lucky that I didn’t have to stay up late for baby feeding nor need to smell some poopy diapers. However, neither did I know that the joy and richness a parent can have. Our first son Caleb made me a mom. He made my life deeply enriched and much more colorful. Yes, compared to before, I have many more things to think about, plan ahead and deal with, and have to say goodbye to those late night dinners and hangouts with friends for a while. But I’ve been given so many opportunities to learn and grow through navigating this new life of motherhood with my family, with God. My son and I, we can grow and explore life together. What an amazing gift!