So this is my life now.


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The three biggest surprises of becoming a parent:

  1. Being a little bit lost for three years was excellent preparation for motherhood. I spent three of the four years after I graduated from college and got married feeling a little lost, sometimes more than a little. My spiritual life was high and low. My relationships were up and down. My professional goals were schizophrenic. My confidence and sense of self took a big hit as a result. But now I look back on all of that and think, “Thank goodness I went through that.” For starters, it makes me able to recognize and appreciate feeling good about who I am and what I’m doing. It also helped me avoid some of the growing pains new moms struggle with. Working from home for three years helped me learn how to deal with isolation. It taught me how to be self-disciplined with my unstructured time. It helped me itch through my biggest hang-ups and questions and professional whimsies and emerge a more content woman with greater focus in every area of my life. And can I tell you something? Content women make good moms. (Hopefully.) Those three years of wandering also made me nice and comfortable with ambiguity. Something tells me that will also be handy in parenting.
  2. Having less time with my husband is good for our relationship. When people ask me how I’m holding up with my husband so busy with school and recruiting and with us having a new baby at home, my honest answer is, “You know, I could see a little less of him.” It’s not that I wouldn’t enjoy seeing more of him. It’s just that having a limited quantity of time together does wonders for the quality of the time we do have. Our conversations are more meaningful. Our interactions are more gentle. We miss each other. It’s sexy. And we also find each other more interesting. We’re more fulfilled as individuals. We have our own stuff going on, stuff that’s separate and distinct. We are separate and distinct, rather than just extensions of each other. It makes us more attractive. And it makes what we do have in common more sacred, including Miss Scout. We’re obsessed, mutually and completely.
  3. Parenting is a set of skills you can develop. It sounds trite, but hear me out. The first time Trent and I went to a marriage counselor, it was a revelation. Until that day, it had never really occurred to me that a good marriage required skills that had to be honed. I had always thought of being married like being asleep. You didn’t need to learn how to do it right. Doing it right was just part of being human and if you were a good human, you’d be a good married human. Not so. Marriage requires superhuman skills—communication skills, forgiveness skills, numchuck skills (but really). It requires work. But the empowering thing is that you can educate yourself about those things, practice them and perfect them (slowly). Parenting is no different. My parenting style is patterned after the greats—Kathleen Kelly, Anne Shirley and Gidget. I read. I read everything. I don’t believe it all or use it all, but I start with trying to take it all in. Of course I have to go with my gut in the end, but first I can empower my gut with information. I can and I do.

1 comment :

  • Carly Sessions

    So maybe that is my problem… I spent the last 3-4 years rarely at home, almost always with my husband, and working hard toward a very specific professional goal. HA! I guess maybe I should go take a shower and change out of my pjs now that it is noon…

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