Both of the times we welcomed babies into our family, I was thrown for a loop. Twins really smacked me in the face. I blame the majority of how hard the smack was on hormones, but the rest is credited to the fact that new babies are just plain hard to care for.
Before J was born, I had it all planned out. I was going to fit a baby into my life and go on with business as usual except I would have a cute and constant companion. J humbled me to the dust. I started to feel like I had a handle on life again and I went back to school. Again, I had it all planned out. And once again: humbled to the dust. After a many months together, life with a child became normal to me as I stopped recalling what days were like pre-J. We were jivin’ well together:).
When A and W came- crash! bang! kapowee! I try not to remember why exactly those days were so hard. When I start to think about the first weeks and months it’s a blur of tears and “I can’t do this. I can’t do this. I can’t do this.” Then I stop thinking about that and try to remember the fun times instead. We started to settle into a feeling of normal around the time A and W were three months old. But a small part of me was still trying to grasp for some sense of normal; I couldn't seem to make that last step out of survival mode.
Thankfully for me, there are other moms out there who seem like they have the pro thing down. Two years ago I was blessed to have a friend put in my life that has shared her wisdom with me and really helped me correct my perspective on a number of occasions. She had her fourth baby about four or five months after my boys were born. When I first visited her family about a week after the birth, I was surprised at how mellow she seemed. Everything was running so smoothly in their home. She only looked slightly tired. So I asked, “Wow, have you gotten back to normal?” She replied, “We’re still trying to find our new normal.”
It was as if all the lights went on in my head and heavenly choirs sang “Hallelujah!” NEW normal! This was what I needed. It’s amazing what this little phrase did to help me accept how life was going to be. Of course I couldn't get back to “normal;” I had two new people in my life that necessitated a new way of going about business. It still took a few more months to feel like we had achieved our new normal, but the process of getting there was much less frustrating. And I think it came a lot faster than it would have without the realization that we needed to find a new normal way of life. Understanding has a knack for driving out frustration and hastening the arrival of peace.
This post was inspired by MamaBlogga's August Group Writing Project.
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Originally written: August 19, 2008