We hit the new year running full force and slammed right into the wall that is the stomach flu. Coincidentally we were forced to change our sleeping arrangements which led to an insane amount of emotion-filled wakefulness. Noah moved into Elijah’s room . . . as did Mike and I on rotation. We’ve lived through the sleeplessness of two babies but I’ve never been so exhausted in my life as I have been the last couple of weeks. There were moments that I literally could do nothing but cry. The storm is lifting . . . but our return to normal is slow-going.
I started the new year with plans and goals and lots of “to-dos.” Stomach flu was not part of the plan. Neither was lying awake all night, for lots of nights, trying to coax my children to sleep. But plans change, life happens and sometimes the best thing we can do is acknowledge the change of pace.
The pace of life I lived as a single girl is so comically different from the pace I live as a wife and a mom . . . and I have a tendency to forget that. Often. I would love to take all my time and focus on my goals and cross them out one by one. I would feel very productive, very efficient, and very much like the pre-baby woman I once was. But that’s not real life – at least not the one I live now. There are real needs that I have to attend to during the day and real responsibilities that fall squarely on my shoulders. They are not always as glamorous and lofty as my goals (*ahem* cleaning puke), but they are absolutely necessary and no less important.
Time is such a sticking point for me right now, but I know there will come a day when it is no longer an issue. I am most certain when I get there it will be bittersweet. Having more space in my life to do with as I please means there is less space somewhere else. Someday my boys won’t need me as intensely as they do now. They will grow up. I can’t help but think that I’ll look back to the harried days I live now not with a sigh of relief that they are over, but with a small tinge of heart-ache because they are gone.
I am learning that sometimes the most important thing to do is the task at hand. The puke can’t stay on the floor forever, and neither can the clothes take up new residence on the couch. Sometimes the most important thing is to take a moment for myself because I know those moments make me a better wife and a better mom. But sometimes the most important thing to do is to lay down on the floor, get eye-to-eye with Batman, and discover the bat cave alongside my three-year old . . . while he still wants me to.
It is my challenge and joy to learn to keep pace. Today’s pace.