3 months ago I became mother to a beautiful 5 month old baby boy. The magnitude of this has been overwhelming some days – suddenly my life is not my own.
It was an adjustment when I got married.
This is different.
Motherhood feels different.
There are many treasured moments that belong to my boy and I, or to my guy, my boy and I and these are ours alone.
My not working for a while, at least for as long as he was alive and not with us, feels like a public thing. It feels a like I have had to redefine where I fit in my community and social spaces. It feels like a gift and yet one which I have had to intentionally articulate.
Recently I was sitting watching my little man and suddenly it struck me that his biggest joy for the afternoon was my just sitting and being with him.
He gurgles, he plays, he explores, he cuddles and he checks in in between as his agility and mobility is increasing (way too fast some days for me!).
Yet the smile and the giggle that lights up his face when he knows that I have seen him, or am simply being with him overwhelmed me that afternoon.
Just being was enough for him.
No, I didn’t sit there passively, we engaged and giggled and smiled and made sure that he explored in a way the allowed for discovery with reduced risk of harm.
Yes, we feed, clothe and ensure he is cared for.
His joy though came from just being.
This forced me to question how much value I place on just being.
Just being with God
Just being with my guy.
Just being with my son.
Just being in community with my people.
Is there enough value for me in just being present with him to transition joyfully into motherhood, with the lack of sleep some nights and my world suddenly seeming to be so much smaller?
Is there enough value for me in being his mom or do I have to own that until this point much of my own validation came from being a part of bigger conversations, being a part of a work space where I knew people’s lives were impacted practically through research and skills and being with them?
My word for 2016 was to JUST BE.
I am learning how hard this can be some days.
Yet, after an afternoon in which my almost 9 month old explorer took a horrible tumble and there was snot, blood and tears (some his and some mine after); on top of his second ever illness since us being together, I had to concede that actually this mattered more to me than I had been able to fully own:
This just being his mom.
Just being his mom is far bigger, far more joyful, far more overwhelming and far more fulfilling than I could have anticipated.
I said no to further post grad studies to explore a relationship with the man who became my husband.
I am saying yes to just being my son’s mom. Who knows where that path is going to lead us?