I have written some blog posts in the past regarding the forty days after birth as a time to be easy on oneself, a time to be with one’s baby. Then, you may ask, what happens after the forty days are finished and people expect you to be “normal” and “back to your old self” ?
I had a friend the other day tell me she thought the time when a baby was between two to four months old was actually very challenging, because people stop coming over to visit. They stop bringing you meals. People expect your older children to get places and participate in things. Meanwhile, you are juggling a baby who is perhaps already starting to get teeth and who is not sleeping well or juggling a baby who is not sleeping well because he or she is doing new things developmentally.
But there are still those moments to drink in and savor. Those first smiles and laughter. Those dimpled cheeks and chubby thighs. The first time they roll over. The way they wave their hands and feet when you sing to them.
Sometimes, with parenting, all you can do is hold on. Enjoy those wonderful moments, learn to ask for help when you need it, learn to seek out the company of people who parent like you as you find your own path. And the path will change as you get older, because you are still growing and evolving, and the path will change the more children you have because children are all different and have different things to teach us. And so we learn and we grow with our babies.
But, we can never err on the side of being gentle. We can never err on the side of bringing light to our family. We can never err by seeking out and becoming a part of a supportive community of mothers and parents. We can never err by choosing a path mindfully, even as we give ourselves leeway to do things differently down the road with different children.
Children deserve our honor and our gentle voice and hands. They deserve recognition that they are indeed different than adults. They deserve to have a childhood filled with warmth and love.
And as mothers, we deserve support, we deserve love, we deserve peace. We deserve a partner to make our load lighter and our steps happier, we deserve cherished friends to make the road a joyful one, a faith to make it all possible, and laughter along the way.
May all of these simple joys be yours in this Simple February!