I have had the best week with my daughter, Bellamy. Certain social events and obligations divided our days differently than usual, and it allowed me to see past the foggy haze of babyland I have been living in. I don’t want to jinx myself, but I feel we are finally getting the hang of our family of three! I had a “Look mom, no hands!” moment and smiled to myself with genuine joy. I felt as if I had accomplished something great to arrive at a place of feeling truly content without forcing anything. It’s been a process from the moment she was born, but we are doing better than ever.
Matt and I made a pretty drastic decision to move a week or two before she was born and landed in a sweet, small apartment north of Atlanta. We created a beautiful nursery for her to live in, and promptly packed it back up for the U-Haul. When we lived downtown, Matt got around on a moped, which means we are currently operating with one car. The first few weeks of her life benefitted from zero outside distraction or the ability to go anywhere. However, I started feeling as if I was stranded on a desert island, so it was restorative to experience something new this week.
I have loved and appreciated the copious amounts of alone time I have been privileged enough to have with my daughter. Most days it’s just the two of us all day long. For the first 10 weeks of her life, I entered her world and operated as her caregiver only. I really didn’t have another role. As great as that was (and is), it’s time to rejoin the real world and interact with some grownups!
Matt works at a restaurant that also doubles as an event venue. He set up a photo shoot to generate some additional buzz about the space with the holiday season coming up, and he asked me if I would be interested in helping. Of course I wanted to participate, but saying “yes” equaled many questions I hadn’t had to answer previously. Do I bring our daughter, or try to find someone to watch her? Who would be available, anyway? What all do I need to bring? How long will we be there? What if she has a meltdown? What if I have a meltdown, too?
Once I stopped interrogating myself, I decided to take the leap and make arrangements to be out and about all day and night with my mini me. Although it was nerve-wracking at points, it was a great experience to take her out of the bubble and integrate her life into my schedule. I felt a part of something again, and it revitalized my spirit and individuality I felt has been somewhat suppressed because of what my usual days currently look like. After the shoot was over, we even went out to a late dinner! It filled my heart with gratitude for making it this far. I know this won’t be my normal quite yet, but I really enjoyed having her with me in that way. Matt expressed similarities in being thankful Bellamy was able to hang with us all day in our environment. We both hope to be parents who enjoy sharing experiences with our children, although we appreciate our family babysitters!
While I was pregnant, this was the type of day-to-day I pictured in my mind. I wanted to maintain a familiar lifestyle with baby in tow. Once she was born, life didn’t evolve in the exact way I had hoped, but I believe we are moving toward a place of peace in our schedules. I have loved being in babyland, and I am blessed because of it. In the same breath, I would say I am better for her when I have a little time away. This week proved she can hang, and we can bask in our “No hands!” moment until our next outing. I am already looking forward to that!