Wild Messy Growth

The new normal of watching the baby as I work.
I work on this letter between feeds for my baby, while he naps. My daytimes are currently measured in three-hour cycles of breastfeeding, burping, diaper changes and soothing him to sleep. Nights are defined by the roughly five-hour stretches (during which his longsuffering daddy attends to nocturnal wake-ups) between baby’s last feed close to midnight and first feed in the wee hours.  

How amazing that the organisation of time that I took for granted—such as a 9 to 6 at work, the punctuation of three meals, or weekend mornings spent sleeping in—could be so quickly and thoroughly upended by our new co-inhabitant!

I started transitioning back to work last week. By the time I log into my email at 9am, I have already fed the baby twice.

Before my son was born, I wasn’t sure what to expect in my new role as a mom. Would I become a different person, would my identity as a parent overtake other aspects of who I was? I’m still finding out.

But in the urgency of having someone depend on me for survival, I’ve realised that my wants and needs are more malleable than I ever thought possible. I can wake up willingly at 5am, and take in my stride milk spit onto my clothes, and be glad over a leaky diaper as a sign that the baby is eating well (though I may sigh upon discovering it!)

Perhaps we are more changeable—for the better—than we think.

In the midst of the stress, confusion and exhaustion that comes with being a new parent, my son has also brought opportunities for new love to flourish, even if that comes in the form of sacrifices and hard work. Like grass springing up between cracked tiles, this may not always look pretty. In fact, it’s often been messy and out of our control. But it has also meant irrepressible growth, individually and as a family. So I’ll embrace these wild changes.  


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