August 23, 2016
What a difference nine months makes. As I look back at this first season of pregnancy and parenthood, what seemed like forever, is now just a blink of an eye. Pregnancy and the first weeks of parenting is pretty intense. I could have never imagined or prepared for the changes my body would go through, the emotions I would feel, and how the love in my heart would grow both towards my husband and son.
As I start to get a grip on sleep, caring for our child, and all that I have been through these last nine (now ten) months, I find myself thoughtfully anticipating this new life of ours. Sure, this time we are in now is our life. But I know this newborn phase will pass quickly (it already has) and one day our family of three will feel normal. Life before a child will seem so long ago.
While I am in this season of wonder over being a mom, I wanted to remember and document this time. I am at a place where I still longingly remember when it was just Brent and I...when we were in Paris...and when we slept through the night. Yet oddly enough, our son is becoming more familiar. I feel more confident in how I care for him and what he needs. I sense an ability to actually know him in new ways that I didn't just weeks ago.
I feel like this new role as mom has taken over my life. And it has! But in a way that I welcome. As I scroll through my Instagram feed, I am afraid I have become a mom blogger. Picture after picture of my child. Part of me feels afraid I have lost my voice when in fact maybe just my tone has changed. I still feel 100% myself, but life is so different now. I sense a pressure to jump back in to what I expected of myself before becoming a mom. When in reality, I don't want to.
I feel conflicted. Out of love. That this little boy has captured my heart and it is changing me in ways I never expected.
I remember back in my last semester of college, I went through a similar change. I fell in love with Brent and my priorities shifted. About a year or two later we got married and I decided to celebrate the fact that I finally got to be the wife to the man of my dreams that I had longed for.
So as I look back at past Ashley, I need to learn from her. I can fight with this pressure to be what I think our culture expects me to be or I can choose to just be the woman I have dreamed of being - a mom.
Life is going to get a lot simpler in some ways as I change my priorities to caring for a child. Sure being a parent will be complicated and consuming, but it is also the opportunity to change with my family. To let go of past pressures because I have more reason to say no.
These newborn days are short and I don't want to miss them. So I will continue to kiss those sweet cheeks of his and take endless photos of every new and adorable thing that he does. And I will choose to not feel bad about it and instead delight in this gift.
Nine months has changed me and I am excited to get to know this new version of myself.