One of my oldest and dearest friends had her third baby about 2 weeks ago. He is a beautiful, much-wanted, much-adored baby. I have managed a few visits and a few snuggles (not enough!) as my friend adjusts to life with 3! She, like me (and MANY women), is a busy professional, mother, friend, daughter, etc. She, like me, is always trying to get “more” done. Unlike me, though, she is trying to learn from the mistakes of women who have gone before her (i.e. me). She is TRYING to consciously take it easy, rest, enjoy and savour the new baby while not allowing herself to worry about the other 2 children. I would say she is doing a great job! Well, a better job than I did, but that is another story.
This afternoon, she and I were having a text conversation – one of our frequent, favourite ways to communicate. She commented that she has discovered that doing even ONE errand a day appears to be too much right now. One errand, though, means one errand ON TOP of looking after the new baby, her 4-year-old, doing school pick-up for the 6-year-old, and making supper. So it isn’t like she is ONLY doing ONE thing a day in addition to baby care. I agree with her, one errand a day with a brand new third baby really is too much. It kind of puts you over the edge. But you feel you SHOULD be able to do it. I mean, come on – you can’t even get groceries! I know many, many women who push themselves like this. I told her to give herself a break, having number 3 IS different from the first 2. There is just SO much to do ALL THE TIME.
My friend then texted that she had been thinking about how wonderfully luxurious it is having your first baby. But the luxury is wasted on first-time moms because they spend so much time and energy worrying about things that don’t matter. Oh, I think my friend hit the nail on the head. I think she also articulated for me why I am so jealous when I hear about people having their first baby! I want to hug them and shake them and yell “enjoy! enjoy! enjoy! a family of 3 is so sweet, you will never have that again!”. Yes, I feel JEALOUS! I realize how I ‘wasted’ the luxury of that time with that baby myself.
I wouldn’t trade my healthy, beautiful, LOUD family of 3 children for anything. But it does make me feel nostalgic when I see new families with their brand new FIRST baby. Of course, I am aware that they are throes of trying to “learn” everything and “do everything right”. That, I am not jealous of at all!
So I guess the moral of the story is once again “enjoy the right now” of life, especially if you have just brought a brand new life into the world. To all the first time moms out there: give yourself a break, stop worrying about “doing it right”, and just start enjoying the “doing it” (oh , and take nap, like “right now”).