Project Optimism: Being in the Right Place

This weekend the husband and I took a drive to Pittsburgh to meet my gorgeous little niece. She is divine. She is all soft, feathery hair, and balled-up fists, and tiny ears, and the tiniest bit of warm weight sleeping on your chest. She is amazing.

I fully expected to spend an hour with her and start yearning for a little girl of my own. I’ll admit I was a little jealous when I found out my sister was having a girl and despite my husband’s resolute stance on having no more children, I sometimes find myself thinking “what if?” But rather than dreaming of having just one more tiny person to hold in my arms, I found myself so grateful to be where I am right now, with absolutely no desire to change that.

When we arrived my sister and her husband had had the baby home for two nights and were in the throes of that haven’t-slept and what-did-I-do-to-my-life stupor that I find most new parents experience. I distinctly remember, when Brady was just about a week old, sitting on the couch next my mother and sobbing “What have I done to my life?” I think that pretty much sums up how it feels to be a new mom. I know there are people who adore newborns and don’t feel scared shitless at having an entire human life suddenly thrust into their authority alone, on no sleep, with raging hormones, feeling like you’ve been run over by a truck, and wondering if your internal organs are going to bust out of your episiotomy incision if you sneeze too hard. I’m sure there are people who didn’t feel like that, right?

Wait, this is supposed to be optimistic. I got off track. Despite the fact that I had PTSD-like flashbacks to bringing my own first baby home, I still felt wonderful spending time with the new family of three. See, I’ve been there, and I know that they’ll get the hang of it. I know that one day they will sleep again and they will feel good and that little girl will look at up them and smile and it will be pure magic. This time might be rough, but there are good times ahead and it will get better and better and better. Maybe one day they will forget just enough to want to do it again, and maybe not. 

I also realized that I am so very much in the right place in my life and especially in my family. It is just perfect for me to have a 5-year-old and a 1-and-a-half-year-old and to have two boys. I’m just in the right spot to mediate disputes over action figures and deal with who is inviting who to their sixth birthday party and pick a fit-throwing toddler up off the lobby floor on my way home. I am perfectly content to listen to Brady read me a book about the ocean while Declan tries out new words on the cat. That unsettled feeling is gone and in it’s place I find a sense of calm and knowing. I’m so excited for my sister and her husband to experience everything that parenting has to offer and to pass the torch of newborndom and babyhood off to someone else. I’m good. 

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  1. Write about something that makes you feel optimistic. Whatever it is, write from your heart.
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  5. Encourage the person who linked up before you. Kindness is contagious!
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4 thoughts on “Project Optimism: Being in the Right Place

  1. Very honest account of being a new parent. I love that you didn’t sugarcoat anything! I remember thinking, “Why am I allowed to take this human home with no guidance or supervision? I have no friggin’ clue what I’m doing!” My favorite P.O. post of yours so far!

  2. I too can relate to the “I’m good feeling!” While I love the smell and feel of newborns, I’m not interested in having a third child. But like you said, your sister will pull through the ‘new baby’ phase. She will stumble out of this foggy stupor and realize that ALL the sleepless nights are totally worth it!

    • I think I’ll just enjoy babies I can give back from now on! They are so sweet, but I just don’t want anymore of them. Soon she’ll start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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