One of the many amazing things about having a baby is that strangers stop to chat. At least once a day someone stops us to comment on how cute Ryan is (probably the cutest ever, really). Then they tell us a bit of their life story, which is always such a privilege, and inevitably they end with something along the lines of, “enjoy it. It goes too quickly.”
My kid turned six months this week so I know it’s true: time evaporates. Life has this way of marching along and, if we’re not careful, we’ll miss it. Better enjoy it while we can.
6:40am. I’m actually starting to enjoy these early mornings.
The arctic freeze hit Toronto again and yesterday was just far too cold to take my munchkin out. So we put on our comfy pants and started the countdown to when daddy got home.
A few hours in, I had a thought – just how much of my life has been a countdown to something…
… to finishing high school
… to exams being over
… to graduating university
… to my wedding day
… to babies
… to my due date
… to when this horrid winter finally lifts
… and to the next phase of Ryan’s life
And in counting down, how many precious moments did I wish away?
If we’re always looking ahead, when do we ever arrive?
Right now, I don’t want to be anywhere else but here and now, with a beautiful baby boy who will never again be five weeks, three days and one hour old.
Yesterday Ryan celebrated one month of being on this planet. While the days were long, very long at times, the month somehow flew by.
A couple of weeks ago, when I was in the depths of new momma baby blues, a sage friend sent me these words:
The ancient Greeks had two concepts of time: chronos and kairos. Chronos is the inexorable grinding on of time without a foreseeable end—like when 5pm can’t come soon enough or that meeting just won’t end, or your kid won’t stop crying. Most of the time we find ourselves in chronos, wishing we could be on to the next thing. In contrast, kairos describes those rare and precious moments in which time seems to stand still—when we fall in love, when we are blissed out to our favourite song, or playing a sport, or generally doing anything we love. Importantly, it is the moments of kairos that make all that chronos worthwhile.
This is a metaphor for parenthood. Most of our days are spent in a state of fatigue or overwhelm or anxiety, and if we focus on that we miss the moments of kairos—like when your baby smiles at you and he is so perfect that it makes all those sleepless nights worthwhile, and you would do it again in a heartbeat. Look for the moments of kairos, because in this twilight time of new parenthood they will be your guiding light to the end of the tunnel.
I hope you find them as profoundly healing as I did. Thanks A! Major love.
A marathon. It’s long. It’s excruciating difficult. And when you’re in the thick of it, it’s almost impossible to see how you’ll ever make it through.
My beautiful baby boy was born just over two weeks ago. The labour was arduous with all sorts of interventions. Just before 6am, our little bundle of joy was born and we started the marathon already exhausted.
I’m not sure how I survived the first week. It was by the far the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I wept every hour. I struggled to feed him and wondered how I’ll ever keep him alive, let alone happy and healthy. But somehow (I know how: with the help of so many incredible family members and friends), we made it through.
The second week was a little less difficult but still weepy and still hard.
And now, we’re on the third week. My amazing mother-in-law is here with us for the week helping me adjust to life without my husband. My little angel is currently sleeping on her chest. So much joy. I’m already freaking out about next week – my first week truly on my own.
But as my doctor said yesterday, this is a marathon. A three month (if you’re lucky) marathon. The only way through is… well… through.
We have a bit of a plumbing situation nightmare on our hands. It’s going to involve some serious drilling outside and possibly a full tear-down of our downstairs bathroom. With the polar vortex and Junior’s due date fast approaching, it’s not the best timing.
Former Maya would have been freaking out about this. Freaking right out. But that’s not my style anymore.
Instead, I’m choosing a different approach.
As I see it, when life inevitable throws you a merde sandwich, you’re much better off with this strategy:
Assume the best. Don’t bleed until you’re shot. And stop worrying in excess.
Perspective. Remember that whatever it is you’re going through, however truly terrible the situation, you can probably spin a globe and randomly point to 100 countries where someone is going through something much worse, like apartheid (my friend wrote this amazing piece).