Chaos can bring disorder and confusion which can suffocate joy. Thinking of my own experience and talking with friends, I realized how delicate and often tough the adjustment period is for new moms.
After having my daughter, friends whose littles were grown would share with me: “enjoy this time, it goes fast.” The first couple of times I heard this phrase I honestly felt a bit annoyed and thought “Hello! What about me? My hair is half brushed up in a bun, my coffee cup is half full and of course cold, and it seems like this is my new chaotic life. All sacrifice, all-the-time. Am I supposed to be truly enjoying this?”
As a new mom, there were times where it was hard to experience joy.
I felt bad when I missed the freedoms I had days before when I was baby-free and could easily get things done or go anywhere easily! I felt like if I shared my struggling feelings at times women around me would respond back with what I had already been told a couple of times: “just wait, it gets worse” or “this is the age when they are easy.” What I really wanted was someone to say, “Ya, this is REALLY hard work, and let me tell you: you are doing a fantastic job, and here are all the ways I see that.”
When balance is not an option and you feel like you have completely lost yourself in your baby’s new schedule (or even child’s activity schedule), know that you are not alone. Some seasons may feel more chaotic. That is okay. You are not the first to experience this and it won’t last forever. It is possible to have joy in the season you are in, even with all the chaos.
Here are three things to help you choose joy and enjoy the chaos:
Set your expectations appropriately.
As a type-A who thoroughly enjoys checking off completed items on the proverbial to-do list, as a new mom having one major category “baby” to repeatedly check off was really tough.
I had to learn how to more appropriately set my expectations for the season I was in. It was no longer possible to run at the same pace as before having a child. To really enjoy my little one, I needed to give myself the time and space to grow in this new role.
Give yourself grace when your expectations aren’t reality and reset them as needed.
Give yourself permission to receive what you need.
Be kind to yourself, even down to the thoughts you give life to. Our bodies run in response to what we put into them. As a complete person made up of body, mind, and soul; filling each in a healthy way takes time and consistency. Start with one area and work to be a little more consistent. The point is healthy rhythms, not unrealistic routines.
Ask for help, often and without hesitation.
You know you should ask for help but it’s not easy at times. Know when you need the break, anticipate as you can, and schedule time for yourself. It’s life-giving and you will be a better parent for it.
As I write this just barely a couple years into this mommyhood, I sit here and the dishes are piled again. I have work projects to yet complete. I am exhausted from a teething toddler who got up twice last night and wouldn’t nap today (all of you mommies know how precious those nap hours are!), and these above points are encouraging my heart today as I am choosing joy despite what I would call chaos around me.
May you experience lots of moments of joy this season – in all its chaos!
Hey Mama, you are doing a fantastic job.