Tuesday, July 5, 2016

What I Learned in June


A good bit, apparently! I guess becoming a momma for the third time has me learning (or at least thinking about what I'm learning) more! 

1. Sometimes a currated life event is a more enjoyable life event (and there's no shame in that).

I struggled to find a way to articulate this (and then, when I found the word currated, had such a moment- ha!) and then I struggled with admitting it. But, I think it's important to note. With Sarah Lamar's birth and first few days, I really planned a lot about the hospital stay. I picked out special pjs that I love (some I bought new, some were old ones I love) and I ONLY brought things for her that I really wanted to see her in. But I brought a ton (when Graves was born he ended up in a PAPER SHIRT from the hospital and my BFF still teases me about it because dressing my kids was always such a big fun thing to me). I made an awesome playlist for the labor (I didn't end up using it because it felt distracting but I loved that I had it). I got the birth pictures I really wanted- Peyton and Cookie made that happen, but I guess I conveyed how important it was to me. I picked out exactly what I wanted the big kids to wear to the hospital. And those pictures- that I still need to share- are some of my favorites of them in awhile and some of my favorites of me ever. It was all just more intentional than it was with my other two. It did me a lot of good in several ways. First of all, especially after a hard and chaotic birth, it made me feel a sense of control to have so many details planned out. Secondly, I think really immersing myself in it and enjoying it so much helped me feel a sense of closure with it being the last time. I remember feeling the same way about New York. Peyton initially didn't want to bring that much stuff and wanted to be really sparse with decorating the apartment and that kind of thing. I knew that for it to work, I need to be all in.

2. I'm not as big of a fan of baths as I thought I was. I've been taking a lot more showers because, uh, post partum issues and I finally took a bath this week and it didn't really make me feel gross exactly but it made me so TIRED. Weird because I used to think I didn't have the energy for a shower when I was pregnant?

3. Pigeons nurse their young. 

Annie mentioned to me the other day that animal babies get milk from their mommas, too and I said "oh yes, that's true! Mammals do!" And she said "You do know thar pigeons nurse their young, right?" Well no, actually I didn't. I need to stop Goggling and just know in these cases, she's right.

4. I stay on top of laundry so much better if I have a system. I read about this awhile back and it's been really helpful. Okay, I actually don't fold and put up a whole load before I start a new one (which is kind of the whole point, but whatever), but I do make sure the initial load is out of the dryer before a new one goes in the washing machine. I like this system partly because if I'm in the middle of something and the timer goes off, I can usually stop and pop the wet clothes in the dryer but I never want to if it means having to unload dry ones first. Also, I do try to fold and put up bath towels and dish towels immediately. It really cuts down on the size of the pile and they're easy to fold and and put up quickly especially since they go to one place. 

5. Fear of regret is a great motivating factor in my life. I realized this when thinking about my birth experience and also when thinking about naming Sarah Lamar (a post I still need to write).

6. Fresh fruit is a legitimate side for almost any meal in the Summertime.

I adore Summer and its bounty.

7. These last few weeks, lots of little things have knocked me to my knees in sadness and lots of other little things have helped pull me back up.
I've written about most of them already, but there was another special one the other day. I had one of those very ordinary moments I hope I never forget. We were at one of my favorite places in the whole world and Free Fallin' came on (why didn't we think to play awesome music over the speakers in the evening?!?). I sang it to Sarah Lamar and she fell asleep in my arms. It was such a simple thing, but everything felt perfect for a minute. She was so happy surrounded by things I love so much.

8. That said, there have been a couple of big things that have crushed me and a couple of other big things that have carried me. Mainly my friends (visits, and phone calls, and texts alike) and parents and Peyton and the children.

9. Last one in regards to this, but in related news, listing those things and taking a couple of minutes to write about each one is incredibly healing and cathartic.
Moments after I published the post, I felt so much better.

10. It's okay to need help figuring some things out and it's an amazing blessing that I have a handful of friends that I find to be really wonderful at this. I've been thinking about this a lot lately and it almost...I don't know...embarrasses me to need other people in this way. I just feel dumb for not being able to come up with "answers" and "solutions" myself. Also, I want to make sure I'm good at being that friend. But some people are more gifted at encouraging and listening rather than offering advice. And that's okay.

Also, I sort of hate when people act like they know THE solution to your problem or jump in without being asked. For me, the advice has to be given in a certain (read: humble) posture for me to really entertain it. I wrote awhile back about asking a friend if she wanted me to help her troubleshoot or if she just needed me to listen and I've thought about that a lot. On the flip side, if you're the one seeking the help, Anne shared recently how, when she was facing a big decision and looking to her network of support she and her husband didn’t ask, What should we do? We did ask, Help us think this through. I thought that was PROFOUND.

11. Big events often create big (and extremely mixed) feelings. See: first swim meet. See also: childbirth.

12. Even when experiencing big transitions- like having a new baby- I need to keep going and doing as much as is practical. 
Sno-cones after great reports on all three kids' weight. Little treats are so nice and I was grateful to get out of the house.

13.  A good comedy and a little take out is just the best medicine some days.
Another little thing that just sort of restored my joy. I need to give myself permission to do this more often.

14. Being surrounded by people who love well is a gift I far too often take for granted.

As always, linking up with Emily!

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