It’s still hard to believe that we are officially a family of five. Shipper Fab Five is in the house!!! (Cue “raise the roof” gesture.) Beatrice was born on a Saturday afternoon, and we were discharged to come home the following day. It was a bit of a whirlwind, and before I knew it, we were all back home under one roof. Well, all of us plus one!
It’s weird. We fell into such a natural rhythm after bringing Oliver home two years ago. I actually found it easier to have two kids than one, and assimilating Oliver into our daily life – despite a rough newborn phase – was really rather effortless.
In some ways, we’ve done the same with Beatrice. Life continues one way or another when you have two rowdy and demanding toddlers, so our days have felt pretty normal. And yet….
I don’t know if it’s because I’m two years older, or the fact that there are two other kiddos in the mix but good gravy…I’m tired.
Fortunately, Mike has been home with us and has been the most wonderful caretaker. He has taken care of the kids while I catch up on lost sleep; he has cooked meals; he has done dishes – all while continuing to work on other projects around the house (He is a “I relax by doing something” kinda guy).
During my pregnancy, I read a blog post that encouraged moms to slow down after delivery. This mom in particular didn’t venture past her mailbox for several weeks post partum. She stayed in bed – resting, healing, and enjoying her baby.
I couldn’t shake this idea after I read it. It got me thinking about how we tend to rush through everything. We rush to get back to normal, to get back to work, to get our pre-baby bodies “back.” I was thinking about the pressure we put on ourselves to return to a norm that, let’s be honest, no longer exists.
But the reality is things are not the same. I am not the same. My family is not the same. We’ve grown by one and added a new, beautiful little life to our tribe. This transition should be honored. It should be given the space and time it needs and deserves for everyone to settle in, adjust, and say it with me – enjoy.
For Bea’s first week of life, I stayed home except for Thanksgiving, where we traveled five minutes up the road to my parent’s house for the day. Other than that, I moved from the sofa, to my bed. I read books, I watched Gilmore Girls, I snuggled my baby and hung out with my boys. Life was lived at a slower pace and offered me the chance to enjoy all the glorious goodness of my sweet baby girl, free from interruptions from the outside world.
I know soon we will all have to get back to our routines and we will have to develop our new normal. But for the time being, there is no rush other than to be here, now – together.
Enjoy a look at how we spent out week together:
The first thing Theo did when we were all home together for the first time was to run to his room and grab his blanket so he could lay down with his sister :-).
Oliver is so sweet with his sister. He does occasionally smack her in the face but, you know. Siblings.
Bea became and honorary Gilmore Girl this week! I’m super excited to have a daughter to share the important, girlie things of life with.
And this moment…Be still my heart! Theo and Oliver fight like cats and dogs, so it’s been especially wonderful to see how gentle and attentive Theo has been with Bea.
One night, I just needed some one-on-one time with Theo. I told him to pick out a movie (Batman and Robin Meet Scooby Doo of course!) and together we snuggled in mommy and daddy’s bed and watched. I love these simple moments.
My parents hosted Thanksgiving this year. On the table were conversation starters like, “Name the three people who have influenced your life the most.” It was so fun to have these conversations with my extended family. There were some serious moments, and plenty of light ones, and we all learned something new about each other.
We also each wrote something we were thankful for that year and hung it on a tree for everyone to read. Here are two of my favorites:
My grandpa’s –
And Theo’s –
We decorated for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. Well, sort of. The boys put up the tree, we played Pink Martini’s Christmas album, and I made stove top pop corn for all of us to enjoy. But the tree is pretty much all the further we got. I’m not sure how decorated our house will be for Christmas this year, but hey, at least the tree is up!
To celebrate Bea’s first week of life, we decided to get out of the house for a bit and eat breakfast at my favorite restaurant, and the one place that sounded good to me this pregnancy. Food finally tastes good to me again, and it shows – I ordered two meals that morning and had endless cups of coffee. Ahhh. Food – Love.
Last week felt like a gift. Sure, there were days that I felt a little stir crazy, but mostly I just felt tired. It was a relief to be so intentional about staying home. About slowing down. About enjoying this special time in my life.
These newborn days go by so, so quickly and they are incredibly precious. So what I lacked in productivity, I certainly gained in pleasure and purpose. Now is now, friends. Enjoy it.