If I had to choose one challenge that has been the most difficult for me this last year, it wouldn’t be interrupted sleep or learning how to hold a baby on my hip while putting laundry in the washing machine. It wouldn’t be learning to stay sane while an infant cries for no reason in the backseat of the car or suddenly decides she can no longer play with measuring cups while I make dinner and must, instead, be held (right. this.second.). My biggest challenge has been finding balance after adding “mother” to my life’s resume. It is so very easy to get wrapped up in my responsibilities to Annie, and so easy to self-identify now as solely Annie’s mom because it truly does occupy my thoughts about 95% of the time, even when I don’t realize it’s happening. So it is no wonder that it has been difficult for me to figure out how to balance being a mama with my equally important roles of wife and, well, human being.
|Little Miss Personality can kind of overshadow other aspects of my life sometimes.|
This past weekend I took a big step toward finding that balance. I renewed a standing tradition to go on a girls’ trip with two of my best girlfriends. My friends Rachel and Melanie and I have gone on a trip together each year for the past 10 years, with the exception of last year, when new jobs, house projects, and an enormous pregnant belly (mine, of course) made getting away for a few days hard for all of us. We usually take a long weekend and spend a few days anywhere that isn’t Lexington (Chicago, Nashville, Washington DC, among others, have been prior destinations). And bless their hearts, when they got the email from me requesting an impromptu girls’ trip this year, my friends responded immediately...with a "yes, let's do it!" We shortened the trip to two days and one night and only drove an hour and 15 minutes away, to Cincinnati. But it was such a wonderful couple of days.
The trip reminded me that in order to be a good mom, a good wife, and a good person, I need time to just be me. As important as my commitment is to Annie, in order to fulfill it in the best possible way, I can’t let myself be completely consumed by motherhood. Did I think about Annie while I was gone? Absolutely. All the time. Did I have to tell myself over and over NOT to tell another baby story, not to share another mommy moment? Yes, not because I didn’t think my friends would want to hear it, but because I wanted to tell stories about other things. But was it helpful and restorative for me to be away? Most definitely.
|I had such a great time with these ladies!|
And the best part of getting away for a little while? Coming home to this face.And this…
|She likes this, I promise.|