I read so many baby books before McCoy was born. About labor and sleep habits and discipline and organic baby food. I bought the tools and prepared the best I could and, when he arrived, forgot almost everything. Because all of that advice is a lot easier to read about than it is to remember when you’re sleep deprived and snuggling your tiny bundle of love at 3 a.m. Was it eat, awake, sleep? Or awake, eat, sleep?
Motherhood has taught me more about myself, about grace and about the Lord than I ever imagined possible. It’s a learn-as-you-go, ask-for-help, take-a-deep breath kind of role. It reminds me, constantly, to begin each day as new.
But why am I telling you this? You probably won’t remember it any more than I remembered at what age you switch from swaddle to sleep sack.
So let me, instead, tell you a little bit about right now, sweet mama-to-be:
Take care of yourself. Take long showers. Do an unreasonably long workout. Sleep in. Have sex in the morning. Get a manicure. Sit in a coffee shop with a book for hours and don’t look at your watch. Call friends to meet up on a whim. Heck, throw a bag in the car and drive to the beach for a day. Go to dinner with your spouse and sit for hours as you enjoy appetizers and dessert. Forget schedules and routines and sink into this season.
The point of this post is not a cynical cherish it before it goes away message. Because you will cherish your baby far more than any long shower you could take.
But with this life change comes a level of responsibility, scheduling and selflessness. You live in three hour increments between feeds and naps and think, constantly, about your baby’s well being. No part of you is left untouched by childbearing; it changes your mind, heart and soul. And those changes, friends? Are so, so worth it. They are worth every hurried shower, cold dinner left on the table and lunch eaten while standing up.
But. Whether you are four, 14 or 40 weeks pregnant, remember to carve out a little bit of time for rest, for play and for yourself. Play it fast and loose with your schedule. Cherish these slow days with your spouse. Pour into one another as much as you can. And trust me when I say, the best is yet to come.