The second week of January we welcomed Theodore to our family.
Having a baby at the beginning of the new year was wonderful. I got to ignore all the voices imploring me to finalize new resolutions and just soak in the first weeks with a precious new baby.
The only resolution on my mind was to consciously give myself time to enjoy these days; to relax, to recover, to slow down.
In the past, I have mostly sped myself through those newborn days. To get up and be out and about fairly quickly. This was mostly because Kyle was not given any time off, but I also found the slow pace of newborn life uncomfortable. As your identity and routines shift, you can feel like a chicken with its head cut off and my instinct has always been to shoulder through it.
However, this fall I discovered the book, The First Forty Days, and it shifted my usual perspective of those first weeks. The book is part advice and part cookbook. I honestly haven’t tried any of the recipes but it was so wonderful to read about postpartum rituals and traditions for so many cultures and how much value there is in taking care of yourself during such a huge transition period. To nourish your body with good food, accept the help offered to you by friends and family, and take the time to cherish your new baby.
So I decided that is exactly what I would do and it has been lovely.
I have gratefully received meals from dear friends and have accepted offers of help and aid from others. All the while, I have held this precious child and soaked in his newborn goodness and kissed him and breathed in these beautiful days inside while snow and freezing rain and political contention swirled outside my windows.
A new baby always brings a shift into the home. It is a transition not just for the mother, but for the family as a whole. With this new one, our life has slowed down and with it has come greater clarity about our goals as a family.
I can find myself feeling more present in moments, and finding more and more memories to freeze. We have been painting and creating. We have been building and reading. We have been snuggling and laughing and it brings to reality my deepest hopes as a mother. That I may enjoy this life and find ownership in each day.
These slow days won’t last forever; life always attempts to quicken the pace.
For now, I am grateful to relish in the slow life, and I hope I may always remember how sweet it is.