our little lyla will be 7 weeks old tomorrow and holy moly these have been the fastest 7 weeks of my life! i feel like i’m kind of starting to come up for air and feeling slightly more human this past week. since shiloh and lyla are almost 5 years apart, i completely forgot what newborn life was like, and going from 1 to 2 kids has ROCKED my world – in the best and hardest ways.
we are so crazy in love / obsessed with lyla and could not be more thankful for this tiny miracle. and, these past 7 weeks have not been easy! i could definitely write a blog post about our favorite baby items or sleep schedules etc but today i wanted to share with you guys the biggest lesson i’ve learned, and what has rocked my world the most in the past 6+ weeks.
one word: expectations
you would think since i’ve had a baby before that i wouldn’t have these ridiculous, unrealistic expectations. and to be honest…i didn’t even know i really had expectations until lyla was here and things were not measuring up to said expectations. and it was really hard on me – relationally, emotionally, and mentally!
things with lyla have been so different than i expected, starting with how she came into the world haha! i was expecting her to be two weeks early like shiloh was. she went 2 days past her due date. i was expecting to do an unmedicated birth like i did with shiloh, and things did not go as planned. i was expecting our breastfeeding journey to be easy and for us to make it a whole year (like i did with shiloh) and she is a different baby and the nursing journey has been totally different.
one thing after another has just shown me – i had expectations in my head of how this newborn stage would go, and it just has not gone that way.
i started seeing a counselor (the same counselor i was seeing pre-pregnancy!) around 3 weeks post partum and it was the BEST use of my time and money at this stage in my life! she’s been a lifesaver and if you are in the post partum stage right now – i cannot recommend counseling enough. i’ve talked through all of these things with her – breastfeeding, balancing work with mom life, marriage, etc, and it’s been SO helpful. i didn’t feel depressed or anxious but was just struggling with the transition of 1 to 2 and she’s really helped me to navigate this new season with grace – for myself, for lyla, and for michael.
through counseling and prayer and journaling and now getting a few good night’s sleep haha…i’ve learned so much about expectations. i was expecting to be able to slay this transition from 1 to 2. i was expecting to want to hop right back into work after a month. i was expecting michael to be a certain way as a stay at home dad…i could go on and on. and things have not necessarily gone according to plan. and i’m learning to pivot. to give myself (and others) grace. to let go of expectations. and trust that things are unfolding exactly as they are supposed to.
there is nothing wrong with having expectations. it’s natural. it’s normal. we all do it, whether we realize it or not. but i’m learning to hold these expectations with open hands. when you are SO set on things going a certain way, that will only lead to frustration when they don’t – or worse – feelings of inadequacy or failure. when you hold these expectations of yourself (or your spouse or your baby) SO tightly, it takes away from the beauty of this season, even amidst the mess.
for example – breastfeeding did not go as planned for me and lyla. and believe me when i say, i cried and cried and cried about this (after meeting with lactation consultants 4+ times along with several other professionals to really exhaust every option). i felt like a total failure as a mom because i had this expectation that i would exclusively breastfeed my baby for a full year. but i’m learning (like, still learning haha i have not mastered this) to take a deep breath. accept where we are. to love lyla and enjoy her as best i can in this season. to take care of my own mental health. and enjoy this season as much as i can. vs continue to beat myself up or wallow in disappointment because things didn’t exactly match up to my expectations. does that make sense?
so if you are a mama-to-be or if you’re also in the thick of the newborn phase (or honestly, i think this applies to anyone in any season of life): i want to encourage you to pause, and ask yourself: “what expectations am i clinging onto so tightly that i might not even realize?” like i said – it’s not bad and it’s totally normal to have expectations. but i encourage you to hold those expectations with open hands. to tell the Lord “this is my desire or what i’m hoping will happen. but i trust that you are sovereign. that you have a plan. you’re in control. and your plan for my life is so much better than my own.”
this season with lyla has been the most beautiful and incredible 6 weeks i could ever ask for – and it’s also humbled me like nothing else. i am a 3 enneagram and i was thinking “we’re going to crush this newborn phase!” thinking we would just excel in every area. and let me tell ya – it’s been tough! the sleep deprivation, the family dynamic changes, work / life balance…the whole shebang. but i wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. and beyond that – i’m learning to let go of unrealistic expectations i have for myself or my family. to take deep breaths and just ride the wave, whatever that wave may look like.
motherhood will humble you and grow you and sharpen you and soften you in ways like nothing else can. and i am truly beyond thankful for this gift. i’m also so thankful for this community that has supported me every step of the away and allowed me to show up totally authentically – not having it all together, sometimes feeling like i’m failing, but, showing up nonetheless. and as each day passes i’m learning to be SO proud of myself for how we are adapting and growing in this season. i’m learning to pivot from the tightly held expectations i had and to embrace this new season – chaos and all!
i appreciate y’all more than you know! thanks for reading!