Sorry I peaced out for a while there. I was busy vomiting and sleeping and whining.
Is that a classy way to announce a pregnancy, or what? That’s right, our third little nugget will join us in August, and we’re super excited! Excited and nauseous.
You’re probably thinking, “Haven’t you done this before? Like twice? Didn’t you know this is how it works?” Yes and no. Sure I was sick and tired in the first trimester the first two times. But this? This time around has been so different. I don’t know if it’s because it’s just different this time, or because I’m a few years older, or because chasing after my two little terrors all day is more physically demanding than sitting at a desk (like with my first) and chasing after only one little terror (with my second). Maybe it’s because it’s winter and winter is miserable anyway?
Anyway, all I know is that I haven’t felt this emptied out in a long time. And while it’s been tough and I’m really feeling sorry for the kiddos, who don’t quite understand why I’m not so much fun anymore, there has been a positive side to it, too.
Normally, I’m a do-er. My husband sometimes gets annoyed with me that I can’t just sit down and chill out. I like to be moving. Cooking, tidying, helping, accomplishing in general. And, as you can imagine, I haven’t been doing much of any of that. In fact, if there was an opposite of accomplishing, I’d be doing that. I haven’t cooked. I haven’t cleaned much. I haven’t been able to help my friends who have had babies, gotten sick, been lonely. I have not accomplished much of anything (oh, except for this little matter of growing a person, I suppose).
For those first few weeks, this made me miserable. So quickly, all the things that I’ve come to measure my days by (loads of laundry folded, meals delivered to friends, educational field trips with the kids, blog posts written) fell by the wayside. If I was measuring success by what I’d accomplished, then I was most certainly failing. All the stuff that I thought defined me got kind of… stripped away.
That sounds dramatic. This is, after all, temporary. And I’m not in the hospital, I’m not on bed rest. I’m reasonably functional. And I’m incredibly blessed to have a healthy baby growing inside me. But when you’re not doing what you usually do… you’re just left with yourself. How often do we get this kind of opportunity? The opportunity to stop and realize that what we do isn’t who we are.
What we do isn’t who we are.
So I like to cook, but my family is just as loved and cared for when I open a jar of marinara and thaw some store-bought meatballs. I think it’s important to give my kids lots of outdoors time and some fun trips, but I get the feeling that they’ll soon recover from their month-long Team UmiZoomi bender, more or less unscathed. And even though my time with my husband is limited since I started passing out at 7:30 pm every night (I wish I was joking), he still loves me and will be awaiting with our growing Netflix queue when I get back to normal.
I guess what I’m saying is that it’s a good idea, every once in a while, to give yourself permission to stop do-ing for a while and just be. The people who love you will still love you! The world will, it turns out, continue to turn! And if you’re like me, you’ll come out the better for it, having come to this realization. I wish it didn’t take so much puking and exhaustion for me to come to this conclusion, but it’s been worth it.
And, I’m happy to report, I’m feeling better and better each day. I feel relatively human again. I’m happy to jump back into some of the stuff of my normal days. But I feel even better knowing that who I am isn’t based on how much I can cram into a day or a week. It allows me to do everything with more love, more purpose, more focus. And… it allows me to get even more excited for August and all the squishy baby snuggles coming my way!