I already had a sense of committing to something for a lifetime – marriage has that whole “til death do us part” aspect and all. Dean and I agreed that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, and we are still happy with that decision. Having a baby is sort of the same thing, only there isn’t exactly that moment when you hear the words and have to say “I do” – there really should be. I’m her mom, and I will be forever – that’s a big deal!
It’s not that I’m unhappy with the decision to procreate. Harley is gorgeous, growing so well, and becoming an integral part of my life. We are falling in love more each day, and bonding with each and every midnight feed and silly game. But there are still moments when it hits me – this is the new normal, and my life will never be the same again.
I knew that having a kid would be life changing, in the same way that I know tequila shots are a bad idea – the knowledge is pretty theoretical until in the moment. I knew my life would never be the same, but I don’t think I quite realized how fundamental the changes would be. It’s more than the fact that my sleep is interrupted, every single night. It’s more than the fact my idea of being clean now includes how much “spit up” (read: milk puke) I’ve been covered in. It’s about the tiny human who will be a part of my daily thoughts, concerns and conversations for the rest of my life.
Last night, Harley was up for a bit between 12-2am. She was only happy on my boob or at least in my arms, resting against my body. I am her safe place, her sanctuary in this new, scary world. She doesn’t know too much yet, but she knows that I will love and protect her, feed her, change her and generally help her go from unhappy and uncomfortable to safe and happy. I’m base, I’m home, and even though she’s not inside me anymore, I’m still her world, or at least her interpreter for this new world she is discovering. As she grows up, my role will change, but I will always inform her view of the world, of love, of happiness, of safety.
So yes, she has changed my life forever. I’m more than a wife, daughter or friend now. I’m a mom. I’m the arms that hold her when she cries, I’m the abundance that fills her when she’s hungry, I’m the soft voice that comforts her and the smile the encourages her. Harley has changed everything, and there’s no going back. It’s at the same time glorious and terrifying. It’s amazing to know that I can be all those things for another human, and also a ridiculously heavy responsibility. And, no matter what happens, it’s a responsibility I’ll have forever. Yes, how I love her, comfort her and take care of her will change, but I will always be her mommy.
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