Must I always be waiting, waiting on you? Yeah, you, new normal.
Throughout my pregnancy, I kept hearing about this new normal I’d experience once my daughter was born. After she was born, I began a daily waiting game for this new normal. Every day, waiting. When was normal supposed to appear? What did it look like? What did it feel like? I had heard everyone experiences it at different times, in different ways, yet I still found myself, every single day, waiting. Month 3 came and went. My sense of normalcy still hadn’t returned. Month 4. Month 5. Month 6. Waiting for her next milestone. Waiting for things to get easier. Waiting for pumping to end. Waiting for a schedule that would stick.
And not in that when I get there, I’ll be happy kind of way. I was happy. I was ecstatic. I just couldn’t kick this feeling that something was supposed to be happening. I couldn’t get past my feelings of anticipation. Anxiety because I didn’t feel back to normal.
What is normal, anyway? Something usual, something standard, something that you are accustomed to. I wasn’t accustomed to any of this, because, well, I’d never been here before. And since I’d never been here, in any stage, how would I know when I had arrived at my new normal? Was this feeling of chaos the new normal? For me, the word I finally landed on wasn’t chaos at all. It was change. I found my ultimate sense of peace when I finally realized…
My only constant was change.
Life would be ever-changing, from day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month for the rest of our lives.
Would it be challenging to adapt to a life that was changing so quickly? Of course. But now, rather than waiting with anxiety for my sense of normalcy to arrive, I could welcome each new day with excitement. I was ready to adapt. To problem solve. To navigate new situations. To learn something new each time I opened my eyes. I didn’t need to know it all. And I didn’t need to feel any particular way.
I needed to lean in. To embrace change. No more waiting. Anticipating. Criticizing. Analyzing. No more worrying because I had no idea what each new stage would bring. No more questioning every little thing. I needed to enjoy my new baby. Marvel at the body that made her. Navigate new experiences through the eyes of my child. Prepare myself to learn something new each day, and be comfortable with the fact that I would have no idea what that might be. Sure, I could create a schedule or routine, but beyond that schedule, everything would be changing constantly. Once I realized this, I could finally lean in to the change and open my heart and mind to the wonders of the unknown.
New normal, it’s nice to finally meet you. And I think I kinda like you.