Finding Your Tribe

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At the SoCal Desert Rendezvous, Hanging out

When we got pregnant, we were ecstatic.

We were also terrified.

We knew friends and family would be ecstatic and jump in to help if we got desperate, but we were confident that we could do it on our own. We wanted to be prepared because we had heard about the possibility of losing friends after the baby came, just due to different lifestyles.

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About 37 weeks

Because we were not sure if all would go according to plan, we waited the requisite 12 weeks and proceeded to announce (to the excitement of everyone) that we were expecting. We were a little in awe of how loved Baby Wagon was, right off the bat.

As we waited anxiously for that day, through non-stop morning sickness, (seriously, who loses weight while prego?) Then straight on to me being induced because of prenatal high blood pressure, we were lucky enough to be supported by our amazing group of family and friends.

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About 2 weeks old

Then we came home from the hospital and things changed. Not with family and friends, who were asking to help left and right, but with me. I expected the Baby Blues, but I had NO IDEA what was coming. With the hormones coursing through me and having breastfeeding issues on top of that, I had it in my head that I needed to be supermom, and make the world absolutely perfect for my perfect little baby.

So I shied away from accepting help, I got jealous when other people hold her, and I cried in the rocking chair while she slept because her life was not perfect. She had a few minor breathing issues, and a little cold almost immediately on being released, and I was upset because life is not sterile.

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Baby and Gramma Doni

As she’s grown a bit, I’ve come to terms with the fact that it’s ok to accept help. If it looks that way on the surface, I promise, no one’s life is perfect. It took a lot to get to the point of giving up control, letting other people take her while I clean or cook or take a shower. I even call my mother in law over if we need to pack for a weekend camping. It’s an issue I struggle with, and I’m sure I will for a long time to come.

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Baby and Gramma Beth

And you know what? When my people ask if they can help by watching her? I let them, gratefully, and without guilt. If they want to entertain the baby while I get some work done, I am just happy she’s so loved. And the people that were not serious about helping? Well, they’ve backed back into the woodwork, and I’m OK with that too.

 

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It really does take a village, a cliché that is a cliché for good reason. The moral here? Life is tough, but if your people ask to help, let them. They are doing it because they love you, and if they are parents too, then they KNOW. Listen to their wisdom and take from it what you will.

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