“You’ll blink and she’ll be grown.”
That’s what the woman at the washing station said to us just outside our hotel. I rinsed the sand off of my feet under the water spout.
“I know, it’s flying by.” I told her. Felicity was wrapped up close to my chest riding around in the ring sling. I held her new sun hat down on her head, a gift from my sister, perfect for our spontaneous beach trip. Felicity was asleep but sure to wake up any moment ready to eat.
We made it out to Folly Beach, SC this past weekend. Felicity is 8 weeks old and we appear to have a perfect little angel on our hands. She’s been sleeping for 8-9 hours through the night consistently for the past couple of weeks. Which has kept us feeling much more capable to handle the day to day.
Going to the beach was more a trip for us since Felicity can eat and sleep pretty much anywhere these days. The night before we left we took her to the white water center river jam to celebrate our friend’s birthday. She’s getting used to sleeping in chaos and daylight which is just perfect.
Countless people have told us that we’re doing a great job. Some have mentioned they wished they got out more and were as chill as we seem when they had their first child. It’s always encouraging to hear since sometimes we don’t feel like we have it all together. Nobody ever has it all together. Let’s just admit that right now.
As a former nanny I came into motherhood with some knowledge. I was quickly desensitized to having a crying baby in public. I was used to carting multiple kids around and knew that getting out was best for everyone. Even though I knew what to expect I am not the mother I thought I would be. I thought I’d be way more into routine and schedules even at Felicity’s young age, but I’m just not. I feed her when she wants to eat. I feed her when she’s fussy to calm her so we can eat at regular mealtimes. I mentioned to Brandon’s mom during her visit that in the evening if Felicity is fussy I simply feed her more often to soothe her. She nodded and said, “I say if they want to nurse and you have the time then let em nurse.” Which was so freeing. It’s bonding time either way.
I’ve now learned that Felicity eats closer together in the evening. She seems to stock up before bedtime which may be what makes her such a great sleeper. Though sometimes it feels exhausting to do it’s been a blessing to be able to feed my daughter and I’ve learned to let go of time increments and staring down the clock calculating how long she ate. I love that she feels comforted and always knows that when she’s hungry I’m there to provide for her.
If Brandon and I could describe our parenting style it’s a put your oxygen mask on before helping someone else kinda parenting. That means I’m going to pee before I feed her if I really have to go. Even if she’s screaming for 2 minutes. It means that we’re going to leave her behind with Nana so we can go on a date. It means we’ll fill ourselves up with community and spending time with our friends even if it sets her schedule a little off in the evenings. It keeps us happy and healthy and better able to provide our best for her. This weekend it meant us getting some R&R at the beach together as a little family and her adjusting to sleeping in a new bed, in a new place. Which was of course a breeze for her because as I already told you.. I seem to have birthed this angel baby. Also, her favorite white noise has always been ocean waves, so that helped.
I’m discovering that motherhood is all about finding a perfect balance between putting Felicity down so that I can shower, dress and care for myself without feeling guilty. And remembering that she’ll only be this little for a short time which makes it ok to stay in my pajamas a little longer and hold her while she sleeps. The dishes will still be in the sink later and no one is going to judge me for wearing wrinkly clothes.
Felicity has meshed right into our lives and made it so much sweeter. She’s fun and easygoing. She spits up like a fountain but that’s nothing an abundance of bibs and burp cloths can’t solve. We love her dearly and are so happy she’s here. The year we were trying to get pregnant I wrote a private journal entry titled The Lack of You. In the entry I expressed the void I felt in our lives. I was unable to walk to our usual ice cream shop without imagining our future child licking their very own ice cream cone. I felt so ready to add to our family and love on my very own little one. I wrote, We explore new places and I can’t help but imagine us swinging you by the arms in between us as we show you the world. I want to see you with him. With your dad. I want to see you have something I never had. I want to hold you. You. Not just the empty blanket I have knitted for you. I want to hold you wrapped up in it. I wish to meet you desperately. I have longed for you more I think than anything I have ever longed for before.
I feel incredibly blessed to be this little girl’s mother. She’s a dream come true and she has no idea just how much she means to me.