Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Reassessing the awards program

I don't know who is in charge of giving out awards, but I feel compelled to let them know that they're doing it all wrong.

If it were me, I would be implementing a lot of new "award standards" and these would retroactively apply to my parents and Z's parents and, really, any parents. Why don't parents get awards for things like "making it through the first growth spurt" or "surviving week one with your newborn"? Seriously...awards should be given. Confetti cannons should be fired (I feel pretty strongly about this particular method of celebration). Congratulations are in order.

Really, I was walking around the maternity ward one morning after Zoe was born and thinking "why aren't we all high-fiving each other?! WE JUST GAVE BIRTH TO A NEW HUMAN!" And I wasn't quite sure why all mothers don't just occasionally announce "I gave birth! I DID THAT!"

Obviously, that high has worn off, but I am still in awe of the whole process and the fact that our little tiny human is here and we were chosen to be her parents and steward this tiny new life. Whoa.

We had a baby. *fires confetti cannon*

I think most people who read this little blog know the story, but over the course of the next few days (weeks?) I'm going to be writing it down for my memory and for anyone who is interested in reading it...and one day, for Zoe to read if and when she's ever curious about how she came into this world (5 weeks early!). I'm also going to finally transfer the 129875 million pictures from my iPhone to my computer and share some of them here...eventually. And I should get an award for that, because really, who has time to upload and sort and file and post pictures when you have a newborn? Award pending for this task.

In the meantime, we're doing it. We're surviving. We're getting to know Zoe. We're learning how to have a newborn. We're completely and totally smitten with her...and overwhelmed and overjoyed and overtired. There are good days and bad days (hello, growth spurt). There's a lot of love and kisses and snuggles and also a fair amount of tears and frustration (lack of sleep is not something I handle well...I'm easily annoyed, easily hurt/offended, and easily frustrated. We're learning and adjusting and giving each other a lot of grace right now.) How do you put into words what it's like to meet and love and take care of your new baby? You can't. You try, but it feels inadequate. (You get an award anyways, for effort.)

Here's the thing...I'm learning (and this is going to sound cheesy, but seriously, it's hard for me) to celebrate the little victories and let the "other things" go. I'm learning to cut myself (and Z...and others) a lot of slack. I joke about awards, but really, right now it's crucial for me to celebrate the small things. Showering every day? AWARD! Doing one load of laundry? AWARD! Successfully nursing and soothing and changing and bathing Zoe, even if that is THE ONLY THING I have done all day? ALL THE AWARDS!! Things like having a spotless kitchen (or hey, even a kind-of-clean kitchen) or dustless living room just have to wait. And when I DO get a chance to dust 2 out of the 4 bookshelves? AWARDS ALL AROUND!!

Sometimes awards are just a mental pat on the back. Good on you, self! You did that! Sometimes (usually) they're Thin Mints. Sometimes it's a cup of tea and a minute to just sit and do nothing because I'm so wrung out from the past few hours. The great thing about being in charge of awards is that you get to choose your award! Seriously, try it out if you need to. I'm not suggesting you live your everyday life like this...but if you're in a season of life that requires a little extra grace, a little more "umph", a bit more slack...give it! It's allowed. (And this has been my pep talk from me, to me. Thanks for tuning in.)

So anyways. More on Zoe and her entrance into our lives in the near future. For now, just checking in. Getting some thoughts down. You know how it goes. Awarding myself with a few minutes of blog-writing for successfully suctioning snot out of Zoe's nose this morning.

Side note: My mom arrives in a few days to spend three weeks loving on her first grandbaby and helping me survive while Z is gone for some training exercises. Mom, you get awards for doing this.

Don't count on Thin Mints though, those are rapidly disappearing.