My intention most mornings is to wake up early and write. To enjoy a cup of coffee and to spill out some of my thoughts while the house is still quiet, clean, dark. But goodness knows that a bit of extra sleep usually manages to take priority. (I know someday Cora will not wake up so often at night and I will feel like a fully-rested human being instead of a half-crazed zombie woman. Until then, any extra sleep I can get will be fully embraced.) Still, on the mornings I do drag myself out of bed after Cora's last feeding (often around 5AM) and enjoy the silence and time completely to myself, it feels like a gift.
So many things these days feel like gifts.
I'm very aware, more-so this second time around, what an immeasurable privilege it is to be a mother. To be the one who watches this tiny little person grow and learn and explore and reach all these new milestones. To be the one my youngest feverishly tries to crawl onto for no reason at all—just knowing she feels most comfort in that moment while nestled in my lap. To be the one my older daughter craves almost constant attention from and interaction with—offering hilarious quips and endless enthusiasm and rather intense emotions all day long. I suppose I'm more aware of the fact that each of these stages are so fleeting, since I've been through nearly five years of mothering my first child and now nearly a year with my second. I have no compass when it comes to parenting anyone over the age of my own children, but I definitely feel like I'm finally earning my gray hairs (and the wisdom we all hope accompanies their arrival) with all I've experienced during my own journey of motherhood.
Most days, despite the rough moments that scatter themselves in-between the sweet, I am often reminded of how lucky I am. It is such a privilege to be here, to be their mom. Even on the days I feel so exhausted and unqualified and rather like hiding in the bathroom so I can be alone for five minutes.
So, yes, life right now is definitely crazy. But there have been some wonderful changes that came with my husband's new job that have made our new normal very peaceful, in some ways.
At the job he left several months ago, he would be gone twelve hours (most days) during the week. His commute was over an hour—and I knew very much how dreadful that commute was, since I had the same one before I left my job to stay home with Eisley. It was a struggle after we had Cora, because she had a rather early bedtime for a while, and when he'd get home after 6:30, she would often already be in bed—meaning he wouldn't even get to see her at all that day. And making dinner was absolute madness, as I tried to figure out how to find something for a grumpy preschooler and a cranky baby to do while I threw something quick together, praying we would somehow make it through another witching-hour dinnertime. Nights felt more rushed and stressful, for sure.
Now, he can ride his bike to work. His new office is just a few miles away. He leaves later in the morning, and he gets home a full two hours earlier every evening.
This is where I realize all my plans were not the best for our family. As often is the case, I really thought I knew what we needed, where we should go, what would be best for this and that and everything under the sun. God knew what he was doing when he orchestrated the past six months of our lives. (And, clearly, everything before.) This new job has brought peace to the crazy that still often fills our days—and with it, a consistency and security that I know I'd been craving for a long time.