“Oh my goooosh, can we see your little human? Both our kids are already big humans.”
Two ladies my mom’s age were slowly approaching me as I navigated Zoya’s stroller through TJ Maxx the other day.
The normal oohs, ahhhs and compliments followed suit.
“She is just so sweet! Aren’t you, honey? Aren’t you?”
“Enjoy her. Even through the tears. We remember – it’s the middle of the night and they’re crying and you’re crying too. But then it’s over real fast. So try to enjoy it too.”
Wow. That got real so fast.
I couldn’t help but marvel at how poignant and raw those words were. The fact that I was hearing them from two seriously seasoned mothers somehow made them even more sharp.
Zoya is now 6 months. Looking back, I am struck by how much truth is in those womens’ words.
There were definitely tears on my end, especially in the beginning. I had such a tough time adjusting to the lack of sleep aspect of motherhood. Nights that Vlad was gone due to work call were especially rough.
It was snowing, dark and cold. Zoya would sometimes take as long as 45 minutes to finish her 3 oz bottle. The fight to eat would then be often followed by an episode of major spit up. I would get her back to sleep and, teary-eyed, clean the rug or change out the sheets on our bed. Knowing I still had a 20 minute pump session ahead of me before I could go back to sleep. Wondering if such giant amounts of spit up meant something was wrong with Zoya. (Note: She simply grew out of it.)
In the thick of it, time seemed to be at a standstill.
Reality was, it passed by so fast.
I sleepwalked through the first three months of Zoya’s life. Then, one day, I woke up.
The tired blur of feeds, diaper changes, endless swaddling, re-swaddling, and guessing what was wrong that is the newborn stage really is just a blip in time.
It wasn’t all tears, though. I think three months in was when I really started to get the hang of it all and settle back into enjoyment. (Just in time to go back to work. Can we all agree that the U.S. needs to get with the times and create laws allowing longer maternity leave?)
I love coming into Zoya’s room in the morning – she always greets me with the biggest smile. She is also developing a serious affinity for music and it’s been so fun cultivating that in little ways. And there is so much more.
It’s hard to believe she is six months. Half a year shouldn’t be allowed to pass by this quickly.
As Vlad said recently, there is no growth without struggle.
Motherhood has been undoubtedly the largest and hardest undertaking of my whole life. And it has produced so much growth. I have had to lean on the Lord in ways I never knew before, learn to be a team with Vlad on a whole new level, and adjust to this baby centered pace of life.
From her birth, I have been confidently believing that God intentionally gave us Zoya, specifically, as a daughter and us to her as parents. It’s a giant privilege to be entrusted to show her the world and also to learn from her.
What a sweet beginning.