How I found meaning in the mundane work of new motherhood

We’ve all felt that moment: one minute, we’re blissfully dancing with Gerard Butler (or Channing Tatum or Brad Pitt… you get the picture!) in a beautiful Prada dress, having the perfect hair day, buzzed on that delicious Chianti, and then the next minute… our dream is abruptly shattered by the cries of our baby.

Our beautiful, too-cute-for-Instagram-filters precious little munchkin, ready for his 99th feeding of the day.

(And what day is it, anyway?!)

I’ve had this moment many times over the past few weeks. It usually came around 2am, sometimes closer to 3am, and sometimes at 1am. The time really didn’t matter because let’s face it, the hours all mush into one long stream of feeds-burps-diapers-naps, and if I’m lucky, a few happy smiles and gurgles.

And big glasses of wine.

One recent night, as I was dragging my heavy body from the bed into my baby’s room, my first thought was “ugh, this is so mundane.”

Mundane. Ordinary. Boring, even.

By the time I was up again for his next feed, around 5am, I couldn’t shake the icky feeling I had of “mundane” creeping in. I did not like it.

This precious new person? This miracle of life? Was I really finding this work mundane?

I stopped, and realized I needed to check myself, and find a way to re-frame this for myself. I don’t want my baby, my child, to feel like he is an obligation, a to-do. I didn’t want to feel like caring for him is a boring repetitive task, even if (most of the time) I need to rally myself for it.

I want him to feel that he is loved. That I care deeply about providing for him. That it’s an honor to serve him, and a joy to be his parent.

So I decided to I had a choice here.

And let’s be real—it wasn’t going to get any easier getting out of bed in the middle of the night, every night, for the foreseeable future, but what I could choose was my attitude towards it.

I decided to reframe thinking about it as “mundane,” and instead channel the feeling of gratitude for the stability to day in, and day out, be able to provide for my baby.

Instead, I’m choosing gratitude that I am healthy enough, and able enough, to show up and provide what he needs, physically and emotionally.

As I practice this reframe at 3am, my hope is that by the time I’ve dragged myself out of the warm bed covers, my mind feels a bit lighter, and my heart a bit more open, so that I can show up for my son as best as I can in that moment.

And that you can, too.

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