"I actually know the answer to this one!" I said.
And I told her.
I always used to think seasons of life were long periods of time.
Child-bearing and rearing season.
Retired and golfing a lot and going on missions season.
Old person season.
No, no, no. Seasons can be large but also microscopic.
This season for my friend (and for me because I have struggled with the same thing) may only last another couple of weeks.
Newborn with other people you want to love season.
You worry that your older children aren't getting the attention and conversation and gospel teaching that they need.
You worry that your toddlers aren't getting the hand-eye coordination and color-learning and mommy-and-me time that they need.
You worry that your spouse will shrivel up like a raisin from fatigue as he or she carries on and does normal life as best he can, running on a half-empty tank because he's the one who's up with your screaming two-year-old while your'e getting the newborn back to sleep. You haven't had a date night in weeks and you don't even know where to begin when you finally have a moment's peace to catch up, and right as you open your mouth to talk and connect again- "Waaah!"
You are needed. By a tiny, darling, needy bundle.
And you go! Because that baby has no coping skills when she feels all alone and hungry. She can't think ahead to future seasons of life... seasons when she will be a picky toddler who sneaks entire bags of M&Ms behind the couch before dinner. She just doesn't know.
I am SO THANKFUL for perspective. It is the gift I pray for every single day. I plead for it. Perspective to remember that this is a small season of a great big life. I don't want to survive it, I want to adore it. To bask in it. And to remember that it's tiny. Not every day, all day, forever, will I have to give 90% to a newborn, 7% to the rest of the family and 3% to myself and my callings. Nope, this will be a short time. The numbers will change.
I will face challenges that will require me to give the bulk of my time and attention to myself.
My husband will face challenges and the numbers will shift in his direction.
Most of the time, though, I will find a comfortable balance giving the most amount of time to the kids and Steven, closely followed by myself, and then everything and everyone else.
Until then, I am trying and mostly succeeding at seeing myself as a new mom. And thank all the heavens above, Steven has learned to adore that about me and not feel rejected. That took several babies to achieve, but he's learned it and he loves it.
I haven't ever been, or had to be, so intentional about loving my baby. And it's so good. When she's awake, I'm slower and more deliberate. I spend more time sitting to feed her rather than feeding her in the carrier while I walk around getting stuff done. I look at her while she eats rather than catching up on email, and it's changed things for us. I see her cheeks getting rounder and her eyebrows getting more auburn. Her eyelashes are starting to darken and her blue eyes and more open and shiny and alert.
This is my season for a baby sleeping in the crook of my arm and formula dripping down a pudgy chin and a little more cushion on my tummy than I'd like and kids who become more independent as they learn that they are capable of sharing mom with the new baby. And a husband who holds us all together and keeps the boat floating so that we can all enjoy the ride.