The New Normal

The other day I went out to lunch with an old friend. She’s currently on maternity leave after having her second child. While I think she looks fabulous, you can still tell she is a tad tired in that I’ve-got-a-newborn-who-isn’t-sleeping-through-the-night-yet sort of way.

I asked her how she was adjusting to life with two children. She said they were still trying to figure it all out, and asked how I had done with the transition to two kids.

I tried to think back to when my son was born. He’s only two, yet it’s hard to imagine our family before he was in it. {Not to mention the extremely permanent “mommy brain” I’ve suffered as a result of having children altogether.}

It was exhausting.

Why did it seem so different the second time around?

Would things ever go back to normal?

On the one hand, I wasn’t faced with the newness of each mom-task like I was when my daughter was born. You can read a million books and Google your heart out, but nothing truly prepares you for parenthood.

With my daughter I was able to make her the sole focus of my attention. This time, as my husband left for work each morning and I realized I would spend my maternity leave outnumbered, I went into survival mode.

I nursed my son while simultaneously helping my newly potty-trained daughter use the toilet.

I let my son fuss a little bit longer than usual in his swing to finish making my daughter’s snack.

I woke my son up from his nap – on more than one occasion – to pick up my daughter from a friend’s house {something I wouldn’t have dared with my firstborn}.

I could definitely relate to my tired friend. The transition to two children is exhausting. But it is also fleeting.

As hectic as those early days were chasing a toddler after a sleepless night with a newborn, they soon mellowed thanks to new routines, better communication, and a little bit more patience.

We settled into our new normal.

I encouraged my friend to hang in there. Just six weeks post-partum and she looked like a rock star. She too will find her new normal soon enough.the new normal2

Our conversation really got me thinking about all of life’s changes. Our inability to control them – or even predict some of them. And our ability to decide how we choose to handle them.

My family went through a lot of changes this summer and we’ll encounter another big one in a few short months.

While change can be exciting, it can also be a little intimidating. {And in the case of an infant….or moving…exhausting.}

Maybe it’s a new job. Or a layoff.

Maybe it’s a new city. Or returning to live with your parents.

Maybe it’s a new school. Or leaving your kids for the first time.

{Shout out to my grieving back-to-school mommy friends. One sent her sweet first-born off to Kindergarten. The other sent her “baby” away to college. They’ve had five and eighteen years to prepare for this moment, but how do you really get yourself ready for such a milestone besides loading up on tissue boxes?}

Change, whether predictable or completely unexpected, is a part of life. It turns our regular routine on its head and alters the version of “normal” that we’ve become accustomed to.

Without change, there’s no growth.

All of our stories are a work in progress. Embrace the changes that life throws at you. Sometimes it’s how we overcome those changes that make our stories worth telling.

You will find your new normal soon enough.