When I was pregnant with Eli, Luke and I found this quaint breakfast cafe down the street from our house.
The food was delicious and the atmosphere was inviting and warm. While Luke and I devoured our banana pancakes complete with butter and syrup, eggs and hash browns, I imagined frequenting this joint often.
I could picture me coming in there during my maternity leave, brand new baby in tow, putting him next to me in his seat where he slept like a perfect, peaceful angel, and I enjoyed coffee and pancakes while I read the latest book.
Dear, sweet, adorable, poor, naive Megan.
I had absolutely no idea what I was about to get into. There would be no out to eat adventures with my brand new baby. There would be no banana pancakes, and there would be no reading the latest books.
AND, if by some crazy miracle I was able to nurse my baby multiple times, get myself ready, get him ready, nurse him again, and actually get out the door in time to eat breakfast I wouldn't want to eat all that food because I felt so unlike myself and didn't want to put any unhealthy foods into my body.
Also, in the above paragraph when I said "getting ready" that simply meant me sweeping my unwashed hair back in a ponytail, hiding it underneath a hat. Putting on my maternity sweats because they are all that felt comfortable and a zip up hoodie for easy access for nursing.
Every time I pass that restaurant I think about my "dream" and I laugh to myself. That first month or so after Eli was born feels like a blur. A long, crazy, nursing, crying, nursing, crying, nursing, crying blur.
I remember Luke saying to me once during that first month he didn't know how I was functioning. I was getting no sleep at night or during the day and a baby was at my every beck and call. I simply told him, "I'm just doing what needs to be done."
As mothers, when that sweet, needy baby is born mother-nature takes over and our bodies do what needs to be done. I had NO IDEA what went into taking care of a baby prior to March 9th 2011 but somehow I did it all. I learned and I grew. And I did it.
And that is how it has been each and every step of the way. I don't know what I'm doing, but I figure it out and I just go with the flow. And I do what needs to be done, while looking to my God to lead me and guide me and TEACH ME. Please for the love teach me.
I like to tell my friends who are new mothers that those first few days (weeks?) are all about learning each other. Yes that baby grew in you, kicked you, squeezed your bladder, and had multiple hiccups inside of you, but now you get to learn each other. It is an amazing and memorable yet exhausting process.
My morning routine has become my latest "doing what needs to be done" episode. Eli has decided that 6:00 is the time he would like to wake up. I have fought him on this but he won. So as I get ready in the morning I am also trying to wrangle Eli. Which I'm ok with because it gives me more time in the day with him, but it is also challenging.
Especially as he has discovered the toilet and likes to suck on it.
Disgusting. Nasty and disgusting.
So right now my mornings consist or curling 3 or 4 strands of hair, grabbing Eli from his freakishly strong grip on the toilet, running him as far away from the toilet but still within my sight, setting him down, running back to the curling iron and curling 3 or 4 strands before he makes it to the toilet and starts sucking on it again. Scoop him up, run him away, run back, curl hair, pry him away, again. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
Last year I couldn't even get myself up and out of bed and ready for work by the time 8:00 rolled around and now I get myself ready, while distracting my baby who is sometimes crawling up my leg while I'm curling my hair and applying makeup. I then feed him, get him ready (usually we have 2 diaper changes), get everything together, drop him off at the babysitter's and get to work.
I don't say all of this because I think I'm a superwoman. All of that is FAR from a superwoman, but it is proof that you can do what needs to be done when it needs to be done.
In any situation, not just with a new baby - although it is extremely important to remember when you have a new baby. But you might be facing a situation that seems impossible. Remember, you can do what needs to be done. See it as a moment, don't try and look at the entire picture. Look at what is right in front of you. You can do what needs to be done right now.
I am thankful for all that God has taught me through becoming a mother. And all the ways that He has helped me.
I think I need to take Eli to that breakfast place soon. That small cafe now serves as a reminder that I need to keep my eyes in front of me and remember I can do what needs to be done. In that moment.
I do all things through Christ who strengthens me - Philippians 4:13