Well, that’s it. Friends is over. Ten seasons in the span of my nine week maternity leave. And as I watched the final credits roll in the darkness of 3 am, I let the tears fall. At first I was crying for Joey, who had to say goodbye. And Chandler and Monica for embracing new milestones. Ross and Rachel for new beginnings. Phoebe for all of her quirky ways. But then I realized who I was really crying for was me and my little family and the changes and milestones and new beginnings in our lives.
My world changed when the doctor flipped him over the blue sheet and I saw my son for the first time. And over the course of the past two months I have been learning my new role as his mama. There were times when I didn’t think I could do it. It all seemed like too much. Too much pressure, too much responsibility, too much love, too many hours passing by with too little to show for them, too many big feelings. But now, just when I think I’m getting the hang of it, maternity leave is over and I have to get ready for everything to change again.
I don’t even know how to be a mom yet and now I have to figure out how to be a working mom and kiss my baby goodbye for eight hours out of the day. It doesn’t feel right. He’s still so little and he still needs me so much, but I don’t know if that’s ever going to change. So I must embrace this new challenge and move forward, counting every blessing along the way. The blessing of time with my boy during 3 am feedings. The blessing of seeing his face light up when I walk in the door. The blessing of a rock solid support system so I don’t have to do it alone. The blessing of being surrounded by people who offer me grace because I’m still learning. The blessing of new mercies when I continue to fail along the way.
So this morning I tried on two pairs of pants that wouldn’t fit and ended up walking out the door in maternity clothes with spitup on my shoulder and tears flowing because I’m afraid working mom will always be synonymous with hot mess. I was afraid when I brought him home and I’m afraid now when I walk out the door without him. But this is our new normal, my little family and me, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.