I’m Giving Up the Normal Life

Jennifer Garner is my new hero. On the Ellen show, she faced rumors concerning her “baby bump” with confidence, poise, and style. Smiling triumphantly, she said,

I do [have a bump]… I am not pregnant. I have had three kids and there is a bump. From now on ladies I will have a bump. And it will be my baby bump. And let’s all just settle in and get used to it. It’s not going anywhere.  I have a bump; it’s name is Violet, Sam, Sera…

(you’ve gotta watch it)  

As I considered the whole New Year’s Resolution thing over the past couple of weeks, I realized a couple of things. Not only did I realize why I would not follow through with my resolution to keep the house clean, but I realized that with many of my ideas I was seeking to become something I’m not: childless.

Topping my list were:

  • Keep a clean house
  • Get rid of baby bump
  • Be more structured and productive with my time
  • Get more sleep

… basically, have the things I had before children. Rewind the clock and become the person I was 7 years ago before my skin stretched, my eyes sagged, and my mind got fuzzy.

But in a moment of peace – while stroking my son’s boyish hair and touching his delicate fingers, after one of his all out blood-curling, screaming, horrendous tantrums – I started wondering, do I really want to take back the last 7 years?

Am I so interested in erasing evidence of my pregnancy, my child rearing, my family that I would dedicate a year to those things?

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Is what I really need to return to a “normal” life (because that’s how I often think of life pre-children, normal)?

Or can I settle into the life that is? Accepting that I cannot function at the same energy levels I had pre-pregnancy. That now my time and brain are roughly divided between my two littles, my husband, and my pursuits. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for extra things such as working out or cleaning more hours of the week.

Can I finally settle into the reality that I am a mommy? That I am a mommy blogger. That that I cannot expect to have hours of uninterrupted time to myself. That  I will not be a marathon runner, a master crafter, or a foodie-chef. I will not always have the house as clean as I did before Jack was born, and that’s ok. No. That’s fantastic.

Mommy

I will drop everything when my kids bonk their heads playing power rangers.

I will kiss the invisible boo boo on the middle finger that is extended towards my face and giggle incessantly inside.

I will wake up for sickness, bad dreams, nighttime snuggles, and everything in between.

I will tend to my needs within the needs of everyone else. I will take the time I need, but I won’t expect more than I can have.

I will accept these limitations.

I will be content.

After all, I have a baby bump. And its name is Jack and Ben. It’s not going anywhere. So, let’s all settle in and get used to it.

Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. 

-Psalm 127:3

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The 3 Parts of a New Year’s Resolution that’s Not Going to Die

Mountains of laundry. Piles of dust. Lumps of toys. Jumbles of books.

No matter how you put it, my house is a mess.

Home from Christmas. Suitcases exploding everywhere. Joy abounds.

Home from Christmas. Suitcases exploding everywhere. Joy abounds.

Going into the New Year I am tempted to make a New Year’s Resolution I can’t keep, like: Clean Up EVERY DAY. Or: Be Organized. Or: Follow a Strict Cleaning Schedule.

But I know myself too well. I know what I can do. I know what I won’t do.

And I know what I don’t want to do.

What I don’t want to do: spend an entire year chasing after the elusive clean house found in Real Simple magazines and Pottery Barn catalogues.

When it comes down to it, though it seems like a good idea to resolve to have a clean home, at the end of the year if I haven’t kept the resolution I’m not going to care. Besides, having such an ambiguous goal as “clean” or ” organized” is not attainable. When will the house be clean? When the children have stopped dragging in dirt? When the dog learns to pick up after herself? Sounds like perpetual frustration for me.

Which means my resolution would be just one more resolution to die by January 3rd.

If I’m going to make a resolution, it’s going to be one I care about. It’s going to be one that’s possible. And it’s going to be one that I can measure. On December 31, 2015, I can look back and say, “See? I kept it. I liked it. And look what’s different because of it.”

With that said: my resolution for 2015 is to Write at least 500 words every weekday of this year.  

Boom.

It took me the majority of 2014 to embrace myself as a writer. To acknowledge I love it. To believe I can do it. And to actually refine some goals and dreams. I went to my first writing conference, participated in a blogging challenge, and gained a few followers on my blog here and there. Offline, I also wrote my first book proposal, received valuable feedback, and have an accountability partner to move forward with the book.

I want to write. I want writing to be in my future professionally. And in order for that to happen, I need to learn to be disciplined.

So there it is: Write at least 500 words every weekday of this  year. Online or off, it doesn’t matter. It just needs to be done.

What’s a resolution you will make that you care about, is possible and that you can measure for 2015?

new years resolution