When I got married it hit me (gently, but it hit me) that I no longer could just think of myself. I now asked myself new questions everyday...What are WE going to have for dinner? Which one of US is going to do the dishes/vacuum? How much money do WE make together and how do WE make it work for all of our expenses? etc. Every choice I now made, in some way or another, is tied to my husband. This new realization was just that, new, but not bad in any way. In fact, it was a little exciting. I felt a little more needed, and I found there was a part of me that loved that. It was strange to think at that point that I couldn't just go quit my job if I wanted to, because the effects of that choice affected another person now. And every big decision my new husband and I would make, would need to be made together.
But, I still had my own identity, and I still lived so much for myself--- in a way I had more opportunities for selfishness.
Now that I have a baby who requires my care for pretty much everything...and if not everything, she relies on me for her core need of survival-nutrition...I've changed a bit more. I really don't think about myself except maybe what should I watch while I feed Camry, or at about 10pm after she's fed and if we've gotten her to fall asleep, then I say ok hubby, your turn! And I get tub time just for me. But that about sums up what I do for myself. As soon as she's asleep during the day, I take the opportunity to get as much cleaning done as possible, and hopefully start some sort of dinner. They say sleep when the baby sleeps, but she only gets up once around 2 am and once more at about 6 am then she goes back to sleep and we don't get out of bed till 9 or 10 am. So, I get pretty good sleep. But I mean other than that, it's all day of what can I do for baby, hubby, and even the dog. And I have to say I'm extremely content with it.
The first week my head was a bit jumbled...I was thankful for so many visitors because it distracted me from weird feelings I was experiencing, and it gave me less time to think about how overwhelmed I was. I had a lot of help so I wasnt overwhelmed with work, I suppose I had just never known the feeling of giving of myself all day physically, and emotionally. And it didnt help that my hormones had just been thrown into a blender from giving birth. I wasn't depressed folks, I welcomed sunshine, friends and family, and I felt pretty good. But I just had a lot to work through in my head and at times it was overwhelming. At one point, I remember just standing there thinking, "oh my gosh, it's all up to me, this little life is totally dependent on me, how do i do that? can someone just do it for a while--i need to think about this---oh ya there is no thinking about it, it's my turn now, and i have to do it" And I remembered then, the confirmations of the spirit that we were to have a baby. I remembered sitting in the temple and being told there by the spirit that I indeed was pregnant. I remembered the love I had felt numerous times for this precious baby whom I had yet to meet. And thank goodness for those times, because it brought so much comfort when I needed it the most.
Now that it's been a few more weeks, and I've gotten the hang of this new chapter in my life (at least for the time being---who knows if ya really 'get the hang' of motherhood?) I feel content. I repeat the word because it describes the feeling so well. I even feel joy. I've felt joys that I didn't know I could feel. I've heard about service my whole life, and had little understanding of it until now. But I enjoy it! I enjoy changing her diapers! I enjoy feeding her and seeing her throw her head back with a yawn and a hint of a contented smile. I love being able to soothe her sometimes just cuz I'm her mom, and sometimes nothing else can bring the same satisfaction that a mother can. What I'm saying is, I love giving, I love giving all that I have (and who knows I probably could give more) and I love what they call, "a woman's work." Maybe for me I'm realizing the joy of my work and my glory as a woman, to serve my family and love them with my whole heart. I know I'm still at the surface, but thats closer than I was a year ago.
At some point I will be going back to work, but Im not sad because it wont be a lot of hours, but it too will help my family and that makes me happy. I just feel so great to have this wonderful new life in our home. I love what I do. I've known I wanted to be a mother my whole life, and this Christmas I got that gift, and I couldn't have asked for anything better--Cuz nothing better exists folks, and thats the honest truth and the secret of a woman's work.