“This baby is a daily reminder that I can’t control the universe,” said my friend, Hilary, last week as she frantically jiggled the newborn slung around her chest.
I nodded. It’s humbling, we agreed, to give up control. To say goodbye to who we were and hello to the new person named ‘mom.’
I started a coffee group a few months ago to get Talon and myself out of the house. A revolving group of new mamas meets weekly to remind ourselves that sleep deprivation, poop explosions, and sore boobs will pass. But for now, they are the new normal.
Without these friends and my super-supportive family in town, I wouldn’t feel whole these last six months. They are the backbone and muscles that keep me strong when things seem to slip out of joint.
Returning from our travels left both Rob and I in a bit of an abyss—a wide space where anything might happen, but nothing feels concretely possible. Should we stay in Montana? Find salaried jobs or strike out with our own businesses? Will we ever sail again? Can we live the life we planned now that a kiddo anchors us in new ways?
Sometimes, too many possibilities are crippling. A privileged first-world problem, for sure, but one that can cause real stress.
The most interesting part about giving up control to a dozen pounds of drooling, squirming baby is that it limits the stress of endless possibility. Parenthood undoubtedly brings different kinds of stress, but it also gives clear direction on which way to point the sails each day: care for the child. For now, I can smile at the baby, feed him, change him, and try to loosen my hold on the existential questions that I sometimes grip too tightly.