Today, I want to tell you about the day that changed everything.
Dramatic, much? 😂
Before I had children, I’d hear mothers talk about how they didn’t even have a chance to take a shower. The shower! That shower example was everywhere - it was the epitome of motherhood. So absorbed in caring for others, that one is unable to maintain basic personal hygiene.
I didn’t doubt the words of these mothers even for a second. I tried to imagine what that would be like - to not be able to put down a baby for even five minutes night and day. I tried to imagine, but couldn’t - but the prospect alone was terrifying.
Then I had my first baby, and I didn’t need to imagine.
I held her day and night.
She needed me always (or so I thought).
There were very few showers happening, but I was getting almost good at this doing-life-while-holding-a-baby business.
Except this one time, while visiting my in-laws, as we were sitting down to dinner, and I was doing my one-woman-show, pulling up a chair with one hand, while holding a newborn with the other hand, my mother-in-law came up to me and took the baby.
Then she threw a blanket on the floor, and put the baby down in front of a fireplace. She put my tiny baby on the floor. By herself. And the baby… stayed.
I mean, of course, she stayed - she was two months old, she wasn’t going anywhere. She wasn’t exactly standing up, grabbing her car keys and slamming the door on her way out. But she laid on the floor quietly and looked around. She cooed. She looked around some more. She didn’t cry. She didn’t disappear. She didn’t self-destruct.
After two months of holding her nonstop, I felt like one of my arms was now missing, and just casually lying there by the fireplace. Practically hanging out. Chillin’.
I remember thinking: “OMG, we are allowed to do that???”.
And then I remember thinking: “This.. changes everything!”.
Next day, armed with this revelation, I turned the water on, put the baby on a towel on the (heated!) floor, and stepped under the hot water. She cooed. I cooed. We both were enjoying ourselves. I never missed a shower again.
Yes, I know not all babies are so put-her-downable. Some babies act like you are throwing them to the wolves every time you even DARE to put them down.
But something shifted in my head that day.
There ARE things (and people) that we could just put down.
I bet that’s the case for you too.
What kind of precious bundle have you been clutching to your chest, only to realize that the bundle is doing just fine on the carpet, and you can eat your dinner in peace?