I woke up extra early Monday morning. I just couldn’t help it after another one of my sleepless nights. It was the kind of night that made me sit up every time my baby girl would move or breathe loudly. And it was the kind of night that kept me tossing and turning while dreading and dreaming of what was to come.
I was going to leave the job that had become my life for nearly ten years to be a stay-at-home mom.
I had a meeting with my boss that morning.
I was excited about the thought of spending so much time with my daughter, but wondered if it was the right decision.
Then I realized that sometimes the beauty of finding balance in your life is in knowing when to let go.
And that was one of those times.
You may remember that I ended 2012 with a Sunday Song by Francesca Battistelli that was all about letting go. And a few weeks later, I made “balance” my one word for 2013.
I started the year with an open mind and an open heart, but I had no idea what was in store for me.
Little did I know that by the end of January, a plan was already in motion to help me let go of some things and bring balance to my life.
Turns out, a not-so-easy pregnancy, a dramatic delivery and that difficult decision were all a part of that plan.
They purged me of pride and selfishness, and gave me some perspective in a way only a test from God can.
When I was pregnant, I would often throw myself pity parties because I didn’t feel I had complete control over my body. I suffered through nausea, heartburn and extreme acid reflux. I had to let go of my beloved pizza nights, 12 hour sleep sessions, and my “don’t move until it’s done mentality.” I also had to say goodbye to those manic moments where I would rearrange furniture and reorganize everything in the house all by myself.
My body just couldn’t handle those things anymore, and I hated that. But then I would be reminded of the child growing inside me. And in those moments, I would realize that as much as I hated to stop doing those things, I loved my child much more than that. I had to let go of my selfishness to ensure my baby’s health and well being.
If that wasn’t bad enough…for a while, I thought I could create the perfect birth plan and control my delivery.
I imagined myself having a natural birth in a cute little room at a hospital with dimmed lights, a birthing tub, and the soothing sound of instrumental music. My husband, doula and midwife would all be by my side, encouraging me along the way. Instead, I got a five hour labor at home, and a hurried trip to the hospital, which resulted in me leaving my birth plan behind and giving birth in the door frame of a hospital room while sitting in a wheelchair.
My daughter was born five minutes after we got to the hospital while my husband was trying to fill out paperwork. All he saw was a nurse lift the baby after taking her from my hands. In fact, it all happened so fast our car was still running outside.
That was two weeks before my due date.
My daughter’s nursery wasn’t ready.
I hadn’t cleaned the house or done the weeks of laundry piled in baskets on the closet floor.
I didn’t have any prepared meals in the freezer.
My thank you cards for shower gifts still weren’t written.
I thought I was the worst mother on the planet. But when I stared into my baby’s eyes I knew everything would be fine. I just had to let go of my vision for the perfect delivery and a completed to-do list. Then I had to swallow my pride and accept all the help I was being offered. And in some cases, I had to ask for help.
I needed to let go in order to find balance and fully embrace motherhood.
It was a hard lesson for an only child and self-proclaimed control freak to learn. But it was something I needed to learn. And I think I am a better wife, and mother for it.
Do you have a sense of balance in your life? What have you had to let go of to maintain that balance?