Having a newborn requires some otherworldly reserve of patience and resilience. Yet I’ve never been great at mindfulness or ‘living in the present’. Ever forward-thinking, calculating the next steps and checking boxes on very tidily written To-Do lists, I’m the type to plan my entire week when participating in a meditation exercise.
These past 6 days (we made it to day 6 oh my god!) have been the biggest, best and hardest crash course in mindfulness; a trial by fire in learning how to surrender to and ride each wave of confounding newborn need and/or overwhelming motherly feelings.
I’m taking every 6 hour block (because what even is a day anymore?!) as it comes and with each period, no matter how scary or seemingly endless, I find myself with a new set of Life Achievements unlocked. Take for instance just now. Yes it’s 4.42am and I was dragged from an hour ‘nap’ at 2am for another of his latest feeding ‘sessions’, which feel more like uninterrupted All You Can Eat buffet frenzies rather than discrete portions of time (he may be starting to stir as I write this, sigh!), but we’ve come so far in just 6-ish hours.
1. Robbie is asleep – so I achieved a solo feed!
2. We just fed without a top up of expressed milk! Hooray boobs!
3. We’ve learned that rainforest sounds really help settle Augie and a 10-hour video on YouTube hasn’t yet been close to being played through.
4. I’ve realised that Google Voice is a thing and it has radically transformed my ability to panic-message anyone and everyone rapidly instead of punching out a one-handed cry for help on a phone covered in milk and other liquids.
I know it’s going to get ‘easier’ – and before that it will, of course, get hard again – but I’ve learned so far in this week-long mindfulness course that it’s actually very easy to find joy in these small, present moments. The bliss of a hot shower. The joy of a skin-to-skin cuddle in sunshine (in February in England!). The pleasure of suddenly having enough mental capacity to write this all down even if that means doing so at some strange hour. Or the perfect shape of little feet that pressed into prayer pose all on their own 🙏❤