By the time I reached the end of yesterday, I was feeling pretty rough. Without my sling, Mass was a bit more challenging (it's harder to soothe a baby in a bjorn as opposed to in a sling), and Zuzu was feeling a little starved for attention and didn't want to lay down for a nap...and the bjorn is not good for household chores, because it doesn't allow for the range of motion that the sling does. So...I hung out with my baby.
While my house looked like vandals attacked it.
If there's one thing I try to do as a wife, it's to make sure that when Mr. O has a long day at work, he comes home to a moderately clean home. Straightened couch cushions, clean kitchen counters, shoes arranged neatly by the door. Nothing fancy, just looks neat - and maybe a few candles lit to make it smell nice. But yesterday, after a very long day of playing four Masses and having a rehearsal, he came home to the house looking like...well, looking like a house looks when you just get back vacation, don't really unpack but rather explode your luggage all over, and then spend most of the day caring for an infant. That is to say, a very messy house.
I know it was hard on him - it was hard on me too. I like to feel like I'm 'pulling my own weight' and I feel that part of my job is to keep the house in reasonable order. Baby, food, home, social engagements, most correspondence - those are my jobs. I like my jobs. And last night when I finally crawled into bed at 1am, I felt sad that I hadn't done more. My husband had gone to bed long before I did, because he was so tired, and I felt sad...I morosely thought - gone are the days of a clean house and plenty of snuggle time with my husband! Did we even really talk to each other today?? What is happening to my marriage?
But I saw this great quote today that put yesterday in perspective and helped me enjoy today more.
Do not spoil the wonder with haste!
Said by Legolas in TLOTR, penned by the great JRR Tolkien, truer words could not have been handed to me today. The wonder...yes, the wonder of baby-land, the newborn stage, her babyhood. I cannot spoil it with my haste - haste to do chores which will get done, haste to give my husband this perfectly-kept home and all of my attention, haste to have my 'normal' schedule back. This is my new normal, this is the wonder I'm called to witness:
So today I took it easy and just enjoyed her. I ran some errands, but was calm when I cut them short. I got some things done, was proud of that, and just moved the rest to tomorrow's list. I rethought my definition of 'productive.' I prayed and comforted myself that so long as I keep offering myself in loving service to my husband, God will prosper my marriage.
And lo and behold, when my husband came home today (much earlier than I thought he would, which is why I looked a mess and the floors were still wet from mopping!), he was overflowing with praise. Praise for the effort I was putting into cleaning the house (Zuzu had a good long nap today!) and for our sweet baby. As he watched her sleeping, he whispered in reverent awe "you made her - you grew her in your body. You're incredible."
He sees it. That this time is for wonder - and we cannot ruin it with haste. There is so much time for her to be big, and such a short time for her to be small. So much time to run errands and have a clean house, and only a little while for her to need me so desperately. I will not spoil this time! I will not hasten away her sweet babyhood. I will stay here in the wonder with my sweet little one.