Present over perfect

by Grace Ko

Baby is napping (quite a feat in and of itself considering he has been fighting sleep the past few days) and as I sat down to quickly shovel my lunch in my mouth and grabbed my current read Present over Perfect by Shauna Niequist, I thought it was about time I come back on this blog. 

It has been over two months since my last post and my world has been rocked, flipped upside down. It's as if I have a fresh pair of glasses that has changed my perspective, my view. I see things in a new light. It's a strange thing, motherhood. One moment you're merrily on your way, living life and the next, you birth a child and instantly a mother you become. 

Baby is already 12 weeks old and time is odd, in a slow and fast kind of way. I'm beating myself up over not having documented these past 12 weeks better but cheers to starting!

There are so many things I could write and process about: labor & delivery, postpartum recovery, breastfeeding, mom guilt, monthly updates... the list goes on. But this book, Present over Perfect has got me thinking, reflecting, re-evaluating, recalibrating. And I'm about to get real for a second on FOMO. Yes, you read that right. FOMO. Fear of missing out. 

Being a new mama, I know a thing or two about FOMO. There have been times when I was breastfeeding in the other room, missing out on almost the entirety of people's visits- visits to see me and baby. There have been moments I've browsed through my Facebook or scrolled through my Instagram inundated with photos of overseas travels, foodie adventures or elaborate social gatherings only to be reminded that I hadn't left the house in a week. I've looked through pictures of my pregnancy or life before baby and secretly thought, "Oh those were good times..." or "Man, was I skinny... Will I ever get my body back?" I've even looked at my bed at 2 AM, feeding baby and thought, "Will I ever sleep again?" The struggle is real.

But the joy is real too. 

Now I understand why parents take a million photos of their child. Now I understand why all my friends said one smile from your baby will make you forget you're utterly exhausted and severely sleep-deprived. Now I understand why people say, "The days are long but the years are short." 

I still can't believe baby is almost three months. And I'm yet again reminded of the importance of embracing my season, of being present. I'll be the first to profess that this is no easy task. I've always been a lover of lists, planners, organization, structure - whatever you'd like to call it. But it's been getting the best of me not having much structure to this life with a newborn. It has felt like a part of me was withering away, my days blurring into one another. I haven't touched my beloved planner in weeks;I have no plans/dates/to-do's to write in my planner mainly because I do the same things over and over again, everyday: feed baby, play with baby, change baby, putting baby down to sleep (or at least attempting to), repeat.

In hopes of having more structure to my day, I frantically tried to get him "on a schedule" because I thought it would give me some sanity. My Pinterest became flooded with pins of "How to sleep train", "How to get your baby to sleep through the night". I found myself awake at the wee hours of the morning clicking on these pins out of sheer curiosity only to fall into a rabbit hole of comparison, anxiety and frustration. It began robbing me of joy and taking me away from being present. I decided I would let go and just "go with the flow", following baby's lead. I confess, I still don't have much structure to my days. And I'm lucky if I get out of the house for a walk with baby (thank you, Seoul air quality. You stink.) But I have more joy in my heart and I am learning to be more present. 

cherry blossoms.jpg

It's a fight to stay present. It's a fight not to long for the bygone days or to eagerly await upcoming seasons. But it's a fight worth fighting.

To be present means reveling in the small victories and relishing in the now luxuries, like a shower, a few minutes to read, sitting with a cup of tea. To be present means being okay with holding and rocking baby to sleep because he will only be this little for so long. To be present means cherishing every one of baby's smiles.