The jump from 26 to 27 has been a rather significant one. I remember the day I turned 26. I spent most of it soaking up the sun in a midriff and tattered jeans in Santa Monica. I started the day with a big Poke bowl and ended it with a surprise birthday cake at midnight and a 3 am ramen run on Sunset boulevard. I remember wondering how much excess calories I had managed to gobble up. Other preoccupations at the time also included story boarding for a shoot in Burbank,planning a roadtrip, taking in preorders for the datebook I was launching, organizing a crazy shooting schedule that was lined up for me in the next couple of months. You could say my concerns were pretty much career driven. Fast forward to a month before today, one year after turning 26, at the onset of my late twenties, these preoccupations are now of the domestic variety- nappy changes, story time singing silly songs, making up my own silly songs ,subjecting Frankie to my questionable Disney princess singing voice, telling stories, making meals, overcooking meals, laundry loads and hours of breastfeeding . At 27,being a wife and a new mom is my new full time job. I’m going to save writing about marriage in a separate blogpost ,but for now, I’m going to go right ahead and gush about how motherhood is, contrary to the picture that pop culture paints, the best job in the world! It really is. Frankie is the best gift I have ever received and I often wonder what I did to deserve such a good and beautiful baby. I already sense the kindness in her soul. I say all of this with utmost sincerity and at the risk of sounding like a total cheeseball .
Before becoming a mom myself, I wasn’t a big baby fan. I know it sounds so bad but it’s true. I’d be like “ Aaaww cute.” then be totally over it and I’d move on to “more important things” pretty quickly. I even used to Mom-zone people. When I’d find out a friend was having a baby, I’d think, “Boo! I won’t get to hang out with that one as often!” I also thought being in the Mom zone meant losing so much of yourself , forgetting about all your big shiny dreams and baby spamming online. While I am very much guilty of that last bit (sorry not sorry Facebook and Instagram friends!) , I’ve come to realize , as I write to you from deep in the Mom -zone , that this motherhood business doesn’t take away from your identity. If anything, being a mom adds to it. Motherhood has made me realize how strong God has made us women , how much our hearts could stretch out as we take on new roles -and in the process , truly, truly love. I didn’t know I could love a little human this much ! My favourite author Anne Lammot sums it up perfectly when she wrote : “I don’t remember who said it, but there are places in the heart you don’t even know exist, until you love a child.” As I write this, Frankie is sleeping in her cot. I, after a whole day of cuddling and tending to her , am taking writing breaks and looking at her photos and videos on my iPad . I am deeeeep in the Mom-zone .
It has been an absolutely beautiful 2 and a half months but I’m not going to blab on and pretend it’s been easy-peasy. Mothering is tough work. Being a yaya-less , stay at home mom is a full time job! This year has been dedicated this huge transition. Not to mention, we moved our little family to a different continent too, far away from the comforts of home! This change has come with much growth. It has also made me decide to put a few projects on hold . (I’ve been learning too that motherhood is synonymous to sacrifice. I , after all have very much benefited from my own mother’s selflessness. I now appreciate her more than ever!I love you Mommy!) Carreer wise,I have been looking at this season as a sabbatical- a time to just create for myself, to do things just for fun, to get to know this big , new city we now live in . I’ve been using it as a time to get inspired, to be still and more importantly, this season has allowed me more time to refresh my soul with God’s word. His words have truly been assuring in this amazing and crazy ride called motherhood . I’ve never felt more joyful and at the same time, more vulnerable in my life! Whoever said, ” Having a child is like having your heart walk around outside of your body ” couldn’t be more right. To soothe my anxious and sometimes tired soul, these life-giving words and promises from Jesus have been a source of much comfort:
– Like arrows in the hands of a warrior, are the children of ones youth. – Psalm 127:4
– I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. – Philippians 14:3
– For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord. Plans not to harm you but to prosper you. Plans to give you a hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11
– Every good and perfect gift Is from above , coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.- James 1:17
My confidence is in knowing that God loves Frankie more than I love her and she is His child more than she is mine. His abounding grace has also given me so much joy in caring for my child (despite the lack of sleep and experience) It’s all God , it’s all GRACE!
Getting older, has also allowed me to zero in on what really matters. Having Frankie has made Jerrold and I more aware of our role in the circle of life . ( Cue the lion king movie-opening music ) Us becoming parents ,watching our own folks becoming grandparents – it’s all part of this grand scheme of things! All this growing up has just made us look beyond our little family and has made us a little more aware of our part in the Greater story. It has got us decluttering our desires and thinking of what’s truly important … relationships-the one you have with the God and with the people around you.
This season has also been about asking myself some hard questions. What is the essence of life? Am I doing meaningful work ? Am I staying true to my WHY? What legacy do I want to leave in this world? I am hoping that in these longer, quieter days that come with the wonderful sounds and smells of infancy, I find some of the answers. To help with that, I’m doing this 12 week creative course called The Artist’s way by Julia Cameron. One of my favourite takeaways from it are these lines:
One of great misconceptions about the artistic life is that it entails great swathes of aimlessness. The truth is that a creative life involves great swathes of attention. Attention is a way to connect and survive. – Julia Cameron
Taking a cue from that, I have been intentional about being more attentive, trying to take in and catch the little things that make this season , marriage and motherhood, so wonderful. I have found that much of the beauty lies in the details – in the simple everyday things.
Sometimes I tend to look back at the past with rose-colored glasses and I think about how my midriff -wearing, nomadic , single woman days were the good old days of glory. While that season was truly beautiful in its own way, this new one, has some serious charm of its own. When I sometimes get tempted to live in the past and wonder about all the could-have-beens, I am stopped by all the beautiful details of my current reality, beginning with the little miracle I get to cuddle with all the time. I take in the way her eyes light up during story time, the big gummy smile she gives me when she’s woken up from a good night of sleep, the sound of her loud coos, the smell of lavender shampoo on her head full of hair, her milky breath, the sound of calming lullabies and familiar Disney medleys playing throughout our sunny little apartment , how cute she looks when she’s all curious about the world when we’re out on brunches in the city and on our daily walks to the grocery store. I take in the sound of keys jingling outside our door and how it means Jerrold is home from work , I take in how happy he looks when he’s playing with Frankie, I take in how comfy it feels when we’re snuggled up on the couch with a movie on, how excited I am when we talk about our dreams together- I take in all of these beautiful details and I come to a conclusion that the glory days are here , the glory days are now. They have come disguised as the ordinary, as the mundane , and I couldn’t be more grateful for eyes that could see this season for the great adventure it truly is . I am grateful for today, for family, for this amazing, messy, insanely beautiful privilege called motherhood.