Motherhood + The Haze, Guest Post by Katelyn Paskett
"I've been an overachiever, an over-scheduler and an over doer for much of my life. Time tempered the fringe of that, the dross fell and life became slower and clearer. New motherhood further sifted and sorted, it magnified the slow and the intentional. When we brought home our 5 pound baby girl my attention turned to the details of surviving sleep deprivation and all night nursing sessions. I succumbed to the haze of it, the love and the exhaustion and the newness.
Eventually the light burned through the mist of the sleepless nights and while I emerged more confident as a mother I also emerged conflicted about whether or not the transformation had absorbed my womanhood and identity. Those early days were beautiful. I spent my mornings strolling our tree lined street with Juni wrapped tightly to my chest and the afternoons snoozing alongside my pudgy baby. But sometimes the slowness made me long for the same sense of purpose I associated with the business of my previous life.
I spent those first few months reconciling it all, the colliding feelings and clashing desires; the immense joy of motherhood and the transformative seeming loss of my old self, reveling in the slowness that comes with loving and tending to a new babe and the ache for the rigor and intensity of my previous life. As the months went by we hit a rhythm and fell into a groove with parenthood, my maternity leave ended and I returned to work as a nurse in the emergency department. I started running down the canyon on Saturday mornings and I reclaimed my sleep. Life took on a new normal and I eventually found the balance I'd been searching for, rediscovering the parts of myself I thought had been lost and stumbling upon new revelations about a simple and intentional life. One such revelation jettisoned me all the way back to when I was a little girl.
When I close my eyes and picture the rosy, beautiful parts of my childhood I remember sugared pansies scattered atop a vanilla buttercream birthday cake. I remember hand carved stamps and rubber shavings strewn over our kitchen table. I remember work spaces and corners filled with visions and projects, inspiration and handiwork. I don't remember being shuttled to and fro. I don't remember being tossed from performance to performance. I don't remember a rigorous itinerary. I was a five year old ballerina, bun taut on my head, soft pink from head to toe. I remember a white Christmas marked by sugar plum fairies and a blush tutu. There were opportunities in abundance but my time was not over-saturated with obligations and activities, it was marked by simplicity. I see now that this same beautiful simplicity afforded to me as a little girl dovetails beautifully with motherhood and womanhood.
Simplicity means not being a slave to time and schedules, activities and obligations but being free for wanderings and creation, serendipity and spontaneity. These words feel like a soft, welcome breeze. They breath buoyancy into my soul and help lift me out of the exhaustion, and the unwavering, albeit wholly rewarding, demand of caring for and loving a child. The fruits of simplicity allow for organic progression, fluid boundaries and peace. Gentle, simple motherhood has brought me peace and creation in womanhood. Gentle, simple motherhood has made me a well fed soul.
My focus has shifted since the haze of new motherhood. I'm looking toward toddlerhood and an impending barrage of choices that accompany raising an increasingly independent child. I've made a vow to myself to maintain a continued sense of simplicity in my mothering because it augments my womanhood and feeds my soul. A well fed soul can give and gift the way that motherhood, and love, demand. A well fed soul can face the inevitable hiccups, disappointments and betrayals that life affords. A well fed soul can overcome shame and devastating paradigms. A well fed soul can love and love well."
Katelyn is from originally from Oregon but now lives in Utah with her husband and their little girl, Juniper. She is a registered nurse in the emergency department and her husband teaches high school. They own a small, brick home and a yard filled with raspberry bushes, grape vines and lilac blooms. She and her family are currently on a year long adventure, traipsing across the world and jet setting from one adventure to the next. You can read more about Katelyn's life over on her blog Kate + Pine and follow along with her daily adventures on Instagram (@kateandpine). I absolutely adore this piece; so beautifully written, well thought, and extremely insightful. Thank you, Katelyn, for letting us look into your thoughts on motherhood!
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