I always told myself that when — and if — I ever became a mom that I’d have my life together. I think that we all hope for that. Have the job, the house, the bank account. That my entire life would be set up so that bringing a beautiful tiny human into the world would flow effortlessly.
As life often likes to throw curveballs (or wrenches) into our plans, it did not happen the way I was always sure that it would.
I had just moved in with my boyfriend months before finding out we were expecting. We hadn’t been together terribly long, and it wasn’t even something that was on my mind. Because of this, I felt completely unprepared to enter this completely new territory. I looked at my life and I wondered how? How am I going to pull this off? How am I going to adapt to this major shift in my life? How is my life going to change? Am I ready for that?
No, I wasn’t.
But then, once the fear had started to subside, my thoughts started to shift. My thoughts about “me” quickly turned into thoughts about “we”. We are going to do this. We are going to be parents together. We are going to make sure this baby has a roof over its head and clothes on its back. We are going to be partners through all of this. Suddenly, I started to appreciate everything that we do have.
Our tiny country home has a bedroom for him. It has a functional bathroom, heat, water, laundry, and a fridge & appliances for food. We don’t have much of a living room, but it’s cozy enough for all of us to be close to one another. When we sit in that room we’re there, together.
Our dining table is large enough to entertain a few extras, and enough for us to sit around and enjoy good conversation. These days it’s where things “sit” (like Carter’s high chair tray & toy cars), but it’s there when and if we want to use it, waiting for laughter, stories, good food, and maybe a glass of wine or two.
Our bathroom is pretty tiny. I sometimes struggle to get ready in there. But it has a shower, and clean water to keep us clean and healthy. It has a sink, beside which sit our toothbrushes. There’s room for towels, soaps, and bath toys. There’s enough room for me to sit beside the tub while our son splashes in the water.
Our bedroom is the worst shade of red, and it gets extremely hot during the summer months because of the giant window. But I have seen some of the most beautiful sunrises through that window. I’ve seen wildlife running through the field beside our home through that window. And when the curtains close, and it cools off at night, we have a warm bed big enough for the two of us, and big enough to squeeze an extra little body in beside us when he can’t sleep. There is enough room in that bed for unlimited amounts of love.
His room is pretty small but big enough for his crib, a double bed, and storage for his clothes and toys. Sure, some of those things are being stored underneath his crib, but it’s a warm place to sleep (especially in the summer). He’s rocked to sleep in that room, sang to in that room, smothered with cheek kisses in that room. We have pictures hung from those who love him in that room, and books signed with messages of well wishes, love, and wisdom from more people who love him. It’s where he falls asleep, and where he first sees the two people who love him most when he opens his eyes in the morning.
I’d paint almost every room in this house right now if I could. The entire upstairs hallway is blue — ceiling included — and it agitates me to no end. The kitchen is a work-in-progress, and the cabinets are green to match the giant red wall that connects to the dining area. We often have to move things in and out of the closet in the living room to make room for other things, and we can never decide if we want a coffee table in there or not because it takes up space.
Luckily for me, though, none of it actually matters.
What matters is the amount of love we’ve managed to squish into the square-footage we’re working with. The number of laughs we’ve shared as a family watching our son grow and change every day, and the amount of joy that we feel even on the hardest days because we get to have each other — be with each other — here in this small space.
What matters is that when I wake up in the morning I am reminded every day by the red and blue walls, the small rooms, and limited space that I live a life filled with more love than I could have ever expected to feel in my lifetime.
What matters is that we have made a home out of each other, rather than the walls that surround us.