Creating our own normal.
When in baseball, you learn to adapt to all the madness and uncertainty by creating your own “normal” and after 7 seasons I felt I had it down! However season #8 really made me dig deep within myself and find strength that I never knew I had. It was unlike any before, it was not just the hubby and I navigating through baseball life together, we added a little peanut to the wild ride! Believe me when I say that a baby changes everything!
Kaysen was 16 weeks old during the heart of baseball season. We had left our comfy home when she was merely 3-4 weeks old. I was a new mom trying to figure out how to be a mom while recovering from major surgery all at the same time. However Kaysen didn’t know any of that. This life, various hotel rooms, different baseball stadiums, and new faces was her normal. I remember struggling so much trying to do things the “right way” when our lifestyle just didn’t allow for it.
By 16 weeks, I figured out Kaysen had a sleepy window ( a time when she needed to nap), it may seem silly but it was a huge hurdle we overcame. Life got a little smoother and I was slowly beginning to feel proud of myself. Her nap times rarely looked like the average baby. Most of the time we were at Casey’s games when she needed to nap. I eventually figured out that if I put my nursing cover over her umbrella stroller that it dimmed the stadium lights just enough and by using two noise machines it muffled the noise and created consistency so that she can nap during the game! This was a HUGE mom win when it came to creating our new normal!
We had come so far from the beginning of the baseball season! I will never forget sitting at the stadium in Toledo, Ohio trying to watch Casey pitch his first game back from elbow surgery. Kaysen was screaming crying (she was a whopping 5 weeks old) and I didn’t know why! I tried to nurse her, it was a total mess! The cover was one way, my top was another, I worried of exposing myself not to mention the sheer terror I felt as a new mom thinking people were glaring at me as she cried! I remember glancing over and seeing another mom nursing without trouble and wondering how she did it all so seamlessly, I was envious!
Now with the end of the year and our first baseball season behind us as a family I reflect on how far we have come.
It may have seemed crazy to some (or most for that matter) as I paced back and forth in the outfield to get Kaysen to nap at 8:30 at night, but it worked for us! It was our normal. It was a realization that what works for some, does not work for others. It was surrendering ideals I had in my head of what motherhood should be like. It was bending expectations, and it was giving myself grace to tread new waters.
Being a mom has been my hardest journey to date. Especially early on when faced with doing so much on my own with no help for most of the day and into the night (during baseball season). However looking back, I am reminded of just how strong I can be. How strong we can be! How when we set our minds to something, we can accomplish it! It may not be pretty, it may not be perfect, and it defiantly may not be how everyone does it, but it is life and it’s yours and there is beauty in adversity.
Adapting was such a key word for us this year as a family of three. While uncertainty will always continue, we will hold tight to our own ever-changing “normal” and I encourage you to do the same!