Baking, Parenthood, Reflection

Strawberry Shortcake + Anticipation of the Future

Today my Sunday schedule was totally thrown off (thanks to my calling, or volunteer work, at my church). Instead of attending choir practice in the morning and church for 3 hours in the afternoon, I went to church meetings from 9-12 and spent the afternoon at home while my husband was attending our regular meetings (plus the additional meetings he has for his calling).

Basically, the fact that I had a lot more alone time than normal (and the fact that I took out a friend’s puppy for a very long walk in the spring sunshine) meant that I had a LOT of time to think today.

People keep asking me all the time about what our plans are for after the baby comes.

I wish I had an answer for them.

The truth is, we have no idea where we’ll be in a year–we’re still waiting to hear back from the rest of the PT schools Matt applied to (all of the schools that we have heard back from have been in the negative so far), which means that we can’t very well go ahead and make any other definite plans as of yet. As for having a backup plan, it doesn’t get much easier–because of the way the retirement works through the Utah public education system, I want to teach one year more for sure before staying at home with our kids (if that will be an option for me at that point), but we don’t know if we’ll be staying here in the same place (which means that I’ll be staying at my same school), or if we’ll be moving down to Bountiful and living in the basement of one of our parents’ houses for a year while we figure things out and get help with childcare while I teach down there.

Matt will obviously be working wherever we end up, unless he’s in PT school somewhere.

So basically, we have those 3 options as of now, and it doesn’t seem like we’ll know for sure until at least April or May, which is a little scary time-wise, considering that we’ll already be adjusting to being new parents then (and probably won’t want the added stress of trying to figure out what the heck we’re doing for the next 12 months).

So basically, I’ve been thinking a lot about the future and trying to reassure myself that it will all work out somehow (because it always does).

I’ve also been thinking about our baby girl–what she’ll be like, how I’ll react to being a mother for the first time, how hard it will be (and if it will be as hard as everyone says it is).

I wonder how quickly we’ll adjust to being a family of 3, and if I’ll sometimes miss it just being the two of us. I wonder if the second I become a mother, this deep-down instinct and love will just kick in, and I’ll wonder why we waited so long to make this leap into parenthood. I’m terrified that that instinct WON’T kick in, and that, while I absolutely know I’ll love our baby girl fiercely (because I already do), I’ll wonder why we didn’t wait until I felt more “ready.”

It’s scary putting these thoughts out there because I feel like every other woman I know seems to be much more “dialed in” to the idea of being a parent than I am–every other woman seems to just fall gracefully into that role of being the selfless caregiver, and I hope (and pray) that maybe–just maybe–I might be able to become “one of those women” myself.

And soon.

So I have these worries sometimes about the future, and what kind of mom I’ll be.

But then I’ll have a quiet afternoon to myself, like today, where I creamed together butter and sugar for a shortcake and sliced strawberries and measured out flour, and I discover that I’m excited to teach these things to our little girl–that I’m excited to teach her to measure out the dry ingredients carefully (like my own mom taught me) and to let the strawberries glaze together with the sugar for at least a good half hour before serving them over the finished shortcake. I’m excited to take her on walks (as so many parents took their kids out on walks today due to the sun) and point out the puppies passing by, as so many parents pointed out the puppy I was walking today to their own daughters.

And as I went to a meeting tonight for the young women as part of my church calling, I got excited to think that someday, I’d be explaining what it means to be a young woman of God to our own little girl, and that she would grow up one day to be as poised and radiant and self-assured as the young women I met tonight were.

And you know what?

It’s in the moments like those that all the fear DOES go away, and I am reassured that no matter where we are, I will be prepared for whatever comes next.

And that on days when it seems like I self-reflect until I explode, there will always be strawberry shortcake.

And that things will all be okay.


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