When my husband’s Bestie called to tell us he was planning a visit late in August to meet his nephew, my first thought was “No way, no how!” Not because Hubby’s Bestie is the ONE person in the world who knows how to turn all my cranks out of joint and loves to, but because just a few weeks ago I was more than just a little overwhelmed. Turns out the secret to beating that pesky overwhelmed and terrifying feeling is as simple as can be – just accept your “new normal”.

A woman with no name who brings food and wipes baby’s bums. This, my friends, is what I do.

My new normal includes a messier than usual apartment that unfortunately smells a bit like diaper poop (thank you baby Jo), a new schedule and a new role: Mama. A woman with no name who brings food and wipes baby’s bums. This, my friends, is what I do. And, until Uncle Bestie came around, I was starting to think that this is all there was. The new normal can be close to your old life and even though they say to keep company to a limit after the birth of your child, with the help of friends your new normal can be better than your old simple life. But, then again I might just have better friends than most.

This week I had a full house. Hubby’s Bestie slept on our couch, without complaint and with only a tiny quilt and a pillow off our bed. My Bestie came round pretty much every day, and a new friend (someone Bestie and I sniffed out and collected for our own – she’s good people) brought us lasagna and homemade muffins. Bringing food to the Disgutingtons? Good call, lady. Suddenly everyone wanted to help but not in the usual uninvited and overbearing kind of way. It was a full house but what filled it was love and support and everyone paid attention to Jonah – little attention whore loved it. At this juncture I will remind everyone that I love my kid but I reserve the right to call him whatever I want, so don’t waste your time being offended. If I declare him nasty baby or attention whore it is a name I say with love. Remember, I made him. Anyway, comparatively this week in the end felt less overwhelming than past weeks. Weeks where all I could hear was that part of me that constantly whispered “Are you sure you can do this?” But, I should have known. I grew up in a house that was always bustling. Whether we had extra family staying with us, or there was a summer BBQ or a neighborhood Christmas blow-out my home was always lit up. My parents never used kids as an excuse to not do something. My mom always said to live your life exactly how you want and do everything you want to do, just bring your baby with you. She said it always makes it better anyway. So I guess yet again my mom was right. Our apartment is busting at the seams with baby stuff and people but it has never felt warmer. When J and I had both Besties here for dinner it was the first time I believed I could do it all. Watching my friends hold Jonah, make themselves at home and dig into a homemade meal, I saw family. I saw the family I was building on my own. For some reason it bolstered my confidence. That week baby Jo’s cries didn’t rattle me so much and I learned to trust my abilities. At times it was surreal. Like I was seeing my own future. I knew with each kid to come (Now, Hubby and I talk about having two, three or four – all though talk of four comes after I’ve had a Guinness) I’d have the same support system if I asked for it and moreover, for at least these two friends in particular, they would be around by their own choice. I have to say Jonah did a terrific job in winning them over. God bless his little handsome face.

Of course all things whether they are truly good or bad, they all come to an end. My Bestie had her full time job to get back to, her fur babies and Boyfriend. Uncle Bestie had his two full time jobs and friends to get back to in Ottawa so by Monday night after our airport run it was suddenly just back to us. Me, Hubby and a no worse for wear Baby Jo. I still being a little hormonal scooped up Jonah and had myself a little cry while I sang to him my favourite Stevie Nicks song, the lyrics being somehow appropriate to how I was feeling:

Do you always trust your first initial feeling?

Special knowledge holds truth bears believing

I turned around and the water was closing all around Like a glove,

like the love that had finally, finally found me
Then I knew in the crystalline knowledge of you

Drove me through the mountains

Through the crystal like clear water fountain

Drove me like a magnet to the sea
How the faces of love have changed turning the pages

And I have changed oh, but you, you remain ageless

I turned around and the water was closing all around Like a glove,

like the love that had finally, finally found me
Then I knew in the crystalline knowledge of you

Drove me through the mountains

Through the crystal like clear water fountain

Drove me like a magnet to the sea

I knew while looking at Jonah that he knew where I was coming from. It is the whole reason I looked for JP for so long, why I told him after six months that we would be married. This is what I have been striving for my whole life. To find myself my soul mate and continue on that gift of family that I had always been so lucky to have. And, there I was many years later, holding my newborn baby, making dinner and laughing with friends. Excuse me, no. Laughing with family. Bestie said to me that she was proud of me for having my life stay much the same after baby Jo … Well, the truth is it’s down to her. I`m sure she doesn`t realise how much of my success is hers. And for his part, how much of J`s success is down to Uncle Bestie turning up for no other reason but to support us in our new normal.

It takes a village to raise a baby. Well, I don`t want the village. But I will say, Uncle Bestie we miss you like crazy. Baby Jo misses you calling him “young sir,” and to my Bestie, we may not be having our babies together like we always planned, but we are having Jonah together. I cannot do this without your humour, grace and knack for everything childlike and imaginative. We are still in this together.

I want my village of four.