Dear Life. You're Hard.

Dear life. You are hard sometimes. I entered the house today full of energy in the pit of my stomach. I had just ended a work phone call and repeated part of the conversation in my head as I passed the threshold into the house.

The person at the other end of the line, who I had never met, must have picked up on my excess energy. “Hanna, this happens all the time. No big deal.”, he said referring to my response to a slight change in the process.

So this is what I’ve become, I thought, a person with no margin for inefficiencies and beating myself up for being imperfect. I’m reading a book written from the perspective of the main character, who also happens to have autism (The Rosie Project). I cant help but wonder if my lack of sleep and inability to handle change has triggered a dormant autism gene that I’ve been carrying around just waiting to wake up.

I’ll sum up my last 4 months in a few words- overwhelmed, depressed, loving, worried, inept, concerned, loving, scared, insecure, productive, loving, tired, loving, patient, and impatient… and still loving.  I think that’s what having kids will do to a person.  You are a tired emotional and lack-of-emotion version of yourself. 

After making dinner, glorified grilled cheese (‘glorified’ because we used good cheese and added a fresh tomato), I felt like second guessing everything. Was working the right decision for our family? Did I choose the right daycare? What was I thinking having a baby (I have no clue how to be a parent)? Why did I eat feta cheese during pregnancy? Will I ever sleep through the night? Are Amelia’s lungs okay? Will I ever sleep in past 6am again? Why did I wear these shoes today? Did I handle my last meeting good enough? Did I spend enough time with Amelia today?  How come I’m not praying more?  Excreta excreta….

If I allow myself to step back, even if for a brief moment, I can see that life would feel hard to someone in my shoes (no matter which ones I decided to wear today). And instead of second-guessing myself after a long-imperfect-not-as-planned day, I could choose to go easy on myself. 

I’ve had 33 years to get experience being Hanna, and 11 years of experience of being Brandon’s wife, and 18 years experience being a worker, and 6 years of experience practicing being kind to myself. I have to remember that experience builds confidence. So I’m not going to get confidence in this new role as mom if all I do is tell myself I’m sucky or not good enough.  Brandon reminds me to make a decision for what works today and if we need to change it tomorrow we can.  He’s right.

Today instead of repeating a story of how things didn’t go as planned or how I couldn’t master every aspect of being wife, mom, worker person… Maybe I need to celebrate my glorified grilled cheese and be thankful I have a loving husband and cutie baby.  And at the end of each day, even though I’m super tired, I’m making tiny deposits into gaining confidence and discovering a new normal.

A photo posted by Hanna Koenig (@hannaksays) on


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