Baby,  Pregnancy,  Sling Diaries

joy, mine and hers


true story: the newborn days were not joyful for me. I know some women are able to love it and bask in their well earned status as new mother of a milky babe. I was pretty confused about what Lux needed, what she wanted, what I was supposed to be doing. Joy was a word a lot of old people exclaimed to me on the street. “What a joy she is!” they said. I scrunched my eyes shut and tried to imagine how they saw her. Where was that ethereal glow, that leapt into their eyes at the sight of her, coming from? They grinned at me expecting an eager nod of agreement, but received only a smile and few fuzzy blinks from my tired eyes. This rumored joy of being a mother felt like an elusive promise in those early days.

I suppose my greatest moments of joy have come from sharing the work of raising Lux with Joe. Watching how he responds to a situation when I am at a loss, learning what inspires him about her, and most especially watching their long-lost-best-friends reunion every evening when he comes home from work. And–that wonderful feeling when you think, “oh I don’t know if I have it in me for this right now,” but wait! Your partner appears and handles it for you, in a way far different from what you would have done. A sigh of relief, and you sit back, watch, and learn.

Meanwhile, toddlers spend at least five minutes every day in a state of sheer joy. We go to a carousal in our park quite frequently. It’s a treat, but not an exotic one for the kids in our neighborhood. The animals are nicked here and there from overlove, but glossy with paint and bedazzled with jewels, and in the evenings they turn on the rows of bulbs and from across the park you can see the ribboning lights spin by. Lux’s current favorite is a rabbit with a pink collar and blue eyes who is completely missing one of his ears. Anyway, yesterday, as soon as the gate opened, Lux took off in a sprint around it, her arms thrown back as she circled the wooden animals. She was completely overjoyed at the prospect of the ride and did a full lap of glee. I watched her mini celebration of the moment in awe. Learning from her, learning from Joe, that’s where I finally stumbled on the promised joy.


This is the third in a series of posts for the Sling Diaries. I’m wearing the Sakura Bloom pure baby linen sling in twilight. 


  • Jill

    These photos are so sweet! I love your dress. And I can totally relate, the newborn phase with Lucy was just exhausting. Second time around was way more enjoyable 🙂

  • Ashlee Neva

    I am COMPLETELY with you! My first (second due in October) didn’t sleep through the night until 10 months old. It was exhausting! I am hoping that this time around is a little different – either different because of the baby or different because I’ve done this before. Though with babies, you never know… Thank you for this honest post.

    • Rachael Ringenberg

      Based on the 2nd time mamas I’ve observed, I think you’re right to get your hopes up! There are benefits to reap from all that patience you’ve built up between now and then. And plus, we get to just let the little ones be little, instead of looking forward to the next stage all the time.

  • Sarah

    Thank you for your post. My husband and I tried for so long to have a baby, shortly after I came to terms with the possibility it may never happen we found out we were pregnant. I was overjoyed! Now, as a new mother to a beautiful baby boy (who we were told was a girl until two days before his birth), I love him more than I can describe, but I feel like as a mother I’m somehow coming up short. Maybe it was foolish on my part not to expect just how challenging some days can be

    • Sarah

      I find myself wondering what is the matter with me, why don’t I feel this magical feeling that we are promised as mothers? How do I go beyond my little one’s basic needs, and make him happy? And like you related, I sit back and watch my husband in awe, and try like hell to replicate what I see. I have faith we’ll get to our joy on this journey.

      • Sarah

        Thank you for sharing your story and making me feel a little more sane by saying what is not supposed to be spoken of by a mother.

        • Rachael Ringenberg

          You’re welcome. It gets SOO much easier. Truly. Be kind to yourself and be patient. There will be things you miss about these days, but by and large, you need only to survive them and enjoy what you can as they pass. Sometimes it will feel like this is your new reality for the rest of your life, but actually it will change in the next week!

  • Christy Milford

    The second to last picture is so sweet- both of you looking up, surrounded by grass, such a great moment in time captured! Your dress is quite lovely, as well 🙂 Love your words. Joy is a great thing to learn from babies & toddlers!

  • Jenna Sietsema


    I wanted to take the time while I have it to tell you how much I’ve been enjoying your blog. This morning I decided to sit with my coffee (decaf of course for this prego) and catch up on all of my friends’ blogs to find inspiration for life…and perhaps my own blog should I start one some day.

    Some things I LOVE about your blog:

    1) Honesty-
    I have found that each of your posts seems to come from your heart and your home. You write about your real life and your real feelings. It’s so relatable and inviting due to your comfort with yourself and confidence in sharing the truth. You are introspective and give your readers a glimpse into your inner thought life, which is so welcoming.

    2) Imagery-
    You truly have a way with words. I have a feeling that your way with language and your ability to knit letters and phrases into intricate tapestries is a product of your love for reading and comes naturally to you… but even if it takes some tweaking and re-writing to accomplish, I appreciate the effort for it makes reading your entries a real delight.

    3) Beauty-

    I love all of the photos you include in your posts. As they say, a picture speaks a thousand words, and I love the way the pictures you include add so much to your writing. It’s special to know that your photos are your own and depict your real life. There is something about real-life images that adds validity and perspective.

    So…thank you and please keep writing…you have another dedicated reader who will be eagerly waiting!

  • this brown wren

    Such a beautiful, heartfelt post! And the images of you and your Lux will be treasured for many generations. Thanks for sharing your journey 🙂 xx

  • Junglewife

    Reading back through your Sakura bloom posts and this one really resonated with me. I was pretty far removed from the baby days when I first read it but now I am back in the thick of it again. I am reminded that I am really not a mom who loves and thrives in the newborn baby stage. I also love seeing my husband interact with my daughters in ways that I never would, both the older girls and the babies too. Knowing from experience that things do change and get easier, I am trying to take joy where I can in this stage and not just always be yearning for the next stage.

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