Having a baby is hard. Caring for a baby is even harder. I have these thoughts but then I think of the woman in Malawi walking three miles to the filthy watering hole carrying two five gallon buckets with an infant strapped to her back. I’ve seen that woman and I am not her, I am not nearly as strong or dedicated. I “won’t survive” without my cup of coffee each morning and both my daughter and myself have a bed with adequate warmth and coziness. The most difficult thing I have dealt with specifically concerning Amalia on a semi-daily basis is that she doesn’t enjoy car rides. She is flourishing in every way, especially her weight, which has now doubled. My point is not that I have an easy life or that people in less comfortable circumstances always work and never enjoy their time. Instead I am writing as a challenge to myself to not accept a life where I feel too overwhelmed to still stretch out to reach my ambitions. Maximos challenges me to be joyful, which has not been the norm for me as of late. Without joy procured through love, there is no real purpose to accomplish goals. Due to the conveniences of the modern world I live in, I am fully able to work toward something great. Part of that greatness is raising a precious girl with Max, and really that is what will highlight all of my actions because that is my chief purpose now. This doesn’t mean that every time I sit down to write, make soap, or study for classes that she will cease to need me. My accomplished goals will be interrupted by dirty diapers, shrill cries, miniature smiles, nursing breaks and sweet cooing. Nothing is impossible, though. This oddly shaped blog post is hopefully the beginning of a new mindset for myself. I will falter more often than not, but the end goal is to live a joyful life void of apathy or laziness. “Mom” is my favorite title, and someday maybe I’ll have others.