New motherhood
9:11 AM | 2 comments

There are a lot of things “they” don’t tell you about motherhood, and for the last 2 months, those things have taken me for quite a ride. Now that I feel like I’m on the upward swing of the other side, I can definitely see that I had me a bout of post-partum depression. There are still days where my mantra is FML, and all I want to do is hand off the baby to her Daddy so I can rest. But those days are thankfully fewer and further between.
I won’t go into what those things are that nobody tells you. Some of you may one day want to become mothers and I don’t want to dissuade you with the less-than mythical, un-romanticized version. If you ask, I’ll tell. I’ll just say that no one tells you that you might not immediately have goo-goo eyes for your baby, that it’s a complex mother-daughter relationship that might take its time building up to something incredible rather than just automatically being an alive, bloomed relationship. I can tell you that it for sure gets there, it may just take some time. I love my daughter with all my heart and would do anything, ANYTHING for her. But coming out of the hospital was terrifying and, in moments of exhaustion and desperation, I would totally have felt OK about leaving her behind. That’s how I felt, and I know that a cocktail of post partum hormones was playing around in my head and heart.
You know what has made it all so much easier? No, not looking into my baby’s eyes and seeing the beauty of a creature part me and part husband. Not the occasional coo amidst hours of crying. It was other moms. Other warriors who could commiserate, and tell me tat what I was feeling was OK, they’d been there. That raising a newborn is taxing and hard, and the epitome of selflessness, because that little being doesn’t know how to show thanks or return the love yet. Other moms who knew I didn’t want parenting advice, I was already feeling shaky on my own. They knew all I needed was a listening ear and the reassurance that I was a good mom doing fantastically well using the tools of intuition, survival, and the support of my husband (when he was not being a crime-stopping superhero of Ross River)
Thanks to all the moms, my own included, who helped me get through new motherhood, and who keep being helpful resources of encouragement and support. Thanks to those moms honest enough to acknowledge the difficulties, even when the hard stuff is difficult to talk about, or scary to deal with.
This morning, I am watching Abigail flail away on her play mat, listening to her Beatles lullaby CD, smiling at the dangling toys and screeching in delight. She pauses now and then to arch her head and look up at me, eliciting a huge grin just for me. I’m her mommy, and now I feel it.

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How to be Abby's mom
5:36 PM | 0 comments

What being a parent has been like

I’d love to write some highly descriptive prose detailing life as a mom, but the job itself allows little time to write, to eat, to apply deodorant even. And so, you will have to do with this point-form list of what 6 weeks of being a mom has been like for me:
Being a parent sometimes means:
- Realizing that a full night’s sleep is a hazy concept I vaguely remember and may one day in the far, far future return to
- Learning to operating on sleep increments of 20 minutes to 3 hours throughout the night
- Learning, the hard way, to keep one diaper underneath her when removing the other, or else she’ll pee all over me and the change pad and her clothes
- Making breakfast, lunch and dinner with the use of one hand (the other is occupied holding the baby)
- Finding the nutritional value in frozen meals, meals from a box and meals in the form of replacement chocolate shakes
- Makeup routine goes from a leisurely 15 minutes staring at my own reflection to frantically applying some undereye concealer (to hide the sleepless night) while singing lullabies to the bored baby lying on the change table beside the mirror before she starts crying
- Taking naps with a beautiful baby girl curled up on my chest, smelling like baby and breathing her little baby breaths, drifting off with me making her little baby sounds
- Escaping the beauty of a shower by myself, the smell of lavender body wash and the feel of warm steam, to the blaring reality that my baby is screaming in hunger on the other side of the door while my poor husband tries to soothe her
- Choosing outfits based not on what suits me, what’s stylish or even what’s comfortable but based upon which make for easy nursing
- Switching outfits numerous times a day because I smell like milk she has spit back on my shirt or spit up on my pants
- Realizing that my baby has not read the baby behaviour books and does not know she is “supposed” to enjoy her soother and “supposed” to be sleeping at night in 4 or 5 hour increments
- If anyone else were to wake me numerous times from slumber crying that they were hungry, I would likely slug them. But this baby gets a free pass, night after night, because she is beautiful and dependent on my reciprocated love
- Getting immense joy and pride, equal to graduating university or finishing a race, from things as simple as her smile or her coos
- Living in Lululemon pants
- Remembering to shower only because the grease in my hair is too much to ignore, not because I remember how many days it’s been since my last one

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