Saturday, October 26, 2013

Post-Vacation Realization

This weekend, I finally figured out the one thing I really didn't understand before having kids. 

Before, at the end of a long day of work, I could relax in the evening (in my quiet, clean house). And if that wasn't enough, there was always the weekend to recharge. And if THAT wasn't enough, there was always a three-day-weekend or vacation to look forward to. 

Now, my weekends are lots of toddler-wrangling surrounded by piles of laundry and broken up by errand-running. And today, at the end of a long weekend mini-vacation just a short drive away, I am just as tired, if not more so, than at the beginning. 

So that leads to my new-found understanding. It's not the sleep deprivation that you have when your kid is a newborn that is the killer. (That ends, thank goodness.) It's that, with kids, there is no real "down time" to relax and recharge. Maybe ever. 

This is not really a complaint: I wouldn't trade my kid for the cleanest, quietest house or all the fancy spa vacations in the world. But sometimes, I wish I could have it both ways. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Truth About Having A Baby

I read so many of blogs and Facebook posts about pregnancies, birth stories, and the early days with babies. Everyone seems to have had such lovely experiences. I think that's why I never wrote anything of substance about mine: other than the outcome -- my delightful daughter -- my experiences were not pleasant (understatement of the century). I had a challenging pregnancy; I had a long, painful, and traumatic childbirth experience, the high point of which was the surgical intervention; my first few weeks with my daughter were painful because of complications from surgery and panicked because of breastfeeding difficulties. None of it was pretty, and almost a year after the baby's birth, I am still traumatized.

Don't read any further if you're squeamish.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

I woke up at 6:15 this morning to the sound of the monitor. It wasn't a full-fledged cry, and it wasn't one of the whimpers that mean that she's not fully awake yet; it was somewhere in between. It gave me enough time to run to the bathroom and get her bottle warmed before I got her.

When I got in the room, she was standing up in her crib, supported by one hand on the toy piano we have suspended from the footboard. She was, as always, happy to see me. And despite my lack of sleep -- she had awoken, briefly, at midnight, and her dad's alarm went off at 3 am -- I was beyond happy to see her.

Diaper, bottle, playtime on the floor, breakfast, another diaper, more playtime, another bottle, snuggles, and a nap: a morning just like every other weekend morning.

This was my mother's day; my first one as a mom. It was also the first one in a very long time that hasn't been overwhelmingly tinged with sadness and loss. I still miss my mother terribly, but I have so much more now than I ever did before. I am so very lucky.

Practicing her pouty face.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

At Eight Months

My daughter is eight months old today.

Flower Girl.

She gives sloppy open mouth kisses when she feels like it, and has been known to applaud the weather forecast. She giggles when you do something unexpected, like blow raspberries on her belly. She pinches me and pulls my hair, a lot, usually when I am feeding her. 

She holds on to me so tightly when I pick her up when she's crying in the middle of the night, and first thing in the morning too. She pushes me away when she wants to play with her toys. She likes the toys with the flashing lights, or the ones that make noise or play music, more so when someone close by is sleeping.

She likes to roll over mid-diaper change and wave her little butt in the air. I know I shouldn't laugh, but I do anyway. She calls me "Da Da," even though I keep telling her that my name is "Mama." I know that, eventually, she'll get it right.

She can crawl or roll from one end of the house to the other in seconds. She likes to climb on me, and now she uses my limbs, or whatever else she can find, to pull herself up to standing.  

She is a force of nature, this baby. She is exhausting and exhilarating. And I have never loved anything or anyone as fiercely.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


This week, we received our first Wittlebee box: a really cute three piece purple set, grey sweatpants, a threadless t-shirt, and an orange hooded sweatshirt.

We can't wait to see what they send next month!

If you are interested in having cute kid's clothes sent to you without having to shop or even think about it, you should check it out. And if you use my link, you save $10.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Six Months

This is a little late, since she'll be seven months on Tuesday.  But let's just say that so far, six months is the best.
Hello, Kitty.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Dear Leo's Mom

I saw you crying when you dropped Leo off at daycare for the first time today. I wanted to hug you, to tell you that it's okay, that it gets better. But the truth is that I don't know if it does. We just learn to hide it better so that we can get done what needs to get done, and so that our babies don't know that we're really a wreck inside.

It's not like the daycare isn't a good place. It is. They've been taking excellent care of my daughter for the past two months. She is happy and well-cared for, and really, what more could I ask? Still, if I didn't have to work, I'd be staying at home with her, soaking up all the cuddles and delighting in watching her figure out this crazy, extraordinary world. But that's not currently in the budget.

You are lucky, in some respects: Leo is over 4 months old and today is the first day that you dropped him off. I had to go back to work when my baby was just 12 weeks old, still a newborn. And, like you, I cried.

I cried after every babysitter interview. When we finally found someone, and I left her the first time, just for two hours as a transition, I cried the entire time. Then, when I went back to work full-time, I cried in the car for a week. Some days, I cried in my office, and in the evening after I put her to sleep. And then, three weeks later, when she started at the daycare? I went through the whole process all over again.

I cried because I felt like such a bad mommy. But now I know, I am not a bad mommy: I am doing what I need to do to take care of my family to the best of my ability. Bad mommies are the ones that don't make sacrifices to take care of their families; mommies that always put their own wants and desires first.

You are not a bad mommy.

It gets easier. I promise.