Posts tagged Motherhood
Worlds Apart

I sit amid their company. I try to wrap my head around their conversations. I ask questions to understand. Are they speaking a foreign language? There’s a heavy emphasis on motherhood affecting marriage, career, and freedom but what gets lost in the chaos is friendship. A woman will find her motherhood tribe (we’re like magnets, I tell you) but the friendships with those who knew pre-mom me, with those who aren’t on the same path yet tend to shake a bit.

The days are just too different. They see the ends of the world; as a stay-at-home mom, I see the same four corners of the house. They engage with adults, thinkers, movers; I read Runaway Bunny, practice animal sounds, make play dough. Their days start when the sun sets while I look forward to my bed and silence. They are updated with the events, trends, news of today while all I can contribute is what formula to buy, what parenting blog to read (or avoid), what play school to go to — is anyone really interested in such ordinary things? It can be an odd thing seeing both in the same table. We’re living parallel lives. We’re both alive but we’re worlds apart…

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My (Non) Breastfeeding Journey

I was afraid of sunsets. Once the sky displayed a light show of blue, red, and orange bleeding into one another, my body stiffened, my heart raced. I would stare at it from below, in a beautifully curated garden, bracing myself for a night of struggle ahead. The deep, dark night cast a spotlight on pain of all kinds: physical, emotional, mental. They all found their roots in the act that was supposed to define me as a new mother: breastfeeding. 

It was unbearable for so many reasons. First, the pain was excruciating. Even as I look back at it now to tell this story, a heaviness takes a hold of me. When my baby would cry, many times over, I had to take a deep breath, get up, and place him on my breast. Once he found it, I would silently scream, shed many tears, and look at my sleeping husband, resenting him and fathers everywhere. I had to go through it alone during the darkest hours of the day when everyone was asleep. The solitude magnified the pain even more. So I tried to find solace in Google, a modern mom's best friend and worst nightmare. While he was getting his milk, I was frantically searching for answers as I wondered if I was doing the right thing…

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Motherhood Year One

t was a spur-of-the-moment experiment. I saw my little one stumble and fall from cruising the furniture quickly. While I heard the thud, a part of me waited for the cry of pain; a part of me resisted the urge to run and help. What would he do? He laid there for a couple of seconds. I stood still. And then - to my surprise and relief - he picked himself up, smiled at me, and laid his hands on the couch to cruise once again. It's all right, Mom, he must have thought. 

Was it a showcase of bravery? Could it be credited to him being a boy? Maybe it just didn't hurt at all? I've seen this happen, over and over, in different contexts and situations. Then I figured it out. He's just doing what babies do: experiencing life and then responding to the newness, to the rawness of it all. Perhaps we need a redefinition of babies? In my one year of being a mother (oh so short but also oh so long!), my son has showed me that he is not a helpless creature. Yes, of course, they need to be carried, fed, bathed, and changed. But for all that they cannot yet do, they know how to learn…

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Writer's Block

This is the second time I've committed the grave sin of allowing dust to gather on this space. There is so much to say, so much to remember. But there is very little of me to write it all down, to build castles of paragraphs. It's not laziness, I've realized. It's guilt. I shouldn't be staring at my laptop and pounding on the keyboard; I should be caressing the face of my son, carrying him every single moment, singing him nursery songs. I should hold my life instead of write about it. 

I look at him again. I've got it all wrong. His presence in my life -- his bold, perpetual presence -- must rouse me, not inhibit me. If I truly love him, I must pull out the best of me and stash the worst of me away. For there is a tiny tot that looks up to silly old me, asking me to show him the way in this mystifying world. I don't even know how to navigate it myself. But maybe writing will help. It should. It did before. It always does. 

So here's to the words that will do me a service, to the act that makes sense of all the contours and challenges, to the art that captures the beauty of a boy, of a family, of motherhood.

May I never give up on it.

And may you never give up on me. Thank you for your unwavering patience, for waiting for my thoughts to become words.

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Dear First Time Mom

If I could write a letter to my pregnant self, here's what I would say...

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Dear First Time Mom, 

Let me tell you the truth: motherhood is laced with idyllic stories and tempting fantasies. I'm looking at you now, your 8-month pregnant self, belly rounded with life and your head full of those half-truths. You're dreaming about wrapping your son in his muslin blankets, planning out his monthly birthdays, shopping for his stylish organic rompers. You're spending so much time looking at swimming trunks online, little shoes and backpacks for all his adventures. You wonder what toys and books and Disney movies you'll introduce to him first. You and your husband are brimming with excitement as this new chapter is finally within your horizon. 

But let me hold your hand, Deanne. Let me show you the realness, the rawness of it all.

Brace yourself. Are you ready?...

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