The things she will know

I don’t quite fit into the modern mom culture. Sure, I’ve joined the world of #moming – the one in which you’re always a bit distracted, you see the world through little eyes, and your arms double in length as you carry all the bags that exist, ever.

Really, it started before she was even here. “What’s your theme for your nursery?” Me: “Uh, it’s a girl?” My husband picked the paint color, and we ended up with a lot of elephants, not because we chose it, but because that’s what people got for her.

I love her room, because it’s filled with love and memories. She will know we created it for her.

And wine? Nope. I am definitely not a “wine mom.” I don’t fit into that box.

I have not thought a lick about her first birthday, and I didn’t get her anything for Easter (except an Easter outfit – that counts, right?).

I’m more of a let’s-take-it-day-by-day-mom, because while I’m typically a type A planner, I’ve already reached the conclusion that this little being is her own, and she will change as quickly as she grows.

But there are things she will know.

When we have dance parties while rocking out to Alicia Keys’ “Girl On Fire,” she will know that girls are important and strong, and that her mom will do anything to see her smile and laugh.

When we say, “I’m sorry you’re upset” and “I’m here, I’m listening” while she cries, she will know that all feelings are okay, and that we will be there to help her through the really big emotions that can be overwhelming.

When we cheer her on as she struggles to do something new, she will know we are always behind her, supporting her efforts, even and especially when it gets hard.

When we say, “You are strong, you are kind, you are beautiful,” she will know she is all those things.

When we say, “We are so glad you’re our daughter,” she will know that she was and is so wanted, loved, and appreciated for all that she brings to this world.

I have never fit into any one box, and I hope she doesn’t either. Because as difficult as being on the outskirts can be, it also forces you to think for yourself, and to grow stronger than you ever thought you could be. I wish that for her.

Oh, the things she will know.

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

My heart grew three sizes that day

Not that I was a Grinch before, but at 38 days postpartum, it is still my biggest surprise.

I knew my life would change. Everybody tells you that. I knew my priorities and perspectives would shift, my house would fill with stuff, my marriage would become more important and less important at the same time, sleep would be like a drug I crave constantly, and my body would be, well, stretchier.

But the feels? For everything, all the time? It’s been my hardest adjustment.

Upon leaving the safe cocoon of our hospital room, it felt a bit like we were pushed out of the nest. My husband was unshowered and sleep-deprived, I was swollen and still drugged up, and our baby was screaming about everything. We were a hot mess.

As we launched into parenthood face first, we eventually found solid ground as a little family of three, and celebrated our survival minute by minute. But as soon as this felt somewhat comfortable, my husband returned to work, and keeping our tiny baby alive fell solely on me. What a kick in the nuts that was.

I knew enough about postpartum depression and anxiety to know the signs and to talk about them with my husband and my doctor if needed. I read articles and checked in with my husband about his thoughts on my state of mind. I’m not totally in the clear yet, but I’m doing okay. Seriously though, the sleep deprivation alone is enough to make anyone feel batshit crazy. Add to it lack of time to eat anything normal, healing from birthing another human being, creeping quietly around a dark house all day, and giving your all to a screaming tiny human, and it’s no wonder we fall and need some help getting back up. Jesus.

Aside from my routines changing pretty much completely, I wondered if the physical changes would make me feel sad. Would seeing a stretch mark make me cry? Would having a softer stomach make me feel ugly? Would my husband think my post-baby body is in need of improvement? The answer to all that, for me, is no. Even though I was confused by some of the random places my skin chose to show it’s stretchiness (seriously, did my thighs really GROW that much during pregnancy?), it’s all good. And my husband, I’m pretty sure, is still in awe of all the work I did, from pregnancy to now. He doesn’t have time to consider all the ways my body has changed because he’s too busy polishing the pedestal he’s placed me on for birthing a human fucking being. His human being.

The biggest change in me has been to my heart. For sure. It’s like my heart grew to make room for all the newness of our baby – every cute face, sleepy stretch, and every grasp of my finger. My heart is a mom heart now, and it’s bigger and better than before. And as much as I knew this would happen, it still took me by surprise. More startling was the connection I now feel to my husband, who’s no longer just my partner in life but the father of my child and the only other person who loves our daughter the same way I do. Sure I was committed before, but now? Damn, he permanently has a piece of my heart that he carries with him. A pretty big piece. Which explains why I feel a bit empty unless our little family of three is together.

At 38 days postpartum, my body and my mind are still making room for my bigger heart. My mom heart allows me to feel more deeply and love more openly. It might mean more tears over seemingly silly things and so much empathy that you can physically feel someone else’s mood, it also means a fuller life.

August 1, 2016. My heart grew three sizes that day. Here are all the pieces:

heart

 

Just give me a pen

Welcome to my blog!

I felt inspired to start this blog because I’m a quiet person (always have been) but I have a lot of thoughts, feelings, opinions, and ideas that I wish to share. Since I can remember, I’ve been a writer. I loved writing short stories, journal entries, letters, and I even kept a diary for part of my childhood.

For me, writing is a way to create and to express. Enter this blog. I hope having this blog will inspire me to continue writing – fiction or non-fiction, essays, opinion pieces, short stories, poetry, etc.  This blog is about me sharing my voice in a way that feels right to me.

Just give me a pen….let’s see what unfolds.