An essay inspired by an unlikely alleyway conversation:
We'd seen him so many times before. He was a tall man, always in sunglasses and a beanie with a little swoop of white hair peeking out from underneath — like a man who never wanted to grow up. He drove a black van with the word "SUPER" written on the side. For years, he would show up at neighborhood parties, yet I never knew his name. To me, he was just an old guy who never wanted to grow up. I did wonder from time to time who he was, and what his life was like. What did he do for a living? Why did his van say "SUPER" on the side? But we never did get around to figuring that out.
I know I commiserate with most of you by saying that it's so hard to get things done these days. So many pieces of our normal have been broken, and we've all been left trying to build new, beautiful things out of what is left. At any given moment, I could be tackling several separate things—whether it be cooking dinner, answering a Slack, picking up toys, writing an email, wiping the counters, or tending to whatever need my toddler currently has. This has lead me to miss many small moments my son has simply because I'm not looking, or I'm not present. And I'm realistic enough to know that in the current headspace I'm in, I cannot make the shift to be present 100% of the time—but I will try to make small improvements where and when I can.
And just like that, he is one. I am no longer a mother of a newborn. That is no longer my identity. It is this identity that I have lived with for what feels like so long. Seemingly, I rubbed my eyes, poured my coffee—and boom, there was a toddler. There is no level on which I am ready to accept this. Inside, I’m pleading—give me back the newborn onesies, the burp clothes and breastfeeding accoutrement I have packed away so neatly in plastic containers I store for another time, or to give away to friends. No longer needed, they’ve been pushed aside—somewhat analogous to how I’m feeling in this season of motherhood. They are the cherished relics of what I felt would be the hardest time. They elicit a sense of nostalgia. The strong and somewhat nauseating smell of baby detergent enveloping us both as we would rock in the glider, or cry together on the couch. It still sits on my nose to this day.
It’s my second Mother’s Day, and I still haven’t been able to make space to write about my journey to motherhood. Because of his prompt entrance to the world—both in utero and out—it left me with what seemed like an extremely small amount of time to process my new role. In fact, almost fourteen months of experience on my resume does not yield me much more confidence than the first day I peed on a stick. There is so much I do not know, and I've admitted that so often I feel buried in it. And funny enough, I find myself admitting that even in circumstances where I feel somewhat confident I am right.
Every day since March 16, 2020 has been some version of the same. I never know what day it is. It feels like I'm in the midst of the early 90's classic (by some standards) Groundhog Day where the same day is lived over and over again repeatedly. Below is a series of photos of our day in the life of the COVID-19 pandemic. This could be us at any given point of any day, as each day is almost exactly as the one before.
I’ve been doing a lot of heavy thinking and writing over the last few weeks of quarantine, so I’m ready to lighten things up a little bit and talk about something that makes me feel good: organization. This probably started with my sneaky type-A tendencies disguised in a chill person’s body, but ever since I became pregnant I felt the need to color-code, categorize and sort my life. I will say I am by no means an expert, nor do I abide by this 100% of the time. This was also something I needed to do for myself to help cope with the prenatal anxiety I was feeling. Somehow, if I had all. the. things. (and appropriate places to organize them all), my mental perspective surrounding becoming a mom would be better. Ha! Well, turns out that’s not the Golden Ticket to happiness, but it sure helped me a little bit. Here’s some of my best practices...
The Everymom is one of my favorite Instagram accounts and blog to follow for various things, but most often I find myself in awe of how beautiful their style pairings are. I have a very simple style, and many times how I'm dressed is the last thing on my mind. But I am constantly striving to perfect the #momuniform in all the best ways. Here are some of my favorite styles from the amazing women at The Everymom that I've modeled some of my day-to-day outfits after.
I recently attended a function with my husband and we brought along the little dude. He likes to look at people, but he is a tough nut to crack. It doesn’t stop people from trying. He’s a bit of a conversation starter in this regard. So for semi-socially awkward people like me, a baby is an immediate common ground for conversation with some. This particular night, a woman walked up to me and started chatting about the baby. Mid-way through the conversation, she asked me “so, what did you do before you were a mommy?”
Hi! I'm Laura, a 30-something first-time mom raising her little dude in southern California. It's been quite a first year, and this is my way to try to make sense of it all. This is a safe space for all moms to get some laughs, recommendations and feel like they are not alone.