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...
Between when I started and ended these words, our world has changed drastically. In the last day, the last week and the last month.
I started off this post by complaining about my anxiety, and how my “new” was adjusting to working life at home, all of us. The brushing of shoulders and sharing of duties. The silent stares of “are you going to get that, or am I?”. The constant push and pull of working parents juggling all of the things. This is still my new. But I have a new “new” now: sole family earner.
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?”
When my husband and I were engaged, we read Gary Chapman's The Five Love Languages. At the conclusion, my husband said to me "Your love language is gifts." I couldn't believe it, and I still refuse to admit that. That seemed to "materialistic" to be my reality. I did not want to be associated with that. Receiving gifts has never been something I enjoy, and not to mention I get super awkward having to open gifts in front of others (read: bridal and baby showers). We do not do much gifting to each other anymore after several years of being together, as we are more in the phase where we enjoy experiences rather than objects. I do not expect gifts from him. How could my husband-to-be think that my love language is gifts?
I'm excited to have some of my writing featured on the Milk Bliss blog! I've been a fan of Milk Bliss lactation cookies ever since I went back to work and found them stocked in our Mother's Room. They were the perfect little snack to get me through the day. The cookies contain galactagogues such as brewer's yeast. While more studies are needed to assess effects, the lack of downsides to trying these types of interventions is good enough for me. Insufficient milk supply is cited as a primary reason for early termination of breastfeeding, and I support any efforts that try to help moms in this arena!
Our journey to conceiving a little one was shorter than most. We decided we would try, and then boom - it happened. I realize that this is not everyone’s story, and I also realize that we are lucky. I am currently working on some process writing for how I navigated that guilt as I concurrently dealt with my prenatal anxiety and depression. But perhaps another contributing factor to this was my gender disappointment. I’ve heard a few other brave women talk about this, so I figured I’d share my story as well. This is not a popular topic. And there are many critics who would say “you should just be grateful that you could get pregnant”. But I would not be being true and honest if I did not share this journey of mine as well.
Hi! I'm Laura, a 30-something mama raising her 2 little dudes in southern California. It's been quite a journey 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.