coming up for air. the last three months have been a strange whirlwind of changing diapers, breastfeeding, mopping up spit-up and trying to get the haunting chimes of baby toy music out of my head. and yes, there’s also been a lot of gazing lovingly at this little creature who has interrupted everything we know to be normal. i tried to post something at 2 months but i just didn’t know where to start. i find the whole blogging-while-parenting thing to be this strange dance where you tip-toe around trying to be positive but also truthful without feeling sorry for yourself. those first few months are brutal, and it’s hard not to make it sound like you’re going through the worst thing ever because the world as you know it has disappeared. even social media is tricky. you post a hundred cute pictures of your baby in those first few months, but do you give any indication of how you really feel? do you tell all those “friends” on facebook the cute picture of your daughter snoring was made possible only because she didn’t sleep at all the night before? do you tell them about week 2 where after a particularly bad night you tearfully told your husband you just wanted “to go asleep and not wake up”? probably not.
when i first started this site i had fallen in love with this blog, i loved the photos and how this woman made it seem like all she did was dance around barefoot with her kids all day. i later found this one and loved her style too. and now? i sort of can’t stand them. there’s something about these for-profit parenting blogs (they make money by touting certain products) that rings false, and i know both of these women have dedicated part of their “about me” sections to talking about how “my life’s not perfect” and “i only share the good stuff” but i look at some of their posts of early morning donut runs and trips to the park and now they just make me kind of angry. i think to myself “you lied to me!!!!”
but here’s the thing. when jameson started sleeping better a few weeks ago, i remember telling my best friend how life was getting a little more “doable” because the baby was less
like the spawn of satan fussy and talia sounded surprised. she said: “all we saw were adorable pictures…”
so there you go, i’m guilty of it too. and you know what? when jameson gets a little older and we decide to run out for donuts one morning, and i look at her adorable face smeared in whatever icing covered confection she’s chosen, who says i’m not going to want to blog about it? and i don’t want to judge the women referenced above, i don’t know them personally so i really have no idea about what their lives are like. i will say i have since found other blogs that depict what i feel is a more realistic view of parenting, this one was recommended by another new mom (thank you stacey) and is one of my favorites.
this thing we’re doing? it’s hard. (although you wouldn’t know it to ask my very-german mother, who raised 15 children and after hearing me gripe over the phone about how no one adequately prepared me for the
horrors difficulties of breastfeeding simply responded: “Women complain a lot these days, they didn’t complain as much in my day.”) but i also find that in my worst moments, there is help, often help i’ve prayed for while falling asleep-slash-crying, but still, help. a lot of times it’s come in the form of another mom who was kind enough to share some wisdom gleaned from her hardest moments.
“Sleep deprivation is not a joke. They use it to torture people, it is an actual method of torture.”
friend Kelsey, another new mom
“I seriously held both my boys all day every day until they were about 4 months old.”
friend Kate, mother of two
“A breastfeeding baby will take everything you have, they will suck the life right out of you.”
sister Billi, mother of five
“Your baby will fall off something, probably a couch, they just will. And they’ll be fine.”
former co-worker Becky, mother of two
even now, as i talk about how hard it is, jameson surprised us all this morning when she took her nap without the usual swaddling-shushing-lumineers pandora station combination we use to get her down. she just fell asleep, right on her playmat, with me staring dumbfounded. that was another piece of advice i’ve held onto, just when you think you’ve got them figured out, they switch it up on you.
in the self-help world, they tell you to “speak your truth,” which i take to mean “be authentic.” so here it is, here’s my truth. things are pretty good. we had a baby and the world did not end. with some coordination, we have slowly been able to get some of our former lives back, including long runs for charlie and long bike rides for me. our home is filled with lots of music and entertainment and happiness. and yes at times there is frustration as we work to figure out what exactly baby james is trying to tell us, and it’s going to be that way for a while, but it’s good.