The Unexpected Side Effects of Having a Baby

May 14, 2016

Dear Baby,

When we had you back in September there were certain things that I was expecting (courtesy of the sometimes unsolicited advice of fellow moms and strangers) such as less sleep, bigger boobs and a newfound obsession with poo. 

There were the things that every book told you to expect, the developmental milestones and the relationship transitions. 

There was the new mess in the house that never goes away, the expense of all the gear that comes with a baby and the way every room is now decorated with rainbow crap courtesy of your playthings but here are some things that Are the surprise effects of having a baby;

1. The dishwasher is always running. Your dad and I were not big on staying home before we had you. In fact, if we ate at home twice a week we would congratulate ourselves on a week well done. When you are never home to do anything you never have dirty dishes so our cycles were once or twice a week at most. Now I run the dishwasher every damn day. We eat all meals here save a few brunches and lunches and we host all the time. Our Costco size dish detergent thing which has lasted us 2 years is finally being rapidly depleted. 

2. I clean a lot more. This might be a duh moment but since we eat at home and cook at home more, there is more to clean and with cleaning it always seems that once you start, it’s good to finish. I have cleaned my kitchen an astounding 7 times this week. 

3. All plans are manageable. Everything we do has a time limit so gone are the days of staying longer than I want to or being coerced into a long visit. Nope nope nope. We get 2 hours to do anything during the day and a few at night if we are lucky enough to get a babysitter. There is no apologies for a sleepy baby and there is no more visits that should just end already. They do. 

4. You are not just my baby. I mean, obviously you are my baby but what I mean is that you are also a source of pride and joy to your family and friends and must be shared accordingly. Spending time with people has never been a challenge for your dad and I but I find even more we are spending time with people and moreover letting them spend the time with you. I had the best relationship with my grandparents and aunt and you deserve the chance to have the same. 

5. You legit talk about poo all thenfucking time. Second to sleep, that’s what it is all about. Your dad and I begin most conversations with a debrief on your poo. Cause life is sexy. 

The lesson behind all this is that there are always going to be side effects to any choice you make and often there will be some that you never expected. That’s just the way things go. Every action has a reaction and you can’t always anticipate it. 

That should make you excited and not fearful of new things. I hope that you have a positive and welcoming attitude towards change and new experiences understanding that they will have consequences- good and bad. 

This is all a part of you being a human who constantly grows, learns and adapts. It’s the best. I promise. And we will be there all the way. 

In the meantime, got to call your dad re: morning nap poo. For real. 

xo

Mom

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The Unexpected Side Effects of Having a Baby

Talking About Something Other than my Baby

May 11, 2016

Dear Baby,

Yesterday and this morning I had my very first in person professional meetings since you came around. I’ve had a few phone ones where I sat in pyjamas and I have obviously emailed with you nursing away but to actually get up and put on some profesh- ish clothing and make eye contact with someone who didn’t want to talk about sleep was a new things for me. 

It’s funny because I wasn’t nervous about meeting new people. I was only nervous about talking about myself for an hour. What would I have to say? How would I relate to another working adult?

Turns out, everything was fine and I was able to be myself completely with only a spattering of baby related anecdotes. 

It was a great thing to do for my self esteem and to be a great mama to you. I am a firm believer that a baby should see their parent be an independent human being. This is not to say that it has to be work related but that you should have some interests and activities that go beyond the baby- which is actually really hard. 

But I want you to grow up feeling proud of me and feeling like I am a person that you can respect and look up to. I want you to see what it looks like for a woman to have a great life, a passion and a drive. I want you to see these things so that one day when you find the thing that motivates you, you can dive in head first and feel confident. 

I want you to also know that every person has different sides of themselves. I have a side that is your mom, a side that is a wife, a friend and a professional. I have a side that loves to craft and one that loves to read and they are all part of the bigger picture that is me. You will have all these sides to you too- you already do. You have a silly side, a serious side, a sweet side. And they all make you the person you are. 

The lesson to teach here is embedded in the story. Be you and embrace the many sides that make you. 

Just because things change and you change doesn’t mean you don’t have a lot to offer and say and always be confident that you are a very important person (just as everyone else around you is.)

Self doubt is a natural thing but I encourage you to always be strong and proud to do you. 

In the meantime, mama missed you while away and needs some cuddles. I can’t wait for the day when you can do you and say “no cuddles” (that’s sarcasm folks, I can totally wait for that day.)

xo

Mom

Talking About Something Other than my Baby

Googling Baby Symptoms- Never a Good Idea

May 9, 2016

Dear Baby,

Yesterday morning your dad was around for breakfast time- which was awesome. It’s always fun for us to eat together as a family and for him to get to see how well you pincer the shit out of your eggs and toast. I get to see it all the time but it is truly formidable. 

Anyways, somehow he ended up touching your head and specifically your skull and felt your little fontanel. I have never noticed it before other than that it is there but he felt a depression and asked me about it.

Having no medical degree at all, I googled it and that is how we ended up at the doctors office yesterday. Google is a scary place and once you read the possible reasons that a baby’s fontanel might be depressed it is basically impossible not to go into full panic mode. 

The truth was that I felt pretty sure that everything was fine. I felt almost sure but when someone plants the seed of doubt, it’s so hard to be a hundo percent. In fact, it makes being sure a huge pressure because you certainly never want to be wrong- especially when your health is in question. 

The doctor have you a good check and determined that everything was fine with your little head. Relief. She was super helpful and told me things to look out of just in case.

In truth, I was super annoyed at your dad for being such a fucking hypochondriac BUT his worrying nature and obsession with health is his yin and yang. It makes him cautious and careful but also nuts. In the end, the blip in our day was a small price to pay to be able to reassure him that all is well. 

And that brings me to my lesson. Partnerships are a really big challenge- any kind. Business or pleasure. One thing I can say for sure is that if one partner feels something is urgent or needs attention, it is often a good idea to quell their needs versus fighting them on it. 

You may be all like, partner- you crazy but in the end you always err on the side of caution when possible so ya, don’t be annoyed about it. 

In the meantime, your dad is calm and all is well chez us again. 

xo

Mom

Googling Baby Symptoms- Never a Good Idea

The Dreaded 8-Month Leap

May 9, 2016

Dear Baby,

Why is Wonder Weeks so damn accurate about you? I got the alert that we are up for another leap and lo and behold, you are acting like a total snake. 

Right now as I write this you are flinging yourself around your crib instead of napping. A sure sign that something is up for my otherwise great sleeping and usually tired at nap time baby. 

The problem with you is that you are SO even keeled that any deviation in your norm is a red flag that something is up and it is usually some kind of WW related thing.

Sometimes in the last your cry has changed, sometimes your overall “schedule” (whatever that means) and this time it’s your sleep. It has been so long since I had to put you to sleep. 

Prior to now you would get sleepy, read a book, get into your crib and just sick your thumb to sleep in minutes. It was actually silly how little effort it took. Naps or nights. Now, this past week there is a long period of awake time if I just put you down and otherwise I am sitting here rocking you to sleep before I transfer you over which never fucking works. 

I’m not going to say it’s a huge issue but right now instead of sleeping you are eating a rail of your crib so….

And that’s just the thing about you. There is no norm. Anything that is usual can become unusual in the span of a day and any routine that we loosely follow can change in a heartbeat. That’s just what babies are all about. Keeping you on your toes guessing what the fuck to do ALL THE TIME. 

I guess by the time you really figure T out as a parent, your kid is old and doesn’t need any of it. So that’s great. 

The lesson is this: don’t expect things to always go the same way. The second you get used to anything is the second it will all change. Babies, life. If you are lucky you will change a million times over. Change means growth and growth means learning and I hope that you aspire to grow and learn every day.

In the meantime, go the fuck to sleep.

xo

Mom

The Dreaded 8-Month Leap

Putting Baby to Bed

May 8, 2016

Dear Baby,

Mother’s Day is winding down and night is here. I’m writing you this sitting in your room holding you and trying to get you to sleep… for the third time tonight. 

This is the truth about being a mom. There are flowers and brushes and chocolate chip cookies from Epi but nothing is more “mom” then dealing with a overtired baby who won’t sleep on your “special day.”

At the end if the day – any day – even Mother’s Day you are just that, a mom and for better or worse it’s a job that gives no fucks at all what day it is. 

There are no holidays or breaks and no awards for being patient and letting your baby fall asleep on you before quietly trying to transfer them to the crib but missing the mark and having to repeat it again.

There is no reason that any day should be different than the others- birthdays, constructed Hallmark holidays. They may all be wonderful or awful depending on how things unfold. 

This means that every day is special and unspecial all in one. It makes the job of being you a very hard one but a very great one and it takes he romance out of these bullshit days that are meant to make people feel good but usually make them feel bad. 

The lesson is this: celebrate being you and the jobs you have every day. One day will be more glamorous than the next but every day you are just killing it by being yourself, getting up and doing you. Life is both SO FUN and so not fun and while rocking a cranky baby to sleep for the bagillionth time is a less fun moment, making her laugh by dancing her around the room to Snoop Dogg makes up for it in strides.

In the meantime, it’s wine-o-clock. Wait, I mean grape juice. Yes… grape juice. 

xo

Mom

Putting Baby to Bed

A Mothers Day with a Baby

May 8, 2016

Dear Baby,

Today is Mother’s Day and I get to spend the day surrounded by family celebrating being a mom and having a mom and all the other moms I have known in this life or gone from it. 

I once saw this great commercial about “the sisterhood of motherhood” and didn’t really understand it until recently. I was at the doctors office for a check up and sitting in the waiting room with you and a perfect stranger and we got to talking about you and her grown kids and it’s like you just don’t have to explain yourself- she got me. 

But then I got to thinking about what would have happened if I hadn’t been able to have you. Would I be a leper from this exclusive club? The answer is no because the true celebration isn’t being a mom but being a woman and part of a long generational chain of women who fucking kick ass.

Even though today is about mothers, to me it is about celebrating a long line of the women I know who have or don’t have mothers and are or are not mothers. Womanhood is the best club and we are all pretty magical today and everyday. 

I feel really lucky that for me, I get to celebrate being with you and how fucking crazy lucky I feel every minute to have you. 

So baby, there is no lesson today because today I celebrate you as my daughter and fellow member of the ladies only club. Whether you feel it or not, take the time to celebrate the great women you know because being a woman is damn hard but so damn good. 

In the meantime, I love being your mom. 

xo

Mom

A Mothers Day with a Baby

Baby Wearing

May 4, 2016

Dear Baby,

From the time you were very small to now when you are less small but still small I have been a huge advocate of wearing you. In the beginning it was about comfort and ease. Now it is about the experience. Always it has been about what I think must be the happiest place for you to chill. On me. 

When we first brought you home and you were the most precious cargo, I literally couldn’t put you down. Wearing you was the only way I could eat, move or perform any basic function while still carrying you. I wore you when you were fussy to cam you down, I wore you to sleep, I wore you to walk. You were on my person for a huge part of the first 3 months. 

Then, you got bigger and started sleeping. Gone were those manic nights of newborn ness when we would spend 6pm to 11pm keeping you from being a total snake. No more squats and bouncing and cluster feeding and carrying. You were a self sufficient lady doing your own thing. 

That’s when wearing you became less for function and more for fun. 

We wear you for walks, we wore you all through Israel, we wear you when we go for food. It’s all about letting you see the world and literally hang out in it. 

Sure, there is the comfort of your stroller. You lay nestled in plush padding and a blanket shielded from the sun and the vibrations of the pavement massaging your back. I don’t have a 12 pound weight hanging off of my body causing me to sweat like a fucking pig everywhere I walk to. And I get the handy stroller storage which means I can bring anything I want for the journey. 

But the look on your face as we walk down streets and you see and hear new things is well worth the price of admission. I would take a lifetime of backaches to watch you be so thrilled with the world around you. I am obsessed with how you hold out your tiny hands to feel the air around you and how you look around at everything taking it all in. 

The lesson is this: sometimes we have to get out of our comfort zone to really experience new things. Comfort is great and there are days a plenty when I throw you into the bucket and we head out but staring at me and the scenery behind me isn’t quite the same as getting your own full perspective. 

Onviosuly not as comfortable as walking with nothing on you, wearing you is totally out of my physical comfort zone but, as I mentioned, THE BEST THING FOR YOU. EVER. 

And I think by now you must know that I do anything for you. 

But taking both of us out of our comfort zone has provided a new perspective and let us learn new things and I hope for a million more times that we can step out of the usual together and find excitement in the new and different. I hope you always do it with or without me to help you too. 

In the meantime, today looks like a shitty day and I have yet to find a solution for when it rains. Can we just have nice weather already??? Wtf. 

xo

Mom

Baby Wearing