I’ve been sitting at my computer for a good 45 minutes deciding what to write that will appeal to other people. I promised myself I wouldn’t become the new mom who only writes or speaks about being a new mom. I imagined I would continue blogging about things like quirky social interactions and cultural experiences, or my views on things I’d heard in conversations around me. I would not write about diapers or Boppys (dude, if you need to talk to me about the glory that are Boppys, PLEASE CONTACT ME), or anti-colic bottles. I’d be that cool, young mom who is building up her career and losing the baby weight with a trendy yoga program, who just happens to be casually parenting on the side.
I began writing a post about the new mom survival guide. I had a few things in mind for it; funny, heart-felt commentary on what I’ve been experiencing the past five weeks and what might help and encourage other mothers, and hopefully entertain those without children as well, but, I stopped. I read my title and thought, what are my friends going to think of me? I turned into exactly the kind of person I thought I was not. I am consumed with babies and motherhood and feeding schedules (and pumping schedules). They are going to think I’m completely lame. I kinda think I’m completely lame. I’m afraid of being annoying and cliche.
What takes time to get used to isn’t Ben’s needs. He’s quite simple right now; hunger, cleanliness, sleep, comfort. These are the basics and I’ve been running on mostly instinct and it’s been working nicely. The part that’s hard to adjust to is me. I’m not in an office, I’m not making money, I’m not even going outside that much. I spend far less time with people now and I can tell you how many cars go past my house during the hours of 7:20 am to 6:50 pm. I have binge-watched The Fosters on Netflix. I need to find different ways to take care of myself, think of new ways to define myself, and re-learn how to live as a family of three.
The truth is, I really like being Ben’s mom. I have this gigantic new experience to write about and honestly, that’s what all writers are looking for. It’s giving me so much material to chose from and I’m enjoying sharing it. I don’t want to stop talking about it. I’m a mother now and I’m in this new world. I want to share my feelings about Playtex Vent Aire bottles (they’re great) and talk about the loneliness I sometimes feel during the middle of the day, or the excitement of watching my son’s face actually starting to look like a little boy’s instead of a newborn’s. I feel the minutia and the profundity of each day and it’s just…incredible. Why am I guilting myself into avoiding the topics that are the closest to me right now?
A friend of mine, who has two boys, said something to me at my baby shower a few months ago that has stuck with me. We were sitting next to each other, painting onesies for my Ben-to-be, and she looked around the room at my relatives and my friends, who haven’t had children yet, and turned to me, with her toddler squirming around a little in her arms and said, “Well. It’s happened. I crossed over. I’m full mother now.”
I’m starting to understand exactly what she meant now and it’s both incredibly exciting and sad at the same time. I am Angela and I’m also Ben’s mom.
So, here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to write about being a new mom and enjoy it instead of fearing what others will think of me. Just like my son who is growing up faster than the speed of light (seriously, he looks different from, like, a week ago. And also he’s losing his hair, which I’ve read is normal, but really terrifying…), I too, am growing, and my favorite thing to do is document these moments and share them with people where I hope just a bit of my story will resonate in their hearts.
And I’m going to write about that survival guide…