I’ve had precious little time to write about my experiences as a new mom. That’s because time to myself, moments to write, are few and far between. Maya is almost 6 weeks old. Her schedule is not regular yet. I don’t really know how long she’ll be awake, or how long she will sleep. I don’t know when a screaming fit will start, or when she will be hungry. It makes it impossible for me to plan times to write. For a person who is accustomed to being on a schedule, this is a very difficult adjustment. As a teacher, I follow a bell schedule. Each hour of my day is scripted out and planned in advance. Not so now.
When I wake up in the morning, I have all of these aspirations about what I’m going to get done that day. Fold clothes. Mop the floors. Wash my hair. Read a book. I don’t get it all done. I’m lucky if I get even one or two things on my list done in a 24-hour period. But I don’t blame Maya for it. Well, I do, but..In fact yesterday I was reading a Facebook post by a friend of mine. More accurate to say an acquaintance from my youth. He mentioned how, as a stay-at-home dad, he realizes that he doesn’t like babies very much. That they are,in fact, terrible. I thought about it for moment. Do I like my baby? I think so. I mean, I love her. I wouldn’t trade her for anything in the whole world. But newborns are a lot of work. I don’t know if parents are really honest about that.
Newborns are very selfish and time-consuming. You have to give up your whole self to take care of them. They don’t care if you need a nap, a shower, or a glass of wine. Their new world, though small, is confusing, and at times uncomfortable. But if I really think about it, it’s my job, my privilege really, to help Maya navigate this new world. To help her adjust. Not only that, but also to capture these moments in words. To describe the way she throws her head back, her hands up, and scrunches her little face for a good stretch.To note the way her big sister, Leila , holds her and is so gentle with her.
This is what matters. Not that I get a chance to wash my hair today. It won’t be all woolly and wild forever, and Maya won’t be a baby forever either. I choose to treasure these moments. I choose to be grateful for every single unscripted second of it. Even those middle of the night crying fits. Well, maybe not so much of those. But most everything else.
So I am determined to write honestly about her, about me, about this.
And so it begins.
Dear damn baby…
4 thoughts on “How to Appreciate New Mom-ness or “Dear Damn Baby””
NO, you are right. I don’t think people are honest about parenthood. I think that this lack of honesty has lead to a society where your temperment at the time of the parenting overshadows the parenting. I help my kid with his homework, but he is behind on some of the concepts so it takes us hours. I just worked a 10-hr shift. Am I a bad parent because I don’t feel like doing it?
Please continue this honest journalism of parenting.
Being a mother of 3 adult daughters I can reflect on raising them. I was a single mom, after a failed marriage. When I had my first child, I looked at her beautiful face and said to myself, “My life is over.” I knew instinctively that I had to do whatever I could to make her and her sister’s lives better than what I experienced. There were many days and nights I wanted to walk away but now that they are 32, 29, and 26 I see and hear the fruits of my “forfeit” life. They thank me all the time for being their mom. That is priceless and one of the reasons that God put me here.
It’s… a lot. And even when you are prepared you are not ready. But you get through it. And sometimes they are cute. They have to be or else nobody would have any.