This past week it was constantly raining – the kind of rain that lasts for days and nights and days again and it just never seems to stop. Will and I were both going stir crazy and just when I thought it would NEVER stop raining, it did. And the sun came out. And we finally got to head out to Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park to see the ducks and smell the fresh air.
He was pretty stoked about it, as you can see. The whole process of waiting and going crazy, and then the relief that came with the end made me think about what it means to be in the middle of a season that feels endless. I sometimes get this feeling that wherever I’m at, it’s always been that way and always will be. Something simple like rain – it’s always been raining and it always will be! There’s no end! Which is silly, but it can feel that way. Sometimes it’s something harder to go through. Like not getting any sleep when your baby is teething. They’ve always been waking up every couple hours, and they always will be! Send coffee reinforcements. Or feeling out of shape, like you’ve just always been there and can’t see an end in sight; an end where you fit back in the jeans now hanging in the back of your closet. Maybe it’s something even darker like depression, or the loss of something or someone important. Where does the frustration and pain end? When will the rain stop?
Maybe your season isn’t painful at all – maybe the fear that the season will end is what gives you anxiety. I get that too. I think we cling to different seasons of our lives for a number of reasons, and those reasons sometimes make a lot of sense. Maybe we see the time we’re in as the best version of ourselves, and we’re afraid of what the end might mean. Maybe we’re in the middle of something so great that the thought of it ending is just, really sad. The funny thing about seasons though is sometimes you don’t always notice the end. For better or worse, you don’t realize you weren’t in the middle the whole time at all, you were near the end, and then the end came and now you’re on to something new.
I’m not sure there’s a huge point to all this rambling, but I think I realized a few things about myself as I sat on that green bench trying to convince Will that jumping off the back of the bench wouldn’t end well. I realized I’m not very patient, but I’m working on it. I realized that saying goodbye to certain seasons of your life doesn’t mean you’re getting old, it just means you’re living. And I realized that some seasons, although they’re hard, aren’t actually in the middle. They might be closer to the end than you think.
Guys, I have to be honest. I hate the phrase “get your body back”. Specifically I hate this phrase when used to describe what postpartum women’s apparent goal is supposed to be. And I’ve even said it before! More than words, it’s been a way of thinking. Getting “back” to a certain weight. Getting “back” to a certain feeling. And it’s usually motivational, right? Like, rah rah, lets all get our bodies back! And I’m not coming at this from the viewpoint of someone who is super thin and only has to lose that last 5lbs. Haha no…this girl gained a full 40lbs being pregnant (technically 39 but who’s counting? Oh yeah, I am). So clearly there’s work that needs to be done.
But the term “get back” implies that you lost something. Or that something was stolen from you. Either way, it implies we’re somehow lacking something. But when I look at my little boy, I don’t think I’ve lost anything. I may have gained weight but I gained so much more than that. And I think I’m just tired of a society that makes us feel like in having a baby we’ve somehow lost something important. This is how I feel about that.
So in solidarity, let’s give up shitty terms that make us feel bad about ourselves. Be happy, be healthy, be well. Rock that belly, or stretch marks, or whatever else you might try and hide about your bod. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to get in shape, and I think that’s an awesome goal I’m working on myself; but lets not lose sight of the fact that our bodies did something amazing and will never actually be the same. And that’s pretty cool.
…is you never talk about Mommy Club. More specifically, you never talk about HOW your own personal mommy club is running, unless you’re prepared to fight to the death. Don’t believe me? Here, I’ll prove it.
Vaccinations. Anti-vaxxers. Breastfeeding. Public breast feeding. Formula. Co-sleeping. Bed sharing. Sleep training. C-sections. All natural births. Epidurals. Screen time.
Feeling anything yet? Any passions rising or fire in your belly? Feeling like there are some “right” and “wrong” options on that list?
I know. I do too. I have BIG opinions about things. But when did we as women become so obsessed with being right that we stopped caring about each other as people? Why do we demonize each other for the sake of proving how much we know?
It makes me really sad. It used to make me angry, but I think I went through a few of the stags of grief after reading one too many comment sections and just hit sad.
I don’t know if there’s a way to fix our attitudes toward each other. I don’t want to give a big “rah rah, we can be the change” speech because we all know that already. But this is my pledge: I won’t add to the problem. I promise to value people over their choices, even if I don’t always agree. On mom stuff, but also in life. Aren’t people what matter?
Well here we are again. It seems every few months my blogging lags, and then I end up writing a “mea culpa!” post, and then I keep up with it for a while and then it sort of cycles around again. This time I’ve been thinking a lot about this blog and what its purpose is as my little corner of the internet. I love that it’s been different things to me at different times, a few years ago life was easy breezy, and I think my content reflected that. Crafts, beach days, brunches – easy!
But to be honest, that’s not really my life anymore. Married, living in the city with a baby, it’s quite different in the best way. And really, that’s what I feel like writing about these days. Lately my heart has been hurting with everything going on in the world – the world where I’m working hard to be a wife and mom and raise my son.
And guys – being a mom is hard! Also the internet is mean and “mommy wars” are real. Especially in the form of “helpful advice” in mommy group forums and nobodies you forgot you were friends with who feel like commenting on your stuff.
Anyway, I think what I’m trying to say is I want to create a place where we can breathe together. Where we can talk about fun things like how cute chubby babies are, and how when they smile at you your heart melts. But also a place where we can talk about tougher things like mom’s mental health when you’re not getting any good sleep, and how after a baby you sort of have to find yourself again and learn to be comfortable in your own (stretch-marked) skin. And also how the 6-weeks after having a baby you can have sex again rule is a mother%*#&!*& lie. I mean come on…can I get an amen??
So that’s what I’m planning to write about these days. We’ll see where it all goes, but I’m excited. As someone who loves writing, I’ve done precious little of it the past few months but I think that’s about to change.
Can you believe the holidays are almost here?! I mean Halloween is in 2 weeks and then, the heavy hitters are here. Thanksgiving. Christmas. New Years. Holiday cooking. Decorating. And…traveling.
Cue the “dun dun dunnnn…”. Guys, traveling with a baby can be tough. BUT, it doesn’t have to be a nightmare! I’ve taken Will on two flights so far, and we’re planning our third for Thanksgiving. I learned from each of our previous trip and at the risk of jinxing it…I think I’ve got it pretty figured out.
Here are my flying with baby essentials:
Extra pair of clothes
Extra top for mom
Clean swaddle blanket
Skip Hop with plenty of extra diapers
Whole pack of wipes
Extra pacifiers on clips