Back on the guest post wagon today with my coworker Andrea. She is madre to nine month old Reece and put together a list of four themes that cover the ups and downs of parenthood thus far for her.
Hi! I am Andrea, Lydia’s friend from work, and Mom to a 9 month little lady. It has been so fun to watch Lydia become a Mom through her blog, as well as get a peek into her personal life and style sources (I mean girls got game right?!?!).
Reece is my first babe, and while I clearly don’t have a ton of experience in parenting, there are some things I would like to share of the ups and downs on my journey through parenthood. Somehow all my theme’s came out in the form of F words, so I just rolled with it.
As if Mom brain wasn’t enough, where things slip in and out of it as easily as water through a stream, one of the challenges I have found with motherhood is is that I simply can not give all of my focus to those I love anymore when Reece is in attendance. No longer can I sit across from said loved one with my full attention, and really absorb everything that they have going on in their lives, ask insightful questions, and discuss topics that don’t somehow circle back to her. I feel that my time with them no longer holds the same quality that it used to, and I am somehow shorting them, and myself, by not giving them 100% of my attention. For me, becoming a Mom has been like looking at life through the lens of a camera. Reece is my sole point of focus, and she will always be crystal clear, where the eye is drawn, and where a huge part of my attention goes. The rest of the picture however is slightly blurred, a little harder to remember, or stay focused on. While still important, it is hard to keep the eye on them for long. Ultimately what I concluded is that while I aspire to get better at it, I also know that Reece will always occupy (and require) a corner of my mind, and that’s ok too, because if anyone is more deserving of it, it is she.
With a large family with lots of cousins, nephews, nieces, etc., I feel like I was pretty well prepared with what motherhood would bring. However, the thing that came up and slapped me in the face is the inordinate amount of fear that came with bringing a child into the world. Before Reece, I lived in an ignorant yet blissful bubble, in which I felt that I and my loved ones were safe from harm. Yet the fragility of life comes into sharp focus after birth. Now that bubble has shattered, and I constantly have scenarios of bad things happening to her running through my mind, sometimes very unlikely scenarios, but still the weight and worry is there. There are times that I honestly feel relieved that she is alive and well when I go into her room to get her up, or when I get home from work. I have asked other moms about this, and unfortunately they tell me it does not get any better over time (ugh). The upside is it does make me better relate to my own mother who at 30 years old still calls and checks on me every few hours on road trips, and insists whenever I fly that I call once landed. I get it Mom.
Having Reece has renewed the child in me that has been dying to get out again. With her I dance, sing, and have more lighthearted fun than I have in awhile. It has gotten to the point where I think the ratio of singing to talking is like 90/10, and I wonder if she will grow up to think that life is one big musical. Which would be pretty awesome. The other fun side effect is that doing all these childish things, is reminding me of so many good memories from my own childhood. Unearthing all these happy things that haven’t crossed my mind in years. I know it’s a bit of a cliché, but I honestly feel like the saying that you get to relive life through your child’s eyes, is absolutely a valid one.
I have never quite felt the power and pull of kinship as I have since becoming a mother. All mothers are inherently drawn to each other, as if we all belong to this secret club that no one else could possibly know how amazing yet simultaneously challenging it is. Sometimes it is in the form of unwarranted advice, but I have found that more often than not it is to lend a helping hand, give you a word of encouragement, or simply give that knowing smile that says “honey, I’ve been there”. Friendships have sprung up from other mamas that I may never have connected with before, or old friends from school that I hadn’t heard a word from in years, simply because we have the common ground of motherhood. I feel crazy lucky that I only have supporters in my community both online and in real life. It can so easily go negative, judgmental, and gossipy. Read through some of the comments of parenting articles online, and it makes me want to scream “Where did our community go?!?! We are in this together!!” I think that our society has in many ways bred us to be insecure and defensive of our choices, especially those made as a parent. But imagine how much better off we would be if instead we took the approach of “That’s interesting. Is it working for you? Great! This is what has been working for us lately.” It’s hard not to think one way (your way) is the best, but every child is different, every parent is different, and sometimes you simply have to go with what works. Let’s find our commonalities, and celebrate the fact that we are keeping them alive and happy, because really, it takes a village.
Thanks so much Andrea! I knew you would have something great to add here. I love your positivity and honesty about being a madre to Reece!