As I write this I am typing with one hand and holding a teether in my five month olds mouth to stop the screaming. I have about 1,786,363 other things I could and some may say probably should be doing but as I looked at all my To-Do this and Remember that lists I couldn’t shake the allure of a blank page. I haven’t written anything except Lists and Baby Logs in a month or so and it is beginning to make me heavy. I have been exploring this amazing world of mommy blogs as I create my own online presence while learning to be a Mom and maintain my identity. All while attempting to continue creating and to feel accomplished. And I wanted to share a little about where I am, the chaos and the crazy and the fact that it isn’t always shiny and trendy and beautiful like we see on so many power mommy pages. Now don’t get me wrong I LOVE all of you shinin’ Mamas out there and you bring me drive and inspiration daily, for that I am extrememely grateful. I also realize your shining infectiously beautiful blogs are that way from years and hours and countless trials and errors. I totally understand that you have your food in hair and lego stepping painful moments, and most of you acknowledge the messy side and that is what makes you real and inspiring. The fact that you have been in the deep flood of burp rags and dirty bottles and evil boob pumps and tough to clean parts, and still have made it to a fulfilled, growing, (did I say shining?) state, makes me hopeful, and excited, and driven, and full.
That being said, I wanted to write a post about the beginning of mommy hood and highlight all of the crazy it carries and share a little of what I am learning and how I am clawing my way up the mountain of motherhood as the rocks keep tumbling down. It is wild. Some of the rocks flying down at you are the same ones from before parenthood, deadlines, lack of inspiration, the normal struggles, but after your little joins you there are suddenly all types of new rocks, seemingly much bigger than the old, and there is probably a fire coming up the mountain, and wind, and your pants are probably on fire as you climb, ya they’re on fire- and you’re holding a baby, who is biting your cracked nipples- But as we all know if we are making this trek as a new parent, there are so many new beauties that weren’t there before, the sun shines a little brighter and a new shade of light fills your world, the birds are more colorful and sign a new song- ya know if I am keeping up with my metaphor, the birds and sun are the precious beauties our babies gift us; the smiles, the moments of discovery, the nuzzles of love, the whole new world of perfection they bring into ours.
Yes, there is nothing that could touch the blessing that they are, the huge jump of meaning and beauty your little world makes is unreal and priceless. But in the crazy moments, when you are tired, and you can’t believe your hair, and you think of your adventures of before and the freedom and the salty air and the things you used to create and you stare at your unfinished projects, it is hard. You feel stuck, and in the weirdest way because um hello, look at your beautiful little human you would never want to be without her or this new role you have as a mama- but you are also human, a unique only you human, and we need that identity too- and we have fuel tanks that need to be filled, not only to keep your heart happy but to be the best version of yourself to that little life smiling up at you in the morning. And that takes time, and time is non existent when you have a new baby. And it is hard. And it’s beautiful. And you will find your way and smile at this chaos from afar and naievely think ‘Ooooh it wasn’t that bad.’ Yes, we all have those fuel tanks that need to be filled, and for each person they are different.
For me it is reading and writing beautiful words, playing in my sand and ocean, creating something that excites my soul; paint to white canvas, seashells to dish, wood pieced together. I need these little moments of accomplishment in order to be stoked and happy and goofy for my little. And it is hard. The fuels needed for these are hard to find; creativity, drive, time. They all seem like things you must of imagined knowing before because they sure don’t exist from where you are now. I am starting a creative business and sometimes after being screamed at and pinched and demanded of the last thing I feel is creative, and it has proven difficult for me to accept that, to understand and accept that sometimes you feed, love, bathe, change, and nap your little and then finally step in to your studio only to hit a wall. To not have the drive, or not be able to lure that little creative spirit of yours out of hiding- or your baby just wants to be held and talked to, and when this happens you have to just pick up your tiny little human and absorb this o so small glimpse of time you are in and be OK with not doing anything but making them giggle and watching netflix today, and to know and believe that that alone is an accomplishment. I know, I know we hear it all the time, ‘JUST A MOM!? no such thing’- ‘Your babies are alive, you are doing something right’- ‘Mothers have the biggest job of all, we don’t need to do anything else!’ all those same catch phrases from all the mommies and mommy bloggers out there, that somewhere along the way the words lose meaning when you see so many highlight reels on instagram, and blogs, and on pinterest.
We see these beautiful, fun, happy moms with their four perfect littles in their trendy outfits and their perfect curls and you wonder how they do it, because it all looks like time to you, those curls def took time, they would for me! And you think about all they put in to it and for one day? One picture? and all of their candid shots are glowing too and you believe that is their life, beautiful and put together (did I say shining?) and it is easy to get discouraged and to wonder how you will ever be able to turn the seed of the dream you carry and guard inside you in to a vision pretty enough to set up on the shelf next to theirs and you feel small and it is hard. But then you look at your highlight reel, and you see just how truly beautiful your little world is in all of it’s messy glory. And you write something that makes your soul smile, or create something that makes someone else smile, or you read a chapter in one of your books and you feel it again- Hope. Truth. Calm. Gratitude. You get a little fuel in your tank and you feel better. But it is still hard, Hard to believe you will figure it all out, that you will find this groove, and schedule, and identity every one says you will. But you will, it just takes time, and waiting and wondering is hard. But there is power in releasing this need of ‘right now’ and ‘just as planned’. You get to a point where you are ok with everything not happening today, you do. But it is an ongoing give and take from and back to yourself but you learn it, and you grow in it, and so does your little one. You start a project and they steal you away and then you catch their first laugh or see them do something new and you are grateful you weren’t distracted. Because the blog posts and laundry and dinners won’t make the memory bank, but the little, perfect moments will. And when your little one hits a milestone you will see your baby fading and your child growing in to itself and you will once again be thankful for all the times they stole your attention, because those moments are the things we will cherish. Not the projects done or the cleaning accomplished.
My girlfriend came over to see me and baby yesterday with her brand new little girl and this realization hit me as I told her just as I had been told by other moms that the crazy stage of cluster feeding and tiny naps and sore nipples will end, and I realized it was true. It is just one of the lessons you have to gather up yourself to believe, because in the moment it seems never ending. We talked about breastfeeding and how we had to release our need to resent and avoid compramising our plan, that just listening to our babies was the best thing. We all operate with the best of intentions for our little one but we also operate with a need to hold ourself to a higher standard than is realistic. I have always had such a hard time being patient, I have always wanted things to happen as fast as I can imagine them, and all the time and effort I put in to my vision has to count or I am instantly discouraged. This is no new struggle for me, but becoming a Mother hightens it. Before when you were just you and young and wild and free time had no hold, it was all you had. Then suddenly you don’t have any and you are responsible for a whole human, one you love more than life itself and the preasure and desire to become your full self sinks in fast.
We all have spent a life time imagining the ‘grown up’ and the type of Mother and Wife we will be someday and suddenly someday is today and we have this crazy need to be it all RIGHT NOW. This makes us anxious to do it all, and we try, we tap dance to a always quickening rythm not realizing it is only ourselves causing it to pick up speed until we just can’t keep up, and as we slow our speed and our song softens and calms we finally come in to our true tune and that is what it is all about. Slowing, absorbing, and loving our new role. And letting go of perfect, of ‘right now’, of needing to do it all. And as we learn this lesson of releasing our unrealistic ideals, new, unimaginally perfect circumstances set in. And we grow, our littles grow, and we no longer miss anything because there is nothing but time for everything else. We start to see they are growing and changing every moment, and no two days will ever be the same even when we feel like they are all a long line of the same, your baby isn’t the little soul it was yesterday, nor are you, and that is worth slowing down and absorbing. As I watched my sweet friend Caroline tend to her tiny new baby I remembered that stage, in all of its beauty and struggles, and I saw that it had gotten easier, and that I have created so much since. And it is in the release that I have become richer. And I was freed. And it was beautiful. I hope this helps you to know that you are enough, you do enough, and if you slow down and look in to those little eyes of the life you created laying in your arms, you will see- to them you already are everything. And in that I hope you can release yourself from all of your inner demands and be freed knowing that you are already all you should be. And the most beautiful, hopeful part is there is so much more to come as you continue to build your little world, it is in the learning and doing that the living lies, not in the end result.