Monday, October 23, 2017

Daddy's Girl


Right after I deemed myself fit to give advice on balancing motherhood and personal time I went through a rough patch as a mama. 

Liv has always been a daddy's girl and I feel so grateful to be raising a daughter who has a strong bond with her father. However we recently went through a period of time in which Liv strongly preferred Justin over me, and it broke my heart.

I'm finding that many moments of mamahood feel both beautiful and heartbreaking. My love for Liv is on a whole other level than anything I've ever known and my mix of emotions at most times feels overwhelming. Moments with Liv are euphoric and hard. When she's awake I can't wait for bedtime. When she's sleeping I'm scrolling through photos of her and counting the minutes until she's up. 

Back in August I went to Maine for a summer camp reunion weekend and Justin stayed home with Liv. She asked about me all weekend and we FaceTimed and I missed her more than anything but it felt like a manageable amount of time for us to be apart. 

On Sunday I was depressed to leave such a special weekend but giddy to see my family. I couldn't wait to see Liv and have her run into my arms, to devour her with kisses and cuddles. 

Except she didn't run into my arms. She seemed indifferent at my return. We ventured out to the playground and she wouldn't let me carry her or even pick her up. I did not handle it well. I'm embarrassed to say I threatened to take her home unless she let me carry her. She cried, I cried. It was awful.

She continued to prefer Justin over me for weeks. One Sunday afternoon I wanted to change her diaper but she only wanted Justin. I broke down and was literally crying "I am your mother, let me change your diaper." Not my proudest moment. And probably sounds just weird to people who have not been through this. 

It felt especially hard and hurtful because I'm the mom. I carried her for 9.25 months. I birthed her, breastfed her. I should be her person. Maybe this is a sexist viewpoint. Justin happens to be hands down the best parent ever, definitely better than me. But I'm Liv's mommy. 

I had heard people talk about babies and toddlers preferring one parent over the other. But I always heard about the kid preferring the mom. Being the non-preferred parent as the mother made me feel extra bad - like I must be the worst mom ever. 

I researched and found an article by Janet Lansbury whose approach to parenthood I respect and try to follow. For this particular situation: Play it cool. In other words, the opposite of how I'd been handling it.

I started to loosely follow Lansbury's advice and, also, I was just tired. I didn't try as hard to win Liv over. I think Justin even toned down his playfulness and perfect parenting for my sake :)
Sure enough, Liv came around. She even gives us turns now for reading books, playing, etc. "Mama turn. Dada turn." 
Like any stage in parenthood, everything is always changing. But for now, I'm soaking up her sweetness, her affection for both dada and mama. 

A

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Thoughts on Two


My daughter turned two last week. I've been so busy outside of work, celebrating her and just soaking her up. But I wanted to post about this moment before it passes by. Time is flying and I have a kid now; my sweet, yummy baby is no longer a baby. She is a person and she's separate from me. But also still a piece of me. It's a dichotomy deeply felt but hard to explain.

A 50-something-year-old Uber driver recently told me that when she sees her 80-year-old mother they embrace like mother and small child, hugging, kissing, the daughter atop her aging mother's lap. It sounded odd but also right. I can't imagine a time when I won't try to pull Liv close and just eat her up, even if she resists. :) Even now I come on too strong. She only lets me kiss attack her cheeks and neck and snuggle her on my chest before bedtime.

Liv's personality, likes and dislikes are showing through and it feels like magic. She's fully communicating and it's so satisfying. Of course it's also harder in some ways - having to say no at times to her sweetly said requests. Dealing with the occasional meltdown. When she does get emotional she tends to play it cool after. "I a silly goose," she says after a tantrum.

Liv also calls the moon a silly goose. When she can't see it she tells me it's hiding behind buildings. Every night (and sometimes during the day) Liv looks for the moon. She's a total Moon Goddess. When it gets dark outside and the city skyline lights up outside our windows Liv says "it's dark, means it's nighttime."

She knows so much and every time she reveals a new nugget of knowledge I feel a swell of pride as if she just got accepted into Yale. Now I know why parents are so annoying. I'm so proud of my little girl. My smart, sweet, thoughtful love bug silly goose; I love her to the moon and back.


A

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Working Mom Hacks for Everyone


I've always been into self-care and self help. Having my daughter was the ultimate motivator to work on myself and be as healthy as possible, to be able to care for her and set an example. Just months after Liv's birth when I was struggling to leave her for a workday or even an errand, I felt compelled to attend a writing workshop. I felt a sense of urgency to better myself and pursue my passions. Ironically, this is of course a period in my life in which I have the least amount of time to focus on myself. Before having Liv I heard the notion "moms get sh*t done." It didn't make any sense. Now I get it. While I have to write myself post-it's basically every night to remember the simplest things the following morning like grabbing my breakfast from the fridge, I'm doing my best and getting the necessities done. Here are some mom (or really anyone pressed for time and with a burning desire to "do it all") time hacks I've incorporated lately:

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Everything I Never Knew I Always Needed



When I was pregnant and terrified (more on that later) I felt overwhelmed registering online for baby stuff. I didn't feel ready in so many ways and not having the appropriate supplies on hand, or even in mind, didn't help. I didn't know where to begin, so I asked around and stalked my pregnant friends' registries. Ultimately I learned through trial and error.

I made mistakes (I thought burp clothes were superfluous), but I also had a knack in some areas (I knew I didn't need to buy a special "diaper bag"). In early mamahood I texted my mom friends constantly to learn what was working for them (gas drops) and what had recently been recalled (natural teething gel). When a pregnant friend recently entered nesting mode and asked for registry suggestions, I put together the below list. Here are my current recommendations, based on research and personal use by me and my people:


Feed
Boppy & covers
Bottles - small & big

Sleep
Swaddles - blankets and/or ones that snap
Merlin - we didn't use this in the way beginning and it may be a bit controversial but worked well for us for a time

Bathe

Sit

Stroll
Car seat - Infant & Bigger - need converter pieces to fit car seat in stroller 
Gate check bags for travel - car seat, stroller 
Diaper bag - we use a leSportsac bag I've had for like 10 years 
Baby carrier - I never found one I felt super comfortable in but people like ergobaby

Play
Books
Toys - Our early favorites included this & this 

Misc 
Pacis 
Diaper pail & bags Thermometer

A

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

I'm back


I'm back. I've been feeling ambivalent about blogging, but I feel a yearning to create and share and this blogosphere and social media world feel like the right space, right now.

I've been on hiatus...
Starting work at a tech company
Having a baby
Becoming a mom
A working mom
Taking a writing class
Reading a ton of books
Watching good TV and old movies
Traveling a bit
Enjoying friends and family
Etc.

But all along I've had this urge to write. I've been keeping a journal from pregnancy and throughout (early) motherhood - my daughter isn't yet two. Seven months after she was born I wrote a personal essay; I'm working on getting it published. I want to be heard, yet I feel like a private person. Not ready to share, to reveal the intimacies of family life or even just my opinions on everything from brunch to being terrified of becoming a mom (more on that later). But still I feel this pull to put myself out there, so here goes...


A

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Don't let this happen.


"...what if you wake up some day, and you're 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn't go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It's going to break your heart. Don't let this happen." -- Anne Lamott 

Recently I came across this quote on Instagram. I remember feeling inspired by these words when I first read them. Seeing them again brought a smile to my face and I just had to re-share. 

A

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Judging Your Date by His Bookshelf


Recently I came across this feature on Refinery29: "6 Books That Say 'Date Me!' (& 4 That Don't)" The R29 article lists 10 books that your date may or may not have in his/her home, and then goes on to explain what each particular tome's presence indicates, i.e. run for the hills or start planning your wedding.

I was intrigued. I'm a big reader and also a big believer in finding common interests with your mate, or at least different interests that make for good conversation. Plus, a well-stocked bookshelf can help seal the deal. For instance, my sister met her husband abroad. They didn't speak the same language when they first met, but they had a connection that was deepened when they realized they had the exact same books on their respective bookshelves, only in different languages. 

I don't agree with all of Refinery29's prescriptions, i.e. this assertion, cringe-worthy for multiple reasons: "But if your bae has [The Notebook By Nicholas Sparks] on the bookshelf, consider it a free pass to send Ryan Gosling memes at any time." I do, however, agree with R29 that taste in books can be telling.


A

Image via apartmenttherapy.com
 

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