A few brief lines on my own hypocrisy

5 May

A few years has passed since I wrote my Masters research paper on how Twitter builds community both on and offline. I’ve been thinking about this lately as I peruse the posts of others and leave my own little page neglected. As a communicator, I know the value of an online presence and these tools. I know that being busy is not an excuse. I question my value to these spaces and have been taking the time to reflect upon the type of presence I want to have. What would a future employer think as they stumble upon this page? I want to be authentic. I love language and words and grammar, and I know I have been relying too easily on the same general words to describe just about everything these days.

No batteries required

11 Dec

Confession: I can’t remember the words to any lullabies or kids’ songs. When The Dude was screaming his tiny face off one day, I made up a rap about him and freestyled for about an hour. I can’t remember any of the words to that either. In addition to this complete failure on my part, the big downside to being a stay-at-home mom for this year is that babies are (unsurprisingly) terrible conversationalists. So I read to him. A lot.

I love the idea of getting little people books for Christmas, even if those books will be read to them rather than read by them. I will read, and always have read, just about anything I could get my hands on — including cereal boxes and the Harlequin romance novels I found in the bottom drawer of my mom’s dresser. There are so many good things about books and story and imagination; I adore Neil Gaiman’s lecture entitled Why our Future Depends on Libraries, Reading, and Daydreaming.

Our little Boo has quite a large library already, but I couldn’t help but order a few more from NPR’s awesome list of best kids’ books from 2013 for him, his cousins, and one of my cousin’s daughters. I’m so excited to add some of these imaginative, beautiful books to the stories in his collection that I loved as a kid. I hope that being surrounded by all of these wonderful stories will inspire him to be a voracious reader, like B and I both.

Micro memories

27 Nov

nov26

I make mental notes of little memories I am afraid of forgetting. E finding his voice and realizing that 3 a.m. is the best time to “woo WOO” in his crib. How he’s so close to flipping over from his back to his belly; his little back arches until he’s right up on his side, but he can’t quite throw his shoulder over. He walks around in a circle in the Jolly Jumper, and turns to my voice when I call his name. I can’t handle the moment when he sees me: his giant smile and excited bounces. I love how he laughs like a tiny velociraptor. He’s such an incredibly happy, flirtatious little guy. He got his four month immunizations and forgot all about wailing to grin and coo at the cute nurses. He’s so much less cuddly than he was when he was tiny; he likes to show off how strong he is by pushing off of me, but I revel in those times he falls asleep in my arms snuggled up to my chest. Even when I’m exhausted, seeing his face light up when I collect him from his crib in the morning is the most amazing part of my day.

On being a mom

24 Sep

A sweet friend sent me a text with a link to a blogpost, which I read in the middle of the night when I was up feeding Squeaky E.  She wrote in her text that she shared it with me not because she thought that I needed reassurance, but because she thought that she might need this one day and I will be the person that she looks to for advice because I “manage to keep [my] shit together and make it look easy (even though it isn’t always) and [I] take it in stride and remain [my] funny, down-to-earth lovely self.”

I’m not sharing CC’s words with the Internet to gloat, but because I think there’s often a disconnect between the reality and perception of being a new mom. B and I have been incredibly lucky; we’ve been blessed with a baby who gets a decent amount of sleep and generally doesn’t cry unless he needs something (though he still cries just to cry sometimes). We’re lucky to live in Canada and to have good jobs; both of these factors mean I can spend the year with E instead of trying to balance work and baby right away.

I was secretly very terrified of post-partum depression. I’m a nurturer by nature, and always looked forward to being a mom someday. It’s scary to think that when that day finally comes, you could feel disconnected and miserable through no fault of your own (or your baby’s). Being a mom is scary. You worry that the baby is getting enough to eat, that he’s healthy and warm enough, and that he knows you love him even though you sob, “Dear God, what is wrong with you?!” when you’re exhausted and he’s clean, dry, burped, and still wailing his tiny head off. You worry when you accidentally clip his fingernails too short or you hit him in the head with your water bottle as you breastfeed in the middle of the night. You breathe a sigh of relief when he sleeps for a blissful eight hours one night, only to rush to his crib in a panic to check to make sure he’s still breathing.

We live in such an age of information, which is both good and bad. There is so much to read, but you compare yourself and the baby to what these sources say you should be doing and how the baby should be developing. You have to constantly remind yourself to take it all with a grain of salt, and that it’s okay to not want him in your arms all of the time, or to wait an extra 10 seconds when he starts crying in the night to psych yourself up to take care of him. It’s okay to pee while he screams impatiently. No mom can have it together all the time. It’s hard work, around the clock. You envy your partner’s “me time,” even if its just the time he spends commuting to the office, because you haven’t even had time to shower in days. You feel guilty because early visitors barely get to see the baby because you are constantly breastfeeding but you get frustrated when well-meaning in-laws take your baby from you and won’t give him back because he’s been eating for what seems like hours, but he’s screaming for more and you’re hormonal and tired and crying because you feel you can’t give him what he needs. They don’t seem to understand that you can’t physically or emotionally rest when you hear that tiny human screaming and you know in your gut that you’re the only one who can help him.

One of the best things to happen to me was to hear my sister talk about how it’s hard sometimes being an introvert and getting your energy from being alone and balancing that with being a mom. At times, being happy and being a mom seem to be so at odds with each other, and it feels like you’ll never be alone again. There are other women in the same boat, but we’ve spent so much time with these messed up views of moms who are pulled together and seem to be doing it all that no one wants to say it aloud and feel like they are failing or bad at this thing they’ve looked forward to doing for so long. Everyone has good days and bad days. It’s just that the good days are the only ones we take to Twitter or Facebook to brag about how we showered, did the dishes, or managed to bake something or prepare supper.

This is a rather lengthy post now, but I wanted to put out there that it’s not always easy. As women, I think we need to acknowledge that and support each other through the good times and the bad ones. We need to stop judging each other for our choices (breastfeeding or formula, cloth diapers or disposable, switching to all organic everything or not, crib-sleeping or co-sleeping), and celebrate the fact that we are actually doing this thing.

ImageThis face makes it all worth it.

Squeaky E

10 Sep

 

 

I keep coming back to this space — to drafts I have yet to hit the publish button on — and it almost seems overwhelming to describe what has been happening over the past year (more, really). I have so many words that fail to accurately describe our wedding and the love that I felt that day being surrounded by many of the most important people in our lives, and I will get around to attempting to write those words here.

However, I will spend today snuggling this handsome little man.

Squeaky E

My littlest love is almost seven weeks old already. Known as Squeaky E, E-Rock my Ewok, The Dude, or simply Baby Boo, tiny Eric melted our hearts for the first time on July 25.

The Price of Admission

26 Mar


 

“You have to be willing not to see him chewing with his mouth open, if you want to be around for his better qualities, and buy into the lie version of him that never does that. Right? And they will hopefully do the same for you. And that’s the only way you become The One. It’s because somebody is willing to pretend you are — The One that they were waiting for, The One that they wanted, their One. Because you’re not. Nobody is. No two people are perfect for each other, ever. Period. No two people are 100 per cent sexually compatible, no two people are 100 per cent emotionally compatible, no two people want the same things.”

… on wedding planning …

27 Jan

I wasn’t one of those little girls who planned and acted out her future wedding. I was a hopeless romantic —  don’t get me wrong — I spent hours getting lost in stories about great love. I never wanted to be a princess, but I wanted a guy who realized he didn’t want to be without me.

B and I had a conversation about romance before we got engaged, and we realized that his perception of romance and mine were two different things. He ranted about girls who wanted romance because he saw these big romantic gestures that, to him, just seemed like such a lie. Some guy going out of his way to proclaim this big love just to make a girl swoon. My idea of romance is that his parents hold hands when we hang out together, or when B pokes my nose in the middle of a conversation, or that we talk about our future as we chop vegetables in the kitchen for dinner.

This the type of romance that I want people to see when we get married. We’re not there to put on a coordinated performance of beauty and this perfect love. That’s not what we have. What we have is nerdy and awkward sometimes and whimsical and quietly sweet. It’s bocce ball and cribbage. It’s being surrounded by the people who have made us who we are and who will be there to support us both in happy wedded bliss and in the trying times ahead. It’s not about an expensive designer gown. It’s not about seating charts and place cards. It’s not about a coordinated colour palate. It’s about Journey and lawn games. It’s about people being excited to be there and wearing clothes they’re comfortable and happy in. It’s about remembering all those “someday” plans and promises and officially becoming a family.

These are the things I have to remember when a vendor or potential marriage commissioner scoffs about our future plans.“But I’ve gotten so many compliments on my ceremony — why would you ever want to change it!? What do you mean you’re not going to have chair covers?” Just as in our everyday lives, the goal is to surround ourselves with people who are open and thoughtful and fun. We’re getting there.

{photo by Andrea}

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