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Through a Mother’s Eyes

Last week Garren and I watched The Fault in Our Stars. I had read the book so I thought I was prepared for the emotional plot of the movie. What I didn’t expect was to see it from a whole different perspective. While reading the book, I was Hazel. I felt the things she felt and I connected with how she processed everything that was happening to her and around her. The movie brought on a completely different experience. Instead of connecting with Hazel, I felt myself connect with her mother, watching as my child suffered from cancer, illness and heartbreak. I felt like my heart was being ripped out when Hazel’s mother told her it was ok to let go. I can only imagine the anguish parents must go through while caring for a sick child. I know without a doubt we would do anything to trade places with them. I found myself silently thanking the Lord for my healthy daughter.

I later realized this is not the only way my vision has evolved. I can now walk into a room and spot the tiniest items that may find their way into my daughters hands and later mouth. I will see a baby drooling and instead of wondering why his parents haven’t wiped him off (for probably the 100th time) I wonder if he is teething. I see the woman in the grocery store seemingly oblivious to her toddler’s tantrums and wonder when the last time was, she had a decent night’s sleep. I will watch a child hold the door open for me and wonder how I can teach my daughter to be polite. The world has also become a little more dizzy as I find myself swaying whether or not I am holding Blair. Mostly I look at her in complete awe that I get to be her mother.

When they tell you life will never be the same once you have a child they aren’t lying. The world get’s a whole lot bigger and a whole lot smaller all at once. Suddenly there is danger at every corner. (Who knew sunscreen is dangerous before six months and a teddy bear in the crib is sure to be fatal?) Suddenly I am the world’s greatest comedian and I can do the same stand up routine a hundred times in a row, and my audience will laugh just as hard the last time as she did the first.

I am grateful for the opportunity to understand and empathize on this new level. Being a mother has most certainly turned me into a crazy person, but the payoff is worth it.

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Mothers: A Plead for Empathy

I have been writing this post in my head long before Blair was born. It usually turns into a major rant inside my head (or out loud when I am discussing this topic with the husband) but I am going to rein myself in and remain calm.

Becoming a mother is the most beautiful, terrifying, exhausting and humbling experience I have ever gone through. While a lot of moms out there did have encouraging things to say to me, a very large amount also harped on the negative, dismissed concerns and overall made parenthood sound like the worst thing that could possibly happen to you. The thing is most of the time I am sure this is not how they were trying to come off. Unfortunately many people feel the need to “pop the bubble” you’re living in.

My pregnancy was not easy. The last ten weeks the right side of my body had completely given up. I had to use the walls in our apartment (Thank goodness we live in such a small place!) just to get to the bathroom or the couch. I once got stuck on the ground for over two hours waiting for Garren to get home because I could not put ANY weight on my leg. I couldn’t crawl, or stand up. It was actually pretty scary. Trying to sleep was a disaster because just turning over in bed would send searing pain down my leg and through my pelvic region. Plus my restless leg syndrome was at an all time high. I would spend 3-5 hours at night sitting on my yoga ball crying and trying to relieve the pain. I will admit I complained a little bit (ok a lot) about the lack of sleep I was getting and instantly got laughed at with such comments like, “You think you can’t sleep now, just wait until the baby comes! Then you will really never sleep again”, or “Enjoy the sleep you are getting now, there will be even less when baby comes”.

Here’s the thing, most women are well aware of the fact that babies are a 24/7 job. We don’t necessarily need you to tell us that. Also it confuses me how all women suddenly forget the pain and general uncomfortable state of pregnancy once they had their baby. I am six months (tomorrow!) postpartum and still have nightmares of those sleepless and painful nights. In fact I slept about 100 times better when my daughter was a newborn than I did pregnant. Cuddling a sweet baby whom you love more than life is always preferred over searing pain.

So next time one of you friends or relatives complains of sleepless pregnant nights tell them how sorry you are or better yet, tell them it will be worth it! Tell them all the pain will be worth that precious baby, instead of diminishing their pain and telling them they know nothing of sleepless nights.

(Ok maybe this is already turning into a rant. Oops)

The other thing that tended to bug the husband and I was whenever we would tell people what we had done the weekend before they would automatically respond with “Go out now while you can! No more date nights when baby comes”. I personally just don’t understand why we constantly tell people all of the things you wont be able to do once you become a parent. What about all the things you can do? Having a child brings such simple joy to your life. Garren and I can sit and watch Blair take in the world around her for hours at a time and never get bored of it. We have not let having a baby keep us from doing fun things. In fact we  love bringing her with us! It just adds more love to our memories. Tell mommies to be the things you love about being a parent! Yes all moms will have worries so answer their questions honestly, but don’t forget to tell them for every sleepless night comes countless smiles, for every dirty diaper comes the wonder of seeing your child sit up by him/herself for the first time!

Finally with parenting comes a lot of decisions to be made. Where will baby sleep, bottle or breast, cry it out or tear free ect. What works for you may not work for other families and that’s ok! Share your advice when asked, and rejoice with moms when they find something that works for them! A mom choosing to breastfeed is not in any way threatening your decision to bottle feed and just because a mom did the cry it out method of sleep training does not mean you are less of a mom because you didn’t.

I plead with all moms to support and love each other. Bring back love and optimism to motherhood and embrace diversity!

Out to lunch with family and my girl :)

Out to lunch with family and my girl :)