February 7th, 2018 · 5 Comments
I’m taking Bear to Disneyland tomorrow! He’s extremely excited to see Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and (of course) Lightening McQueen. We live about 90 minutes away but he’s only been twice, so this is a *big* deal in his little toddler brain.
I went to Japan almost two years ago and the experience was life-changing (and I don’t use that word lightly). Afterwards, all I wanted to do was go back — and in less than two months, I finally am! It’s been longer than I hoped, and I’ve gone other places in the meantime, but I can’t wait to revisit a place that was so magical for me the first time.
Writing This Post
I know, I know — it’s been a while. Over the past year, I’ve struggled a lot with what I want from this blog and where it fits into my life. For as long as I didn’t have any answer, this site stayed on the back burner. But… I miss it. I miss having an outlet to share my thoughts, I miss the people who used to read this site, I miss the community that I spent years developing here. So I’m happy that I’m writing again. Hopefully there are still a few of you guys around to read it.
I kid you not, as I sat here typing up this post, my doorbell rang and a florist showed up with a bouquet of red roses for me. That actually happened. So that’s both pretty wild timing and something that’s making me exceptionally happy at this very moment. 🙂
I’ve been thinking about this letter for a while, but haven’t quite found time to type it up.
(In fact, I don’t really have time right now. I’m not even sitting at a computer as I write this, I’m thumb-typing on my iPhone while you watch Saturday morning cartoons. You just looked over at me and said, “no phone, mama,” which is BS because you’re sitting there on your iPad! But I digress. If this letter gets thumb-typed into my phone, I guess that’s how it gets written.)
It’s been two years and a few weeks since you joined our family. It feels like yesterday and another lifetime at the same time. Year two was, plain and simple, amazing. Year one was a roller coaster, but year two was like we suddenly hit the new normal. Everything was different than it was before you arrived, but it took that second year for me to fully realize how wonderful that new, different life was.
First, if any new moms are reading this right now, I have to say one thing: Year two is just so much better than year one. Literally, night and day. Motherhood is so hard at the beginning, but it gets so much better. Those sleepless nights, the exhaustion and frustration in the beginning, it lets up. Suddenly you look down and that tiny, screaming baby has turned into a human being who wants to wear the black shoes and have Mac and Cheese for dinner and eat it with a fork, please. It’s crazy. Every once in a while, I go through old photos and videos from a year ago, and they almost feel like a different lifetime.
This year has also felt more balanced than year one. At the beginning, parenting is so reactive. It has to be. Baby crying? Try everything. Try every single thing you can think of until it stops. Of course it’s exhausting.
But now? You can talk! Parents make a big deal out of milestones like smiling and sitting up and walking, but communication blows them all away. You can finally tell me what’s going on in your head! It’s nothing short of life-changing.
Instead of focusing on figuring out what you need, we can actually talk to each other. You have opinions! You’re excited about the people and animals you meet, you have favorite toys and foods and games. You’re this cool, fun little person who I’m excited to learn more about every day. I can’t wait to get to know you even better.
Things are so wonderful right now. So wonderful that it’s almost bittersweet to write this letter. It feels so final. It feels like the end of something instead of the middle, which is where we actually are. It’s hard to think about today without wanting everything to stand still, right now, and never change again.
But this year, I got a lot better at learning how to change. It sounds like such a simple thing, but it’s not. Everything else becomes easy when you can let things change. We had some big ones this year. Relaxing into them — letting them happen without trying to stop them or make them different — is the single thing that worked.
Change is inevitable. The only thing you can’t change in this world is the fact that everything changes. Your baby days are already gone. One day, I looked down, and you were suddenly a kid. Your second year is already past us. This moment, you sitting next to me on a Saturday morning, is over too. It never stops. We’re just along for the ride together. And I’m so grateful to be riding next to you.
Last year, I ended my letter with “I love you so much.” Of course, I loved you so much then. But now? Those words feel almost incomplete.
It’s not that I love you. You are love, to me now.
We are so lucky, you and me. To share this life, to love each other, to do our best for the world around us.
The word grateful doesn’t even begin to capture it.
All my love,
Photography: Michael Wesley
Hi guys! I’m currently in the process of redesigning this website, so I thought I’d revisit a few older posts that I’m really proud of. If you didn’t catch these the first time, please check them out! More updates soon. xo
Sometimes when I post a particularly sweet photo, video, or blog post about our son, I get a comment back: “You make it look easy.”
Undoubtedly, this comment comes from a good place. It’s someone telling me that I’m doing ok at this whole mothering thing (hopefully, I am), that life seems pretty good (it is) and that the baby and I are clearly happy (we are).
But, oh my gosh. The last thing I would want to do ever is make it look easy.
Social media and blogging are such wonderful additions to our culture; they let people connect across huge distances and cultural divides. They make cooped-up new moms feel like they’re part of a community, they help us share knowledge and advice, and they enrich our lives in so many ways.
But they also make us competitive with each other. They make us compare our real-life experience with a snapshot of someone else’s — a beautiful, happy snapshot, but one that lacks context and background. Trust me: For every cute date-night outfit, there’s also a day when I don’t have time to even brush my hair. For every sweet baby smile, there’s a night when he wakes up every two hours in tears. Those moments are part of reality for any new mom, whether we choose to share them or not.
I don’t mean to say that there’s anything wrong with posting those beautiful moments — there isn’t, and I treasure all the sweet little smiles I’ve captured on camera in these last few months.
But phrases like “making it look easy” make it seem like there’s something wrong with you if it’s not easy. If it’s not easy, that it’s your fault. That it could be “easy” if you would just do things differently.
But here’s the thing: life isn’t rewarding or rich because it’s easy. Life is incredible because of those tiny little moments, every day, when we appreciate something joyful or meaningful in our daily experiences. Sure, there are great, easy days. And there are also so many great moments in the not-easy days.
If you’re expecting it to be easy — just because someone else might make it look easy — you’re always going to be unsatisfied.
And I wanted to write this, because I worry sometimes that I contribute to it. I worry that when I write about topics like breastfeeding, postpartum weight loss, or even how I’ve chosen to pursue my career, that others will feel badly because they’re struggling with those same issues. To write about these topics suggests, in some small way, that you have figured them out. But these are day-to-day struggles, and I don’t think anyone has fully figured them out.
All our lives are different. And it’s important to remember that. Each mom out there — each person out there, parent or not — has their own ups and downs that are unique to their family. And I know that some of my toughest moments — the 2 a.m. wake-ups and the mornings that I frantically proofread a brief while our son naps in the next room — are the memories that I’ll look back on, years later, when he’s all grown up, and smile.
So who really wants ‘easy’ anyways?
Tags: baby · life