Today my baby is eleven months old. Where did this year go? And how many hours have we spent exactly like this photo? Our cat Wayne likes to step in as “lactation consultant” any chance he gets. Don’t ask! I wanted to post this photo on here with a few thoughts on motherhood as we get closer to celebrating this girl’s first birthday. And of course, for folks that are just here for the food you can skip this post and I’ll have a recipe later in the week. But today, I want to honor all that this year has meant to me through all the highs and lows.
Motherhood is not at all how I pictured it. The day my daughter was born was one of the scariest days of my life. Of course I loved her, but I had no clue what I was doing or how we were going to navigate this new world together. Everything seemed dangerous, foreign, and I felt out of my league. There’s a lot about motherhood that no one talks about. I think it’s because people don’t want to scare the shit out of you. Sure there’s the obvious- deep love, sleepless nights, messy house, the clichés about not having time to shower, eat or pee (all are true). But these things are told to you in passing, very casual and light hearted. I was completely blindsided the day I became a mom and this past year has tested me in every ounce of my being.
No one told me that that “deep love” is so powerful that’s it’s almost crippling. The thing about love like this is that it’s scary as hell. It shows you how truly fragile you are.
No one ever told me how depleted I would feel. As in, so depleted that I would feel half dead. And what about the anxiety? No one told me how much anxiety comes with keeping a tiny human alive. The anxiety is heavy, it makes you question your sanity which is why it can be hard to trust yourself.
No one told me that once you become a mom so many traumas from your past can be brought to light. And that can be incredibly hard.
No one told me that when your baby starts smiling, laughing and “talking” to themselves that you could pretty much die and go to heaven because you feel like you’ve experienced all that is sweet, real, and innocent in the world.
No one told me that once your baby starts crawling no amount of “baby-proofing” will ever make your house feel safe enough.
No one ever told me that as the months go by, my almost exploding heart would continue to swell.
No one ever told me how scary insomnia is. Like really, really fucking scary. Or that even when you struggle with so many sleepless nights and crave drifting off into a blissful sleep, that those sleepless nights can also be some of the best because it’s in those wee hours of the night when I’m nursing my sweet girl that it feels like we’re the only two people in the world. And I never want that feeling to go away.
No one ever told me that all these complicated emotions that contradict each other can all be true at the same time.
No one ever told me how important infant CPR would be. Or that when you are faced with a health scare that it will scar you. Even if you are one of the lucky ones.
No one ever told me that being a first time mom can feel embarrassing at times and I often find myself apologizing for my ignorance.
No one ever told me that every time my baby meets a new “milestone” that it feels like she’s losing a tiny bit of her innocence.
Or how about the fact that there are billions of mothers in the world and yet you can still feel incredibly alone in your experience.
But the biggest secret of them all, is that no one tells you how incredibly wonderful and freeing it is to have your world flipped upside down in the most magical way. I never realized how caught up in my old self I was until my sweet girl came into this world. She woke me up to reality. She’s the coolest, sweetest, best human I know. She introduced me to a side of myself that has been hiding out for some time. I like this version of me, even if she’s more fragile.
I believe no one tells you any of this because being informed about motherhood doesn’t mean much until you’re in it. Because it’s not until you are in these moments that you were never prepared for, that you have the ability to give in, embrace, and grow.
I don’t know how many hours we’ve spent just like the above photo, and I don’t know how many more are left (I’m taking her lead because I trust her more). So I’ll treasure these fleeting moments because they’ve been some of the best moments of my life.
Happy eleven months sweet Pepper. You are my hero. I love you more sweet girl. xo