Life

Holy cats I’m a mom.

No one told me it would be this easy and no one told me it would be this hard. My son, JC, is officially one month old. His one month should have been his birthday, but my precious first born has never played by my rules and thus came into this world early, my little turkey turned pumpkin spice. If I really take a clear-eyed look at this whole adventure to now I could have seen all of this coming, the simplicity and the challenge, the nothing going to plan but everything sort of working out in the process. I probably could have predicted this, but that’s the problem with clear-eyed anything at this point: I’m tired. I actually got to the point of tiredness where I was slurring my words more than even that one time in college where I was so drunk I couldn’t feel anything from the nose down (true story for another day). Clear-eyed isn’t my thing right now.

What is my thing is noticing, with a mix of surprise and dismay, that all of the stories I’ve been told about how difficult pregnancy, motherhood, etc. is haven’t been completely accurate and the anecdotes about how somethings are easy and joyful are also faulty. I’m figuring out, one off kilter day at a time, just how unique this adventure is for each woman who undertakes it and just how similar the trail at the same time. I think it’s Johnson and Johnson that has the slogan of “a baby changes everything.” While I was pregnant those commercials made me cry, sometimes just a little bit of tears running down my face and others the full on ugly cry. Now, I’m not sure how accurate it is even if the commercials still make me cry. A lot has changed, but at the same time I still feel very much the same. Just…more.

Becoming pregnant with JC was not on my agenda for 2016. I’ve always wanted to be a mother, but with how 2015 ended for me all that I really wanted was to try to find balance again. Losing your mother, no matter how somewhat expected it is, will really knock you off center. Turns out so will an unplanned (but very welcome!) pregnancy. Right now, with JC sleeping peacefully in his baby glider after being very fussy all day I’m starting to take stock of things. My house has been turned upside down and I am still trying to sort through the gifts we received for his baby shower (which happened when he was one week old) and the various other things people have passed forward to us (like that amazing glider that is saving my life at this moment.) Everything is the same, but nothing is the same. What I do know is that I’m learning a lot and while I’m a very new mom, I want to share some of what I’m learning and what this crazy adventure is turning into for me.

Holy crap. I’m a mom now. Hold on to your hats, folks.

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House and Home, Life

Tiny baby laundry and minimalism

This past weekend I started doing baby laundry. We have been very, very fortunate in that a few of our friends are parents of boys who have outgrown a lot of clothing and other baby supplies. This means that we have been able to accumulate a good collection of things for baby Jack in a variety of sizes and seasons. Our little guy is going to want for very little in the way of clothing for awhile. I sat down on Saturday and went through the piles, organizing things by size in an attempt to get a sense of what we have and any gaps in what we need.

Once the piles were made and I started to do the laundry I found myself having a little bit of a panic attack. Up to this point my anxiety has come from financial concerns, largely things like having enough money for maternity leave, to get all of the things we will need, to pay for day care, etc. This time, however, I was freaking out over stuff. I haven’t gotten everything washed and put away and already just one size of Jack’s little outfits takes up the entire chest of drawers that was supposed to hold all of this things. Then I looked around the room trying to figure out various options for where I could add additional storage and realized that I, as an adult person, have far too many things.  It made me think about how I want my son to view life and the world and if I want him to be mired down in the accumulation of things.

I don’t.

My mother was a bit of a hoarder. She had a lot of things, a lot of collections, and she didn’t get rid of much. Since her passing it has been a great deal of work and effort on the part of my father to sort through her things and decide what to keep and what to move on. I’ve been starting to do some of that myself with things I held onto only because Mom felt like I should. Now that I’m expecting my own child, though, I don’t want to have a lot of stuff. I want to trim down, keep what matters and what is needed, and make sure that there is always room. Being able to effectively have a clean house is a perk. So as I work my way through tiny baby laundry I find myself thinking about how to streamline my life. The next several weeks are pretty much back-to-back busy, with house guests, a trip to New Orleans, my brother’s wedding shower, a makeup gig, and probably my own baby shower. I may have only one or two weekends to dig in and clear things out. I’m still working on my plan, but I know for sure that I want it done. Fewer things, more time, more family time.

Funny how it takes a little thing to make you realize the importance of the little things.

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