Tag Archives: new baby

Been There, Done That, Or, A Meditation on Why Everyone Is So Mean to Kourtney Kardashian

On mornings when my daughter goes to preschool, I sometimes pop on the TV for some adult voices as I nurse, change, care for Henry and do things around the house.

Sometimes (all the time) there’s nothing really good on so I kind of half-watch whatever is on. The other day, I found myself watching one of the Kardashian spinoff shows for the first time.

I was sucked in, big time.

I couldn’t help but be fascinated by the way Kourtney as a mother to two young children, one a baby, was depicted. Her sisters obviously had no conception of what it’s like to be a tired, nursing, protective Mama Bear mother to a baby. Her husband was off racing cars and the sisters were making fun of her for wearing sweatpants and smelling bad.

Of course it was all played up for laughs and giggles and the sad sap mom, in her apartment-hotel just breastfeeding and covered in spit up, was the comic butt of the show’s overall joke. It was interesting to see how motherhood was depicted in the least mother-y of settings…high-flying celebrities, partying Miami, beauty, flash, conspicuous selfishness…how far from the self-sacrifice and all-encompassing nature of early motherhood.

Yet…Kourtney seemed to take it all in stride. She seemed completely confident in her choices, to breastfeed, to care about her little family pack above all else, to just hunker down and BE a mom in the face of her family’s ridicule. It was kind of cool.

Credit: CelebrityBabies

I guess I’m having a lot of deep thoughts about an E! TV reality show because that juxtaposition between what it means to be a baby mother and the non-understanding larger world around is kind of resonating with me right now. I remember before I had my first baby, how annoyingly been-there-done-that moms were, with that whole “you just can’t understand until you’ve been there” attitude about what it’s like to give birth, be a mom, be up all night for a year, to have your whole world and priorities and universe shift, irrevocably.

There are groups I circulate in who will just never understand. Most men, for one (Sorry, guys. I know many men are equal parenting partners, but…). Pre-children people in their 20s, or of any age. Weirdly, people whose children are long grown also seem to revert back to a hazy innocent un-remembering about it all, too. Babies are recalled as sleeping and perfect angels by grandparents. It’s a forgetting of time and an inevitable scrubbing from the memory of the bad, the stressful, the difficult.

But I think that does a disservice to the moms of now. If you can’t understand, or remember, or try to understand, you can’t support them.

I HATE HATE HATE when well-meaning older women post things on friends’ Facebook statuses about their babies, how they are struggling with lack of sleep, or baby fussiness, or whatever it may be, and then here comes a nice middle-aged lady, saying something like “These are the best days of your life,” or “This is the easy part, just wait until they walk/run/drive the car,” or “My kids are 17 and 19 and I still don’t sleep at night.”

NO. No no no no. Let’s please stop lying to poor women in shellshock from their first weeks with a new baby. They knew it would be hard. They didn’t know they’d have to shed their old skin, lose their self before they regain a better, tougher, harder, Mommy snakeskin.

They didn’t know the chrysalis would be like this. By fire.

Don’t admonish them on Facebook to appreciate it. I understand that from a twenty-year-long vantage point, these ARE the  best days of our lives. That never again will our homes be so full of children’s laughter, joy, sounds, family. We understand that. But these are also the hardest times. Don’t scare new moms into thinking they will be this sleep-deprived forever.

They won’t. It gets better and better. But support helps, especially for those of us who have been there, done that.

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And Then There Were Four

Henry John was born on Sunday, October 7th at 8:47 a.m. He was 9 pounds and 3 ounces! And 21 1/2 inches long. Labor was less than four hours from my water breaking to birth!

Can’t wait to write a full birth story.

Right now we are adjusting to life as a family of four.

So far it’s more challenging that I thought, juggling those two guys there.

Henry is amazing. He is so sweet and such a lover of a baby. He’s having some problems feeding so we are trying to work those out.

I’m so happy and grateful.

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Wishing on Wednesday

What am I wishing for? Labor!

In the meantime, I’m trying to keep busy by enjoying the beginning of October: walking, any and all fall fairs and festivals, eating tons of healthy and unhealthy foods (I woke up at 5 a.m. this morning craving layer cakes) and hanging out with a great conversational partner.

We hit up a nearby playground that’s next to a small dog run in our town after the gym when the weather’s nice and our hound mutt is antsy.

He runs around for an hour and is tired for two days. Apparently doggie middle age is no joke for coonhounds. They go from super athlete in their first couple of years to couch potatoes at five years old.

Sometimes dead hydrangeas can just be another color option. These are thanks to my neighbor across the street who has the world’s best blooming hydrangea bushes (he doesn’t mind!).

Turning three seems to have spurred: language development, crankiness, a teenaged bad attitude at times, and the ability to tell super long, elaborate stories.

On Saturday we went bowling, because it was raining and gross out, and we’ve run out of plans. My calendar has been empty since last week, since I was all BABY COMING! Whoops. It was fun. I was able to almost beat my husband since I used the bumpers as tangents like I was playing pool.

I’m not that great at bowling (he still beat me, playing legitimately).

Anna loved it. She cast spells on her balls.

I am good at smuggling bowling balls out of the alley, though.

I can’t wait until I can wear normal clothes again. Seriously, I’m down to two pairs of pants, one pair of yoga pants and like a handful of tank tops.

On Sunday, a beautiful warm fall day with some crispness in the air, we went pumpkin picking (and hay riding). That night was a full moon, but no baby came.

The farm had a giant swing from a huge old tree. We all Tarzan-ed and Jane-d out (No baby was produced).

It was beautiful. Then it rained and we went to a nearby cute town for tremendous burgers and fries with my mom, sister and sister’s boyfriend.

The world’s saddest carnival was happening, but Grandma bought Anna two rounds on the car ride.

I have a big kid now, who can find her own backpack spot, and who brings a lunch two days a week for after preschool “Lunch Bunch” hour.

She won’t quite let me dress her the way I want to. Every piece of clothing is a negotiation. She wants to wear princess dresses, shoes and accessories. Her teachers want the kids to wear rubber soled shoes for gym and playground time. I’m on a constant lookout for anything both over the top feminine pink Disney princess-splosion and sensible at the same time.

When my husband reads her Cinderella, or Beauty and the Beast, or The Little Mermaid, he tries to change lines and insert some feminist ideas. “The Prince loved Cinderella because she was so smart and kind.”

“That’s not how it goes!” Anna knows all the words, so you can’t trick her. But how awesome is my husband?

I’m trying to assume that the princess mania phase is a phase she needs to go through to get to the other side…like a training period of trying on female-ness from which she will emerge on the other side with a balanced idea of gender.

Or maybe she will be a pretty, pretty princess clotheshorse for life. Worse things have happened, especially since she also like to get wild, crazy, sporty and silly. Most of her best friends at school are boys. Let’s see what happens when she has a brother to deal with, for life.

Oh, and I’m painting a table for the nursery. It’s not done because it’s started raining and being disgustingly humid here. So far it’s very…blue! Let’s see if this table gets done before the baby does (please baby please baby please).

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