Occasionally, I write on Medium about motherhood, mental health, body image, and all that that entails. Here’s a story I wrote when I was 35 and Lucy was 2. Hope you enjoy it.
Today is Lucy’s 18 month milestone. And even as I’m typing this, I feel a lump in my throat and a knot in my stomach. But as she prepares to leave infancy behind, I, too, am doing my best to leave the heavy weight of Mom Guilt in the past.
I was looking back through my Instagram accounts, reflecting on the past year, and I realized that, despite becoming a new mom, I’ve been more active and motivated over the last twelve and a half months than I have in the past several years. And the reason is simple – I finally gave myself permission to be happy.
I celebrated my 34th birthday this weekend. A year ago, I was becoming a mom for the first time, something I thought would never happen. Not because I didn’t think I could handle it. But more because I didn’t think it was my “thing.” I was never the little girl pushing a baby stroller with her dolly in it. And I never went gaga for kids the way my friends did. When I hit my twenties and realized I didn’t coo at every passing infant the way other mommy-hopefuls did, I figured that wasn’t my path and I was OK with that. Combined with my hopes for a successful career, a love of tattoos, incurable wanderlust, and a mouth that curses a little too often, I was hardly anything close to the definition of motherhood. But then I met Lucy.
It’s been twenty-four weeks since Lucy was born. Twenty-four amazing weeks full of love, discovery, and adjustment. Twenty-four weeks throughout which I’ve learned that there is nothing as incredibly rewarding as being a mom. But I am tired. So, so incredibly tired. And after five months of non-interrupted mothering, give or take a few work opportunities and a couple of much-needed weekend getaways with my husband, I am struggling to find a balance between working, blogging, parenting, and rediscovering what it means to be me.
I chose to write this well after the arrival of my daughter to ensure I wouldn’t be going off on a rant fueled by hormones and lack of oxygen (it was really tough to breathe towards the end). Combined with my Cuban temper, it would’ve only made for a lethal dose of snark. But now that Lucy is well on the other side of the belly, I feel it’s safe to share my biggest pet peeves over the last few months (though I can’t guarantee it will be completely snark-free).
I just wanted to give a nod to all the moms out there for the amazing work you do. If you’ve managed to keep your child alive and healthy while maintaining some shred of sanity, I curtsy to you. Today marks four weeks since I began my journey as a new mom and while there have certainly been immeasurable joys to outweigh any and all inconveniences, there’s also this absurd reality that has indefinitely become everyday life.
As if my recent waddling or growing belly weren’t already driving the point home, attending the Big City Moms Biggest Baby Shower: Miami event made it overwhelmingly clear that I am, indeed, incredibly pregnant. I’m no longer in that in-between maybe-she’s-just-packed-on-a-few-extra-pounds stage. I am fully, recognizably preggo with the hormone surges to prove it. But so were all the other attendees at this event and it made me feel slightly normal for a short while.
But attending this event as a first-time mom-to-be was also incredibly educational. I thought I knew what my baby needed until I took a stroll through the seemingly endless rows of vendors and discovered there’s a whole world of new essentials our parents didn’t need but certainly could have used to make their initial parenting years a whole lot easier (Zippyz and Bibbitec, anyone?). Below, I give you some of my standout products (and maybe some gifting ideas for yours truly!). Have you tried any of these products? I’d love to hear what you think.
1) Tutti Bambini: A one-stop shop for all things baby, including classes, baby planning, and maternity concierge services.
2) Sweet Dough: Custom cookies, pastries and sweets.
3) “O” Pops by Angie: Custom (and really delicious) cake pops.
4) Project Nursery: Inspiring style for baby’s first room and beyond.
5) Daddy Scrubs: Scrubs and gifts for the expectant dad.
6) Zippyz: Onesies that zip (instead of snap) from foot to belly, keeping your baby warm and comfy through diaper changes.
7) H.O.L.D. Couture: Maternity and post-maternity shapewear. (Not pictured)
8) Give Wink: Baby needs and customizable gifts.
P.S. I had to include my preggo Mad Men alter-ego image, created by none other than my baby-daddy. Totally irrelevant but still kinda cute; especially the way she’s still wearing full pumps when I clearly slid across the room last night in nothing more than a glorified kitten heel. Ah, the joys of pregnancy.
Hey, moms and moms-to-be! For the second year in a row, BCM Biggest Baby Shower is heading to Miami for all the latest and greatest in baby essentials. This will be my first time attending but I have to admit I’m pretty excited. (I keep hearing about their amazing goodie bags!)
If you’re planning to attend, be sure to take advantage of the special discount code for readers of Bubbles & Ink: Use BUBBLES at checkout to receive $10 OFF the price of admission. Hope to see you there!