20 years later and the emotions and visuals of what happened that day, and the days following still feel so vivid in my memory and my body. I was 13 years-old, and thankfully my family members in New York were safe, but I cried for days as if I was mourning my own flesh and blood every time we watched the news and I saw the pictures the kids drew of what they witnessed, and the walls of thousands of missing faces.
Just yesterday, I was reminded how close to danger some of my family members really were. So, I thought I'd take a few moments to reflect on that day and it's impact...
Last year, I heard a lot of people say to me how hard it must be being a new mom during these times. I really had no frame of reference as I didn't know what it was like being a new mom during "normal" times. I imagine, no matter the time, particularly those first couple of months is hard for any new mom. Pandemic or no pandemic, I had to learn to correct a bad latch so that I could nurse my son without excruciating pain. Pandemic or no pandemic, it was still lonely going through my unique situation. And by unique, I don't mean I was in any exceptional circumstance, but just that even though many of us experience generally the similar things, we each have varying factors that affect each of our situations differently. So at first, yes it was hard, but I was also lucky. If not for moving in with my parents, I'm not sure what my husband and I would've eaten at times.
Ask me now how things are being a mom in a pandemic, and it's a different story...
By the second week of May I was considered fully vaxxed, and something I will never forget is my first post-vaccine hug. One of my best friends had stopped by, and as she was leaving, I suddenly remembered I could hug her. As we hugged, it was a little weird, but also the most amazing feeling. One thing this pandemic has taught me is to never take for granted the cuddles and hugs we can give and receive from our loved ones.
The funny part is 5 months later, and it's still a little awkward to hug someone I've seen for the first time since the pandemic started. It makes me laugh. Am I the only one who feels like I'm now practicing consent more often? Like, "can I hug you?" "Oh great, thank you."
We were ordering from a restaurant recently, when we were asked if we wanted a kid's menu for my son. It suddenly hit me...why do kids have separate menus? There's this notion that kids are really picky eaters, and they either can or only want really simple foods--I'm not really sure which, maybe both? But ever since our son started eating solids, aside from making food the right softness for him and avoiding honey and cow's milk his first year, our son has pretty much eaten everything we eat. So I'm wondering... are some kids really picky eaters or do we just think they are? Have we conditioned them to be picky eaters?
Some babies can sleep through the night as early as a couple months old, or maybe even younger! Some babies never sleep through the night. Our baby is one of those that has slept "through" the night maybe just a handful of times if even that. Though we dabbled with some sleep training, we didn't keep it up and I've learned a lot throughout the process that I'm incredibly grateful for.
Growing up there were two things I knew I wanted to be and was meant to be: a writer and a mother. As Mother's Day approaches, I've been reflecting on this past year of motherhood, and I'm pretty sure this is the year I get my first grey hair. Jokes aside, I've also been thinking about LinkedIn's attempt to be more inclusive by adding "Stay at Home Mom/Parent" as a job. It's certainly a good step forward, but I think it's still going to take time for people to change their mentality about how society views and thinks of parents, and especially mothers. We've all heard parents say that the most important job they've ever had is being a parent. Here are a few reasons why we need to take that more seriously and stop punishing mothers for doing the hardest job in the world.
Our baby is now a year old...actually it's been nearly two months since his first birthday, I'm just a little behind on this post. So, that means we've cloth diapered over a full year now! Some people thought I'd give up quickly, which by the way, is totally offensive, because that means they don't have much faith in me or know me very well! But here we are, one year later, and I'm so happy we chose this route. So, for anyone who is curious or looking into cloth diapers for their own babies, here's what I've learned after one year.
One way to shop sustainably and save money is when you shop the ugly ducklings. What I mean by "ugly ducklings" are the products that did not pass quality control for aesthetic reasons, but are still totally functional. Some shops will sell their "ugly ducklings" at a reduced price in order to reduce waste, and I love that. These items may not have been cut perfectly, have a stain, was printed upside down, or the seams are crooked. These types of cosmetic defects don't affect function, and on "ugly ducklings"
I've purchased, I've not even been able to spot the defects. So, consider shopping the ugly ducklings! I like to think of them as products with character, and a little extra special.
I'd love to see more brands do this!
My journey into motherhood also sparked my journey into living more sustainably to help preserve Mother Earth for my son and future generations. I've learned so much, and every time I find a new way or product to make our lives more eco-friendly and kinder to our earth, I get excited. So, I thought I'd share a few of the products I've switched out at home, and if you have others, please do share!
Prior to becoming pregnant, I never thought about what postpartum healing entailed. In movies, we may see the mother scream from labor pains, but after that all is joyful, which is not true for everyone. While I was pregnant I had read a few articles that explained what would happen, which for some reason terrified me more than actually giving birth, but I still had no clue what I was in for. I had heard one celebrity say she didn't expect to be as sore as she was, but that still wasn't a clear picture of the pain and discomfort I would endure. Aside from the immediate postpartum healing though, I thought I'd track and share what exactly I went through during my first year postpartum, because I had heard from a few people that they didn't even feel like they got their bodies back or felt like themselves again until a year later. WARNING: Talk of pee, poo, blood below.