Posts Tagged ‘ being a mom ’

Not A Vacation

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

Did I say last week that having a baby is like being on vacation? Really? Or did a ghost swoop in and steal my computer? Honestly, I went to the museum with a spring in my step, and left with a limp (along with a covering of cheerios, a film of sweat and a coating of baby formula).  Good times.

I thought the exhibit, Race to the End of the Earth (about Antarctica explorers), would put mommyhood into perspective. I guess it did when you consider I nearly sweated to death (instead of freezing to death).

There were four moms and four babes (five if you consider one of us was pregnant. And no, it wasn’t me!). Getting there on the subway took four different trains (thanks to some unplanned MTA service changes). Since this was my grand idea, I tried to keep it light. I told the moms that we would get good exercise schlepping our strollers up multiple stairs. And that seemed to work well, that is, until we had to keep changing trains. Usually you get a Good Samaritan to help carry your baby-in-stroller up the steps. But anyone who saw our caravan was sure to run the other way. Who could blame them?

Once at the museum, we headed straight for the food court. The babies needed things like pizza, an apple, a grilled cheese sandwich and hot water for a bottle. The moms needed a booth to collapse in. I couldn’t believe I was that person, sitting in a cafeteria at 11 a.m. and actually dreading getting up and walking.

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We finally hit the exhibits. Fia promptly went to sleep at the stuffed mammals (the one thing I thought she would like). We were told the explorer exhibit I wanted to see was an IMAX. And if our babies cried, we’d have to leave. After great debate, we psyched ourselves up. Yes, our babies can do this. We’re going for it. We went to buy tickets, and were told conflicting info: no IMAX.  It was a walk-though. Though for us, it became more of a crawl through experience. But at this point, like the explorers, there was no turning back.

At one point, I was on all fours, chasing Fi under a yurt waving a clean diaper in the air. Nora’s baby Aiden had his first bout of separation anxiety when she ran (pregnant) to the bathroom for 30 seconds. We all danced and sang to him with zero consolation. Visitors scurried past us, not sure why we were performing a jig next to an igloo and a screaming baby. Courtney’s baby Teddy tried to eat the fake ice mountain (the plaque said “Do Not Touch”). Stephanie’s baby Gracen was flinging and contorting her body every which way in the stroller while screaming. In baby speak, she was yelling, “Let me out of stroller jail! I want to be an explorer!”

We exited and looked at our watches. I was sure 5 hours had gone by. Nope. Only 2 ½. How was that possible? We needed to kill more time. We left the museum and bee lined to the only place that could soothe our souls: The Shake Shack on 72nd street. One Shack-Dog later and my nerves began to recharge—at least enough for the subway ride home.

We moms try and get together every Thursday. Each week one of us picks what to do. After this excursion, I think I lost that privilege.

Oh, and P.S. by the time I hobbled home, I was too tired to even watch Oprah. So much for indulging myself with baby.

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What it Means to be a MOM

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Author’s Note: I wrote this post for the launch of MyFirstBaby.com in early 2010.But it’s still pertinent 18 months later.

Wow, I have no idea where to begin. Seriously. This tiny, incredible thing called A BABY has rocked my world and made me a complete cliche (yes, her smile melts my heart). I remember when I got married I was excited to add “WIFE” to my title. Now it’s MOM. And ladies, we’re in this one together. Imagine your favorite girlfriends gathering around at your convenience— even if it means the middle of the night–to get you through this amazing journey. We’re talking labor pains, first smiles, daddy’s involvement, keeping your sanity, restoring your figure, and more.

Undoubtedly someone in our growing community will have an opinion, a tip, a word of advice or a (virtual) shoulder to lean on. It’s about trusting our instincts but also reaching out to other moms to share and to bond. Yes, another cliche. They have become my reality these days, just as my shoulder has turned into a willing baby bib.

My daughter Fia Lily was born December 2, 2009. She was 2 weeks overdue and they had to induce. Labor progressed beautifully until she refused to drop. I was fully dilated, but after 24 hours of labor and 2 hours of solid pushing, she didn’t budge, so Fia came into my world via C-section. My first words to her were, “I know you.” After all, we had spent the past 10+ months together. Then I wept. Joy mixed with relief and more raw emotion than I’ve ever felt before. And just like that my world was turned upside down, right side up and every direction in-between.

So what can I say to all of you? I understand on a primal level now what it means to be a MOM. To be responsible for this helpless and helplessly cute little creature; to have your heart melted so much you worry it may turn to butter; to have tears gush so hard, you’re scared you may cause a flash flood in your home.

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There are times these feelings nearly take me to my knees. Other times they make me dance on air. How is it we have joined the biggest club in the world, yet at times we feel so alone? I’ll be honest: this hasn’t been an easy journey for me. But when I started to follow my own instincts a little more and reach out to other moms, it started to get easier. I still have many mountains to climb, but with each step I feel a little more confident.

I’m so excited to share this journey with you, my fellow MOMS. It is a title I carry with honor and privilege along with my overstuffed diaper bag. So welcome to the club. Let’s dance.

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