19 August 2009

motherhood. am still learning.

and then there are days when the photograph practically takes itself. my boy fell back into the pillow yesterday, just like this and looked up at me as if to say, what will today bring, mama? i love how he is always up for anything. in such a happy stage, cheerful and ready for a chase. he is trying so much to walk on his own. slowly figuring it out, becoming more steady on those legs each day. watching him giggle, scratch that - this boy chuckles - when dan comes through the door is just one of the highlights of my day. how lucky i am to have a very hands-on papa for a husband. how lucky i am for a baby benj to hang out with all day.



a few close friends of mine are expecting their firstborns this fall. i am so eagerly excited for them to experience what i have come to love. being a mama. all the happiness. the love. the tiny toes and little clothes and newness. all the bundled up emotions of responsibility and bliss and craziness. entering into survival mode; recuperating and figuring out new family life. a new phase of togetherness. a phase of discovery.

i have been dreaming up blog posts, listing all the must-haves and the must-dos and the you-should-knows for these new moms-to-be. but for some reason, this perfect post has yet to come together. perhaps because this perfect post does not exist. twelve months ago, i too researched high and low, attempting to prepare myself to enter the Mother Hood. before benji arrived, i had an appetite of wonder that could not be satisfied. i read a lot of accounts of births and terror stories to go along, i read up on colicy newborns and how to be babywise and have the happiest kid on the block. i stayed up late and highlighted sleep habit books. some of them have helped me along the way. i'd often heard how difficult babies were, it made me really open my eyes. i entered this phase with low expectations of the first few months. i must admit, some days are harder than others. yet for the most part, i've been delightfully surprised at the overwhelming joy we've felt through the past twelve months with our baby. (surely i have read a lot, listened to wise women, adapted bits and pieces of advice, mind you, i am no expert. plus we have been lucky to have such a good baby.) for what it's worth, here is a bit of what i've learned along the way.

i have learned that your baby will love you and need you like nothing you've ever known. i have learned that you don't need to hear a thank you from your tiny one; their contented face is enough. i have learned there is nothing more peaceful than a baby sleeping, and you will run and leap like a leopard to answer your blaring phone in fear the baby will wake up. i have learned to trust my instincts. i have learned to let my husband help out, a lot. even from the first moments, and i'm so glad i did. i have learned to nap when the baby naps. am still doing it, every chance i get. i have learned that babies will figure out their days and nights and eventually they sleep through the nights too. consistency is everything. still, babies go through phases. i have learned to be flexible.

i have learned that you do not need every cool gadget on the market. we borrowed a lot and postponed buying things too. i have learned to be more patient, with feedings and diaper changes and outfit changes and attempting to have a life on the side... embrace the changes. every time benji and i got up at three in the morning, i would tell myself, this situation won't last forever, this is our special time together to get to know each other.

i have learned that boxing up all of my cute regular-sized-clothes and not bringing them back out until benji was seven months old was a very very good thing. stretchy pants to the rescue. let me just say, those first days are not pretty. you will have no time to look in the mirror. still, you glow, even though you don't realize it. and thankfully, everyone is looking at your baby, not you. everything will work out with time. your body will eventually stop aching and you will recognize it again someday.

the main thing i've learned is how much a baby changes you. you will grow and bloom and become more than you thought you could be. suddenly you will be up for the challenge, no matter how difficult the challenge may be. all because you have given birth to a new purpose in life. you will now understand why your mother was always so worried about you. you will understand why your dad spent all that extra time with you. you will know what love feels like. you will check on your baby sleeping in the nursery, just to see him again. you won't be able to get enough of him. they call 'em bundles of love because really truly they are bundled up with surprises. it will surprise you how much you laugh. it will surprise you how much you smile. it will surprise you to see their personality unfold. it will surprise you how much they will teach you about life.

when your bundle arrives,
hold out your arms and whisper, here we go.
welcome to one of life's great adventures.


benjamin. my firstborn. 11.5 months old.
oh what a thing to capture him sitting so still.


“Oh, yes, it is a happy day, Mammy.
The happiest days are the days when babies come!”
- Gone with the Wind

26 comments:

{anyalynn} said...

perfectly put.

kelly said...

thank you Xx

Jen said...

Absolutely beautiful. You have an amazing way with words and some how put words to the incredible job of being a mom.

Catherine said...

I'm expecting my firstborn this December, and the anticipation and wonder that you mention describes my current state of mind exactly. So this post was perfect for me. Just beautiful.

6p010536bb2e87970c said...

You've explained it quite well. Thanks for sharing!

novella said...

Aw, very sweet post. thanks for sharing your kind words.

Megan said...

Thank you Thank you. I love you mart. 11 days left... You have calmed my nervous heart. You're the best.

Em said...

I loved this post Mart!

Abby said...

I got a little teary eyed reading your post. You have such a way with words. Everything you say is true and the truth is until you become a mother there is no way in the world to explain it to someone who isn't. It truly is the most wonderful feeling in the world! Great post!

hannah said...

Benji has the most beautiful eyes. You are a darling mother!

Cat said...

Being a proud mom of 2 myself (almost 4 years old and 4 months old), I like everything about this post, including the part where you say that some days are not as easy. Some moms just won't admit it! Thanks for being honest! Benji is so sweet! I'm sure he's just like his ma!

Travelin'Oma said...

Benji seems to be thinking, "Is she talking about me again?"

Courtney B said...

this might be my favorite post ever. this could be because i am a new mommy myself, just 7 weeks into it and already it is ringing so true. thank you for putting it so well, so beautifully. i love it. i love motherhood.

gab said...

Good job, Min! You make motherhood look so easy...

Erin said...

These were such words, thanks for being so sincere Marta! PS - I can't believe your little guy is already one!

katie, dave, lucille and winston said...

love, love, love this post. I am a new mom of 5 1/2 months. wow, what an amazing experience. I completely relate when you say 'everything will work out with time,' and you will 'become more than you though you could be.' there have been so many times where my babe and i have been confronted with some sort of situation and i say, 'OK baby, not sure how to do this, but we'll figure it out.' and we do! i have learned so many things. this is the best adventure yet. so glad to be in the Hood.
cheers to you and benji (he's beautiful, btw)

Mrs. Biscuit said...

Beautifully said.

Tiffany said...

absolutely beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

summer said...

so awesome, marta.
i can't tell you how glad i am that you have all of these sweet words categorized and safely filed away so that i can rifle through them when i'm frantically researching someday. hooray! thank you so much.

watching benji grow is a truly fascinating thing. and such a privilege. i can't wait to hear about his big b-day bash! (your invitations are so charming! and 'playdate' is brilliant. i've always loved that word.)

Jake and Amy said...

What a great description of all the feelings that come along with being a mother. LOVED IT!

-Amy Larson (Stevens)

swell.life said...

wow. this post gives me chills. seriously, i think this IS your perfect post Marta! you make me want to put down my laptop and scoop up my 4-month-old sleeping G right now and snuggle. :)

Alana said...

made me cry! and laugh, too! leaping when the phone rings! i never knew i could run so fast and leap so high as when the phone rings and baby is sleeping.

Carly said...

makes me even more excited for the day when i will get the opportunity to be a mamma. lovely post.

country girl said...

I hope to be such a good mother as you one day. You're doing an absolutely lovely job, and I love how much you adore your son.

Sarah said...

seven years. three kids later. am.still.learning. every day. the new adventures with the kids are not as daunting. but the truths i've found within are more challenging than i had expected. every new stage with them is a reflection of myself as a mother.

thank you for reminding me how grand it all is. motherhood. the hood. too big for words really.

Puna said...

Marta, your story made me cry. I'm so glad you submitted this photo. He's adorable.

Related Posts with Thumbnails