Friday, January 27, 2012

Four weeks, three thoughts


Severen is four weeks old today. In the last month or so, I've had many, many thoughts on motherhood. Here are three that I keep coming back to:

1. Being a mom to a newborn is like being a detective. I am constantly trying to decipher Severen's squeaks, squawks and eyebrow wiggles. My days are a series of problem solving activities - it is like a really long, real-time analytical section on a standardized test. Except this test involves stressful questions about belly buttons, breast milk and soaked diapers. I'm trying to stay one step ahead of him but just when I think I've solved the puzzle and things might quiet down for a bit, he surprises me with something else. Touché, Severen. Touché.

2. I am not special. Nope, not really. There are lots of moms out there and we are all experiencing mostly the same things, have the same anxieties, think the same thoughts, etc. It is humbling to think that I'm just one lady with a one little son. Being a mom is such a big deal to me (the biggest deal!) but when I zoom out of my own life and consider all the other moms all over the planet (or heck, when I just look around the waiting room at the pediatrician's office) I realize: "Hey, you're just doing this thing now - along with all these other people." As my husband's grandma (who had nine kids) said, "Once you have a child, you really join the human race." That's where I'm at right now.

3. I worked so hard to be prepared for this little man - and we had extra long to think about him b/c of our pregnancy journey - but I still continue to be surprised by what is required of me as a new mom. When people tell you that having a baby was the hardest/greatest thing they ever did, they are not exaggerating. I always kind of thought, "Oh, you mean 'hard' like training for a marathon is hard or 'great' like graduating from college is great." But nope, nope. I'm talking hard/great like marriage. There are subtractions and additions to happiness on a daily basis and somehow, at the end of the day, you end up juuuuussst ahead of where you started that morning. Just enough to feel truly gratified.

P.S. Next week, I hope to get back to some listing in the shop (yay! I have so many pretty things saved up) as well as a bit more blogging. Thanks for your patience this last month!

13 comments:

Anne said...

I love you guys. <3

Anonymous said...

I still remember your wedding. Of the whole Macalester gang I think you guys were first. It was so special to be on the Macalester campus, shared with so many friends, and in the Quaker tradition, full of warm thoughts, kind words and prayers from all over the world. But I will never forget the grandmother that stood up gingerly and said, "Did anyone ever tell you it was going to be hard?" I think everyone expected that would be the beginning of a longer speech, but she just sat back down. Kofi and I remind each other of that moment in your wedding often. Such wisdom. And thanks for your thoughts on mothering too.
Lots of love,
Kate

SewSweetStitches said...

Hard to believe it's already been a month! He's beautiful. I really like what your gran said about finally joining the human race, that's so true! It is a really weird feeling the first day you bring your baby home, like, there should be reporters at your door waiting for you like paparazzi, and you want to take out a front-page ad to let everyone know there is an entirely new human being in the world now. And then you go to the pediatrician and see all the other babies and you're like, wow, not so uncommon!

Unknown said...

When I had Isobel I realised that I had had no idea what having children was like beforehand, as you say, despite all the time I spent pontificating about it :) Severen looks adorable!

Christine O'Connor said...

This is really nice. I like hearing about your transition into motherhood.

Capricious Traveler said...

Are you going to take him shopping with you? How cute would that be!?

GirlRural.com said...

I still wake up sometimes and think, "gosh, this is hard stuff!" I always thought I could be perfect as a mom, but there is no perfection in motherhood. Our children remind us that we are human.

Foy Update said...

I just toured a family farm this afternoon. The husband and wife (plus his 90 year old dad) do all the work. They have 8 kids, 2 which are adopted from Africa. They home school. All while putting in 80 hours a week of work to grow produce for the local elementary school and several restaurants. Plus she's due in a couple weeks with their ninth kid and was crawling through a low hoop house to weed the carrots. They are very inspiring.

However, now I feel that my couple nights of crappy sleep as I learn how to sleep NOT on my back is trivial. Perspective is good.

steph.kelley said...

Three thoughts for you: I chuckled as the standardized-test analogy -- descriptive and comedic, and surely all true. ** If Severen's eyes are Soren's, his mouth is yours. ** This pairing of photos made me smile: the transition from a scene of peaceful motherhood to one of a squawking babe seems to exemplify your Thought #1 about surprises and facial expressions. Rock on, Duff. xoxox

Francesca _Syrah said...

i couldn't say it better, as a 4months baby's mom i completely agree with you!a very big hug from italy..
love francesca & little nicola

Emily said...

He is one sweet little lad. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, Duff. Very interesting for me as I begin to contemplate this path for myself!

Adelaide's Homesewn said...

yes, thank you for sharing this. it helps me.

greatest friend said...

Thanks very much for sharing your personal thoughts on this amazing first part of your Mum journey, Duff. It's such great insight. I'm so nervous and excited, always a bit wary of my capabilities - even though it's crazy how many other children and babies have become "visible" whilst I've been pregnant, giving me that same unspoken comradery - I can still feel very alone and at times really anxious with thoughts on how I'm going to do in that first month, It's not just "Will I be able to breastfeed? Will my baby be healthy? but everything imaginable in between. You're golden my dear - have a VERY happy birthday - lots of love and thought your way and thanks for sending a little strength my way. (Hi Severen!)

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