Guest Author Lara Perzoff is throwing off her rose tinted glasses, embracing her sense of humour, and exchanging her idyllic view of motherhood for something just a bit more grounded in reality
It’s a beautiful morning in late October and as I am zipping around the house at warp speed to get things done, I am composing a thank you letter to Fisher Price in my head for inventing the infant swing, which has given me precious minutes of luxurious “hands-free” time while my four month old daughter naps.
To get things done… Simple things. Every day things. Things like laundry, emptying the dishwasher, making some breakfast (which usually gets eaten by lunch time with cold coffee), checking my e-mail and getting dressed. Some days, getting the simple things done is a monumental challenge, something I never saw coming when I was pregnant.
Don’t get me wrong. I love being a new mother. I wouldn’t give it up for the world. I am already counting down to the end of my maternity leave in dread of leaving my precious Hannah in daycare and returning to an insanely busy job which compared to mother work, is a walk in the park.
And as a new mom, I think I’m doing okay. Well, I think I’m doing better than I was in the first couple of months and I’m learning new things every day. That’s part of the beauty of my new life, my life that has changed forever. My life that has changed for the better.
But looking back to when I was pregnant, I have to chuckle at my rosy vision of motherhood. I recently had a good laugh over my idyllic view of motherhood with a friend whom I admire greatly for her ability as a mother of two little boys, and I kept repeating, “What was I thinking?” I’m sure she bit her tongue many times when the pregnant me excitedly prattled on about everything I would do with great ease once Hannah was born—I sure bite my tongue when my pregnant friends do this around me now!
We laughed about how I thought I’d be out of the hospital and onto the walking trails with my all-terrain stroller within days of giving birth. Regardless of my having had an emergency c-section and being painfully hobbled, something tells me these energetic stroller walks still wouldn’t have been possible so quickly.
Don’t even get me started on breastfeeding. Whatever tableau of a mother and child peacefully breastfeeding materialized in my head went up in flames. Let’s just say the experience got better after two painful and frustrating months and medication and leave it at that.
I’m not sure how I seemed to omit the fact that babies cry. Sure, I figured my baby would cry when she was hungry or needed a diaper change. But I never counted on the onset of crying jags from 5pm to 11pm around six weeks of age. I also never imagined my baby would cry in the car or in the stroller. Until Hannah was about 3 months old, I wanted to slink around our neighbourhood unseen because I felt I’d be judged as a child abuser because Hannah would howl in the stroller from the moment we left until we returned home.
And this is my favourite: I thought my baby would sleep a lot, allowing me to get some precious sleep (sleep when your baby sleeps!) and get things done. Wrong. For the first seven weeks, Hannah wouldn’t sleep anywhere but in my arms, relegating me to a (fortunately) comfortable chair in the nursery with her propped up on my chest. My husband and I eventually bought a co-sleeper bed, giving Hannah a safe place to sleep within our guest bed and me the ability to sleep lying down. However, keeping Hannah in her little bed has been an ongoing battle as she prefers to lie in the curve of my warm belly with my breast within her reach. It’s very endearing, but as I told my husband last week, “I’m done.” And now I’m filled with a sense of impending doom as we will transition Hannah to her crib this weekend.
But maybe I should take a lighter approach to this crib transition and motherhood in general. Maybe this next challenge will work out just fine. Maybe I’ll end up saying, “What was I thinking?” and, in time, laugh at it too.
One thing I’ve learned in my short time as a new parent is you do whatever works. And I look forward to the countless lessons I know I will learn from my child. No child is the same and as a new mother, I trust I will do some things right and I’m sure I will make mistakes. And something tells me I haven’t said my last “What was I thinking?”—not by a long shot—and I’m thinking… “That’s okay.”
“Rose Colored Deceptions.” Flickr Creative Commons. Some rights reserved by derekGavey
Guest Author Bio
As a new Mom to five month old Hannah and fairly new wife of Glen, Lara is finding her legs at balancing between motherhood and family. Her family is her true love, inspiring her to write down the many words in her head, preferably when she has two free hands to type. Lara has a background in public relations and broadcast journalism and has always been passionate about creative writing. Besides family time, Lara loves hiking, running, photography, adventure travel, a good cup of coffee with friends and yoga.