Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Finding time

I'm neglecting this space! I had hoped to fill up this blog with lots of anecdotes about being a new mom so I could at least have some sort of journal to document Baby's first year of life. Oops. Sorry, Baby. I'm just so busy with you that when I sit down in front of my laptop I don't really know what to write. Not for lack of things to write...more because there is SO MUCH to write. Maybe I'll try and document at least one special thing each day.

So, for today...

Baby is now able to sit up beside me (propped up with me and pillows) on the couch and play. It's nice to see her becoming more and more independent and interested in things. Today we played with Sophie, 2 plastic rings and a stuffed duck ring.

Oh, and as a bonus thing...we believe that Baby loves songs that spell words. For example, me singing and dancing to YMCA is a definite favourite of hers.

We'll see how this format goes for awhile.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Friday, May 7, 2010

Becoming a mom Part 1

Becoming a mom has to be the most important thing that has happened in my life so far. Every day I learn something new. Something about being a mom, something about my baby, something about my partner and something about myself. It's hard work but the pay off is spectacular. It has been interesting learning how to be a mom while my partner is learning the same thing. When babies are born into mom/dad families the roles are clearly defined in our mainstream society. Moms do this stuff and dads do that stuff. Sure, sometimes things are mixed up a bit but for the most part that is the model that I have grown up around. With mom/mom families it gets a bit trickier I'm learning. Who does the mom stuff and who does the dad stuff? Do we have to have mom stuff and dad stuff? Can't it just be stuff? I don't know if it can. I know there is me stuff and her stuff and some of it falls in the mom stuff and some of it falls in the dad stuff. I'm not sure if it's I gave birth stuff and I didn't stuff. Clearly, breastfeeding falls into an obvious stuff pile. What about for adoptive mom/dad families though? Does mom still do the mom stuff in those situations? Is it not about parenting at all but about male/female roles?

I need to think about this more...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mommy brain

I'm not a big fan of the phrase "mommy brain." Especially when there is no knowledge of what that means behind it. People throw the words around a lot. In my (limited) experience, I think it is used to describe the forgetful, scattered state that a new mom may find herself in when she is functioning on 1 hour of sleep a night. That's was my definition. However, I recently read an article that describes "Mother-Brain" in a whole new way. And I really enjoyed how she describes "mommy brain."

Excerpts from "Mother-Brain: Life on the isle of infant" by Leanna James.

Context in the article: upon being asked "How have you been? What have you been doing? What's it really like?"

"I try to explain, but it doesn't come out right, somehow. It's incredible, I tell my friends, anxious to share the news. My daughter cried, my daughter pooped, my daughter looked at me and laughed. I hear my own words and think, Is that all you have to say?

But wait, the mother-brain protests. Worlds within worlds unfolded in front of your eyes, universes the size of a pea appeared in your palm! Tell them about that. Tell them about Amanda's gaze, how there's nothing to compare with that. I look down into my daughter's eyes and she looks steadily back at me....

...Tell them, mother-brain whispers, about what it feels like to be looked at with those eyes. A baby's gaze that does not, cannot, assign value or make a label: pretty...plain...intelligent...dull...When was the last time you looked at a human being without filing the face? When was the last time you were looked at that way?

Amanda gazes at me calmly. She receives my face: it doesn't occur to her that my face could look any other way. It exists, and that is enough. So simple, but I find it earth-shattering. I can't get over it. My mother-brain reels in this pure perception. I dissolve into it; I forget about the thousands of names we have for things, the thousands of ways we separate one thing from another. For days at a time, I live outside the value system that calls one thing good and another thing bad, one thing beautiful, another thing worthless. I see shapes, colors, forms; I see tiny lights in my daughter's eyes. I smell the milk on her breath; I smell the sweat under my breasts;. I clean the urine and feces from my baby's body; I clean myself. I eat in the morning, she suckles, and the days slide by. There is nothing to analyze. There is nothing to dissect.

And then someone asks me a question, and I must summon my powers of language and logic.


Monday, May 3, 2010


It has been one of those weeks. Up and down. Like a rollercoaster that you can't get off of. We think Baby may be teething. Or something. She is having a tough time with something since last Monday. It's not every day or even every hour of every day. But sometimes she is red faced and screaming like she's in terrible pain and nothing seems to help except hugs and cuddles. She doesn't even want to nurse during these times...and she always wants to nurse! It's so hard to watch her. We got some homeopathic teething tablets and they seem to help but not completely. And the symptoms of teething seem to be so similar to so many other 'ailments' that I'm really not sure. So yeah, it's hard. I don't want her to hurt. Or cry in pain or discomfort. I want to be able to 'fix' it and make it all better.

Sorry, that's all I got for today. As I said, it's been one of those weeks.