I had prepared a fashion post but it happens to be my first son’s tenth birthday so I will be remiss if I don’t commemorate this major milestone here.
Imagine getting the job of a pilot. With no training or real preparation, you’ve just seen one on TV. You’re a smart person, you’ll figure it out! Yeah, right!
That was me, ten years ago, as I was thrust in the pit of parenthood. (Everywhere I say “I”, read “we”, because Russ shared in every step of the experience. Except for the sore nipples, those were only mine!) So I am trying to pilot this plane (well we are, me and my co-pilot) and it’s hard enough without a manual but our plane was especially temperamental, it made for a shaky, rough ride, and all that on no sleep! Dropping the metaphor here.
Here I was – a picture from our engagement session. So fresh faced and naive but with plenty of intelligence and real world experience for my tender 26 years. I left my home country at 18, found my way in the Big Apple, finished high school while working a physically demanding job with night time and long hours. Got accepted to NYU and attended full time while also keeping my new full time high-stress, long hours management position at my job. I thought I got this motherhood thing!
Oh boy! Little did we both know how badly we were going to have our behinds handed to us! Those first weeks and months were just pure hell! Look at the expression on our faces from our first Valentine’s Day after the baby! I think at this point we thought that maybe it would be getting better any minute now.
But in this one, you see me a couple of months later, exhausted, miserable, sleep deprived, overweight, and defeated. Notice, I’m wearing the same outfit – velour hoodies and pants were all the rage in ’07 (Shop the Outfit – I think it was Victoria’s Secret, OMG I’m cracking myself up!)
I recognize that not everyone’s experience at first time parenthood is as bad as ours. Our baby was difficult, colicy, hard to soothe. Combine that with the fact that Russ and I had zero experience with babies and we are otherwise in control, type A personalities who felt totally out of control, helpless and unprepared!
And it didn’t get any easier. The temperamental baby grew to be a temperamental toddler. We added a second baby less than two years later and continued to deal with the newness and difficulty of every stage that our first born entered. But we also got better at the job. And my main reason for writing all this and showing these scary pictures is that I want to tell the new moms out there (and I have a lot of friends pregnant right now!) that what seems like a nightmare now is not a life sentence. Proof – we even had a third baby! And she’s no walk in the park, either!
I know people probably wonder – when does she find time to take her pictures, write her blog post, take care of her kids and her household, while I’m barely surviving, my house is a mess, I haven’t put make up on in months and I keep wearing the same yoga pants day after day! I’ve been there and done that, and have the pictures to show it. (By the way, Russ feels especially bad about that exercise ball picture. He asked, did you mind me taking the picture, you didn’t even make an effort to smile!? – I just didn’t care!)
So now all you see of me (especially if you don’t know me personally) are these glammed up pictures but it is not beneath me to show you the rawness and the reality that I have lived (and continue to live). I am finally coming out of the fog of motherhood with small children. I am enjoying doing things for myself, putting make up on and wearing nice clothes. Because for many years I did none of that. But it has always been a part of me, living beneath the dark under eye circles (alright fine, I always have those, it’s genetic). Ten years later, I am going back to who I was before I became a mother and who I am at my core. I am enjoying my life and my now older children. And to revive the transportation metaphor, I am better at handling turbulence along the way. Now switching the mode of transport – I’m gonna ride this happy train as far as it will take me!
And you will too, one day, momma!