First Timer: To Blogging, Motherhood and Pretty Much Everything
I am new to this whole blogging thing. I know this is about 10 years late on the scene, but to be fair, 10 years ago I was partying too much and not really doing a whole lot of cool things outside of funneling 4 Lokos. Cue to now. I am a 29 year old mother of two, a stay at home mom, still not really doing a whole lot of cool things, and have a whole slew of possibly uninteresting, possibly endearing topics I can share, depending on how you view it. Now as the title of this post also suggests, I’m a first timer in the content of online publishing, outside of the increasingly unappealing social media outlet, Facebook. I’m a little nervous, a little apprehensive, my confidence a bit shaky – and so, like any good woman I am drinking alcohol to calm my nerves, much like I did for the first time I slept with my now fiancé.
My name is Emilee. I’m the mother of 5 year old Tanner and 3 1/2 year old Benny, my entire world revolves around them. If you’re good at math you may have figured this out
already, or if you’re like me and numbers don’t light any kind of fire in your cotton filled head, I’ll gladly pull up my iPhone calculator and do the math for you – I had Tanner when I was 24, and I had Benny just 16 short months later. I don’t know how you were at age 24, or if you’re not 24 yet, but most people don’t have their ducks in a row at that point in their life. My ducks were all over the f***ing place and I was the only person responsible for trying to line them up in order to be a good mother to my (both unplanned) children. I was a single mom for a lot of it. Much of my days were spent trying to grow up and figure my own shit out while also trying to be the Pinterest mom I aspired to be.
Mommy of One
With Tanner, my first born, there I was – a first time, expecting mother. I read the books, I read lots of them, I researched everything compulsively, collected as much knowledge as I could, I just KNEW this was my chance to do something right. I was as prepared as any first time mom might think she is, armed with textbooks, .org articles, and conversations with other mothers filed in my memory. I loved pregnancy. I had an easy pregnancy. I didn’t complain about being too pregnant or uncomfortable or overdue, I was cheery and bubbly and as I mentioned before, obviously prepared. In retrospect I know I was that annoying mom you imagine stabbing in the eyeball with the organic parsnips I purchased so my child could have optimal vitamins and minerals nourishing his sweet little unborn body. But at the time I was just keeping my endorphins in overdrive and enjoying the ride.
And then just to kick you in the crotch again, my first born Tanner was a dream. He slept, he was happy, he latched on his first time nursing, he loved to eat, I worked as hard as I could to make him an independent sleeper, an overall independent baby. I taught him to dust his hands off if he fell down and started crying, he spoke in small sentences by his first birthday, he was reciting full books back to me by one and a half. I walked out of that first year and a half of motherhood relatively unscathed, beaming with pride over my accomplishments as a mother. I had found my niche, as untraditional as the path to motherhood may have been.
Then Benny was born.
The Tables Have Turned
My pregnancy with Benny was a replica of Tanner’s. I was bubbly, upbeat, radiating positivity over the luck of two easy pregnancies. Benny was a scheduled C-section, I felt great after, and he SLEPT THROUGH THE FIRST NIGHT AT THE HOSPITAL. I remember sitting with my cousin, who visited me in the hospital (graciously bearing a full size cheeseburger sub and a chocolate chip cookie as a gift.) I told her how he slept, he latched on no problem breastfeeding. I was gushing to her – I have another easy baby! He’s a total tit guy! The kind of baby moms dream about having. Second night went by, he slept through the night. I had to wake him up to eat. The third night went by – and surprise – he slept through the night again. He hardly made a god damn peep. And how does that saying with Jesus go? On the third day, he rose? Well on the fourth day, Benny rose, screaming nonstop for the next three months straight.
Colic is not an uncommon occurrence, but that knowledge also doesn’t prepare you for the sheer exhaustion, every nerve in your body screaming at you, the chaos occurring in your mind, the helplessness of not being able to meet your newborn baby’s needs. Sure, I did my best to foster Tanner’s independence – but he had to utilize that independence in ways more extreme than I had ever planned. I felt guilt over not being there enough for Tanner, all of my energy focused on Benny, I felt guilt over not being able to help Benny. Motherhood is a shit load of guilt, if you didn’t already catch on to that. I was the only person Benny wanted to be around, I was a full time college student, breastfeeding my newborn, guiding my one and a half year old through this newfound shit show phase of his previously cushy life, and going to my classes two nights a week were the only time my nights weren’t filled with constant screaming. I suspect I lost a lot of brain cells and suffered some sort of nerve damage on account of copious amounts of stress imploding them all to smithereens.
Judge Me, Judge Me Not
I couldn’t help but wonder. Where did I go wrong with Benny? What did I do? I WAS PREPARED! I READ THE BOOKS! HE HAD BREAST MILK! How could this happen? Maybe I was too confident in motherhood with Tanner and the big guy upstairs wanted to pull a prank. Maybe I should have mediated while burning incense and lathered myself with essential oils to manage stress more effectively. Should I not have drank my witches brews from Dunkin’ Donuts? Did that tiny bit of caffeine ruin his newborn life? Was eating a package of Keebler Elf fudge stripe cookies every night too much for him?
Maybe one of the above holds some truth to it. Or maybe he was a baby, and babies sometimes are easy and good natured, others are really challenging, others are really, really, challenging (here’s to you, Benny). All of the diversity in baby behaviors makes for some relatable stories that can unify other moms struggling or experiencing something similar. Which I hope my spot as a collab blogger on Mom Life Exposed accomplishes. I hope it reaches an audience, I hope it tugs on some heart strings, I hope it makes you laugh, I hope it makes you sympathize for rather than judge the other moms around you. I have many other intricate stories about motherhood, I can go into a lot of gory, love filled detail. But my wine is gone, and it’s that time of night where I’m about to hustle my kids into the bath and count the seconds down until bedtime so I can scroll mindlessly through Pinterest and see if the new Kardashians episode is On Demand yet. Judge me, judge me not.
P.S.-My Benny is the sweetest boy ever, we have an incredibly special bond. He is also still an a-hole a lot of the time, and I still wouldn’t trade him in.