This week literally flew by. I’ve been enjoying the flexibility of not having to squeeze in nap time for my daughter. I resisted this for so long and it’s been so great I wish I would have done it sooner. Most mornings I’ve had some quiet time to start the day and an actual evening too. Ian is stronger everyday and so super cute. He gets this surprised look on his face that makes me laugh. I imagine every time he wakes up he thinks he’s still snuggled up on the inside and then he opens his eyes and realizes he’s earth side. What a wild transition it must be! (Especially since he almost always wakes up in a completely different place from where he fell asleep)
My young niece asked me recently if she looked fat. She’s a healthy, strong kid. It breaks my heart it’s already something on her radar. How did we get here anyway? How have unrealistic, photoshopped images become a worthy goal when it’s nothing anyone has ever seen in person. To all women: you are enough just as you are. Let’s stop buying into all this bs.
I am learning to knit a hat from a lovely, empowered woman in her 90s. She still drives, lives independently, and works. I love hearing her stories. (I hope I’m half as cool if I get the chance to be that old) I’m hoping to finish the hat tomorrow.
I don’t have much else to say other than I feel really happy, thankful and strong. The scale dropped another 3 pounds this week which is always pleasant to see.
Seriously though, I’m reminding you again. You. Are. Enough. Just. As. You. Are
I have a 2 month old, officially. When I was pregnant with Lia someone told me it takes about 8 weeks for a new baby to adjust to the outside world but I think it takes me about that much time to really fall head over heels in love. The beginning is so instinctual: feed, change diaper, snuggle repeat. There is so much going on physically, mentally, emotionally.
Last night I was driving home and was thinking about how much life right now feels like it did when I was in my 20s living alone in Chicago with a goofy grin on my face walking to my apartment in the middle of the night from a party or other gathering and feeling so happy, exhilarated, some natural high of contentment. It was a period of time I refer to as the “great love affair with myself”. Motherhood, especially the beginning feels very much the same, at least for me. I feel giddy. Its an opportunity to fall in love with this new, beautiful being and a chance to fall in love all over again with my husband and daughter and our family. Its so cool how much love this little guy has brought to us in such a short time. I’m so thankful I had that time to myself, that my husband and I had some time with each other before having kids, that we had time with just Lia…. I’m just thankful.
At the same time there are moments when I have a really hard time seeing this new version of my body. I didn’t get any stretch marks with Lia so it never occurred to me that I could get them this time around and yet here they are all over the place telling their own story of how we got here. I tried my best to sit with those feelings yesterday as my ego got the better of me. It is slightly ironic that I was wearing maternity clothes at 9 weeks pregnant already thinking, “I look huge!” and here I am 9 weeks post partum out of maternity clothes and thinking the same thing and in either instance the number on the scale didn’t really change anything about what really matters in life (and I probably am not even as big as I think I am). So, there’s that.
This week I have to give a huge shout out to Breastfeeding USA. We went to the West Dundee chapter meeting and it was the biggest turn out they have ever had. It was really neat to see so many moms breastfeeding and supporting each other. It was also super cool to see so many variations of the post partum body.
When Lia was born there was a gang of us with new-borns on maternity leave. It felt like being in a protective bubble. I was surprised at how self-conscious I felt about nursing around people when Ian was born especially since I nursed Lia for so long in all sorts of settings and how isolated I felt (still sometimes feel) Nursing a new-born is uncharted territory, being a new mom no matter how many kids you have is still being a new mom. Going to the meeting made me feel not so isolated and it reaffirmed many things for me, not just breastfeeding related.
I cleaned out all of my maternity clothes from my closet this week as well as all the clothes that won’t fit for some time so that when I go to get dressed only things that will fit are options. Its been very liberating. I’ve felt really comfortable in my body all week. I also feel really strong, which is a great feeling. Friday I took the kiddos to the splash pad which is a good distance round trip, pushing an almost 40 pound pre-schooler and babywearing a probably close to 15 pound infant made me feel like I was training for a mountain climb. The scale moved down 1 pound this week which felt very motivating as well.
Lia and I went on our first “date” since the baby has been born. It felt really good to reconnect and be fully present for an hour. Sometimes I see the look in her eyes when I’m failing miserably at not losing my cool when I’m asking her to do something and she’s not robotically complying saying who are you and what have you done with my mother?! I hate those moments for all of us. Being alone together really helped with feeling touched out and feeling recharged for another week of motherhood.
Here are week 8 pictures. And a look at where I started. The human body is so very amazing.
2 Days post partum
4 weeks post partum
8 weeks post partum
There is no cream involved but I didn’t know what else to call this and it was inspired by the idea of creamed kale but I don’t typically have any cream or milk in the house. I think this was even better.
What you need:
one bunch of Kale (washed and shredded)
one bunch of scapes (roughly chopped)
2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
juice of one lemon
salt and pepper to taste
What you do:
Sautee kale lightly, until just wilted. Remove from heat
Sautee scapes until fragrant.
Add kale to scapes. Melt butter over kale and sprinkle cheese over kale until melted, stirring occasionally. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper and serve immediately.
(if you can’t do dairy this might work with nutritional yeast instead of the parmesan cheese. I eye balled all the ingredients so this is just a guess. Add more or less to taste)
There has been alot of surrendering this week, especially of expectations.
We braved Woodfield mall today during back to school shopping no less. I bought some pants even though I’m hoping they won’t fit for long. The scale hasn’t shifted since giving birth but obviously there is change happening.
As far as this second sweet child of mine goes it seems worth noting that this week he’s really started to come alive and seems so present.
On the SAHM self care front, this week I went to a girls night in a beautiful friend’s garden and we had a coloring party.
6 weeks, 6 weeks already. Can someone tell my son to stop growing so fast?
I snuck away for a haircut this Saturday and the stylist asked what was the hardest part about having 2 kids. It was tough to answer because nothing really seems “hard.” I took a walk today and pondered it. (we took a walk to the green park which is about 2 miles round trip and another good long walk by the walking path)
What’s hard about being a mother of 2 is that just like being a mother of 1 and I imagine a mother of 3 is that you are a completely different person. Its not to say that being a mother of 1 is easier or a mother of more than 1 is harder its that you are different. I wonder if that’s what the stretch marks are really all about, a gentle reminder every morning that you are now so much more than you were before this soul was placed in your care and you are forever changed physically, emotionally, spiritually etc. First the body has to stretch to contain this new life and then so does everything else and there are growing pains in that. There are moments when its hard to remember that old life that really isn’t so old, when my 3 year old felt small on my lap and now feels so so big especially when both of them tangle up in my arms. What’s been hardest is not having the time to adjust to being a mother to two, to having a husband that is a father to two, or a daughter that is now also a sister. What makes this the hardest is the expectation to have it all figured out right away. Having a second child isn’t like having the first again. Its easy to want to compare and yet there is really no way to.
I hope some of that made a shred of sense, is there a big hormonal shift at 6 weeks post partum or maybe it was the blue super moon? Here’s to week seven feeling a little lighter. Oh, and Happy Breastfeeding week!