When I First Became a Mom
Being a Maternity Concierge I am often asked how to solve many of the problems and concerns that come up every day as a parent. While I pride myself on the fact that I often have a pretty good idea of how to help, and if I don’t I will certainly help figure it out with the experts I have at my finger tips and the amazing resources I know are out there but can often be hard to navigate. I want to reassure you all that I still worry just as much as all of you.
When I think back to crazy moments in my adventure of parenting so far all I can do is cry and laugh all at the same time. I wanted to share with you the story of the first few days of my oldest son’s life to hopefully put your mind at ease when you think you are going crazy….trust me when I say I’ve probably done the same thing, worried about the same issues and acted in completely insane ways that while might be completely wacky to the outsider, only come from a place of love, as I’m sure all you moms know. I just think sharing stories that allow us to see how far we’ve come but also how human we are is so important in this competitive mommy landscape and in a world in which no one wants to admit imperfection. Well my lovelies, while I strive to be the best mom I am nowhere perfect.
So take yourself back to Labor Day 2008. Lehman Brothers was on the brink of bankruptcy (where my husband worked), I was trying to open my first store in New York City but construction was delayed as the city started to grind to a halt and I was one week passed my due date. All of a sudden I went into labor (with no helpful preceding tell-tale signs) but straight into full blown contractions 5 minutes apart for one minute lasting over an hour. “Yes” I thought to myself, “I’ve hit the 5-1-1 contraction rule so quickly and easily, this labor is going to be a doddle…I’m quite simply Mother Nature”.
I skipped into our bathroom; blow dried my hair and carefully added some waterproof mascara (so the tears of joy wouldn’t ruin a photo opp). Yes my dears I was actually concerned what I looked like when my joyous hubby snapped the first shots of our new family to send them out to the world (I feel better for admitting this). I then woke my husband Daron who went into Daddy overdrive and started picking up car seat, toys, bags and snacks! I was very careful to remember to pack a few extra crime novels for all that extra time I was going to have to catch up on my reading (what?!).
Off we hopped into our new “family” sized truck and we sped up the east river listening to none other than Justin Timberlake’s “Bringing Sexy Back”. Couldn’t think of a more appropriate delivery song, can you?! When I arrived on the Labor and delivery ward I saw the admitting nurse and gave her a big “I’m ready to be a mommy” grin. In that instant everything changed. She took one look at me and said “go home dear, you are nowhere close to having a baby, you are not in enough pain”. Flabbergasted and deflated I dragged myself back to the car. What was she talking about; she hadn’t even checked to see if my baby was falling out of me. Irate and convinced I would give birth on the drive home I pouted all the way back downtown.
Four hours later it was a different story. I lay in the crazy ivory shag rug in my son’s nursery (I know I know I hear you screaming crazy lady why did you think a white shag rug would be a good idea? Well I had visions of it being soft on his wee feet as he roamed around and didn’t think about the fact that he probably wouldn’t walk for another ten to twelve months and I certainly didn’t think I would be cutting poop out of it in a few days!)…any hoo I digress…I was lying on the shag rug, mascara running and hair certainly not coiffed but lobbed into a bun on the top of my head crying and screaming at my hubby to get the car.
This time there was no Justin Timberlake and no crime novels, but silence broken up by piercing screams as we made our way over the countless pot holes on our way up to the hospital. When we finally arrived the same nurse was on duty and took one look at me, opened her arms and embraced me with a hug “Now you are ready”, she said. 26 hours later and four hours of pushing my son finally made his arrival.
When we arrived home from the hospital my husband was officially cleaning out his desk at Lehman Brothers, the store was opening and amidst all this drama I had to get my new wee one to his first pediatrician’s appointment. A feat by the way that seemed totally impossible. I wrapped him up in cashmere (head to toe) despite the fact it was over 90 degrees outside and put him into his stroller. As I did so I hit his head on the bar that went over the top (can’t believe I’ve just admitted this). As he started to cry I started to cry and in a complete state of panic convinced I had given my son brain damage I put him in his crib and immediately tried to bang my head on the stroller bar, to see how hard he hit his head and whether it hurt.
Feeling completely concussed and now in pain I rushed in a sweaty state to the pediatricians. Needless to say he was fine (other than being totally over-dressed which she reprimanded me for), but I on the other hand was concussed and when I tried to explain to her my rational for hitting my head she didn’t see it as a natural thing to do as a mother but instead as crazytown. After a strict talking to about whether I was going to scrape my knee every time he fell all teary eyed I walked home, I remember looking into my little man’s eyes and promising that while I may not do it all right all the time, I promise I am going to try.
Since then let’s just say I’ve had a lot of hands on education about being a Mom and been able to work with and been educated by some of the greatest experts in the field, so my next son’s arrival was hardly as crazed. Quite the opposite in fact, calm and collected, not to mention the fact that I have yet to hit his head by accident and I certainly can handle a wee outing to the pediatricians….heck I’ve even taken them both on a transatlantic flight! But I still worry all the time. I think it’s part of being a parent.
So what I am trying to say is parenthood can be crazy, we sometimes do crazy things while we try to figure this out. We’re not all perfect and that’s okay. What is most important to remember is you’ll do what you need to do and learn what you need to learn to take care of your kids, even if those first days seem impossible. Don’t forget there is plenty of help out there. Your family, friends, your health care providers, books and online resources can help. You can even reach out to my MomPrep experts online, you can watch some of my helpful YouTube videos or you can take some classes at MomPrep or another prenatal and postpartum education center in your area. There are plenty of books you can read to help you along the way. Because while you’ll still worry and you’ll still make mistakes, you will make less of them and be able to relax just a little bit more and you can enjoy the amazing journey of parenthood with a little less anxiety.
Do you have any stories you want to share about your journey as a parent? If so I’d love it if you’d share them here.