Tag Archives: motherhood

7 weeks

4 Mar


That’s how old my daughter is. That number seems so short but compared to her/my growth and the gamut of emotions I’ve experienced, that number can translate to a lifetime.

Pardon me while the subject of motherhood engulfs me. Let me count the ways so far:

The pride I felt when she first raised her head while doing tummy time. The relief when she started sleeping longer than 2 hours at a time during the night (then there’s that 7 hour episode – can it please happen again soon?). The overwhelming joy of rubbing my face against her soft hair when I hold her sleeping in my arms.

Then there is the other part: the sinking feeling in my stomach when she keeps crying even though she’s been fed. The loneliness of feeding her in the middle of the night. The floating feeling due to sleep deprivation. The stress of having a to-do list and being unable to check anything off.

The hard part of these two sides of motherhood is that the consequences of the first part are intangible: she will grow up secure in the knowledge that she has a mother who loves her. Lots of sleep means her brain development can progress normally. She’s getting stronger physically everyday.

The second part on the other hand are very much real and in-your-face: the unsent resume, the unread emails, the dirty dishes, the pajamas that I’ve been wearing since last night. I could go on. The funny part is that I started this post 2 nights ago and have since lost my thread of thought. And that’s exactly the point, parenting disrupts the flow, that uninterrupted immersion and enjoyment in an activity. D. can somehow stick to the flow despite the crying baby, the unchanged diaper, the dirty dishes while I struggle. Flow for me has never been effortless but it has only gotten worse. There has been very few times that I have been in the zone – Muay Thai is actually one of those times when it was easy – and I miss those times. These days, almost every activity gets interrupted, every thought. And I sometimes wonder, how do other people do it?

If you’re a new parent (or not) like me who’s struggling, I highly recommend this book: “All Joy and No Fun”  by Jennifer Senior. It doesn’t help with the flow but at least it helps me understand and give voice to that other side of parenting. And yes, I read this on my phone while breastfeeding at 3 AM.

P.S. It’s 10:30 AM and my daughter has been napping for 2 hours now which is how I’m able to finish this. And yet, I already miss her and I want her awake. Funny, isn’t it?


Before and after and the 5 things I’ve learned so far

5 Feb

There is a world of difference between my most recent post and this one. In a word: motherhood. There was before and this is the after.


There is really nothing that can prepare anyone for it. As an avid researcher, I’ve read and scoured scientific and anecdotal advices on how to deal with a newborn and in the end, I’m really just winging it.

The reading has served its purpose: to give me some sense of readiness, some confidence that indeed, I can handle this. But all those advices are thrown out the window when I’m faced with a screaming baby at 2 AM after several days (actually weeks – scratch that, it feels like months) of limited sleep. In all fairness, I’m blessed with a generally calm, healthy and beautiful baby. I have heard some horror stories and – knock on wood – I have been relatively unscathed so far. So what have I learned?

1. Sometimes, you really need to let them cry it out because there are limits to what you can do – feed, change, soothe. Two-way communication is not in the picture just yet.

2. The baby industry is full of products designed to make new parents like me want to buy every product because I’m constantly afraid that I’m doing something wrong and I would be depriving my baby’s developmental path otherwise.

3. Pacifiers don’t always work. Or maybe I bought the wrong one, see item #2.

4. Breastfeeding is hard. I absolutely don’t judge women who opt for formula feeding.

5. It’s okay to cry sometimes. Look, I love my sleep and just the idea that 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep is a cause for celebration brings tears to my eyes especially after months of bad sleep during the pregnancy.

On the positive side, there is no more heartburn from the pregnancy. It’s a different kind of “heart-burn”, if you know what I mean. Because a baby really is precious and fascinating and beautiful to behold.

Of course, this post is short. I have a baby to take care of.