Happy Mama’s Day: A Reflection

Every couple of months, I like to reflect on my motherhood journey. We just celebrated RJ’s 6 months or half birthday, and with it being Mother’s Day, what better time to do it than now.

It’s a little crazy how quickly this last 6 months has passed. They say the days are long and the months are quick when you’re a new mom and it really has turned out to be true. I lose track of the days and sometimes I feel like they just run together anyway, but when a whole month passes (and I kind of make a big deal out of each of RJs month birthdays), you look back like “where did that time go”. I look back at his newborn pictures and I see a completely different human. He has experience now, not much, but he has grown accustomed to our home, our dogs, and is nurturing the most fun relationship with his dad. Just a few months ago, The Man was afraid he’d break the baby, but look at them now and you would swear they are best friends. I watch them do the simplest things together and my heart melts. I take a million pictures of them sleeping. A couple of nights ago, The Man rocked baby to sleep in the nursery and stayed with RJ as he slept in the crib. Let’s just say, this mama didn’t quite know what to do with herself (Just kidding, of course I did) I took full advantage of that peace of mind and gave myself a mani/pedi, indulged in donuts, and watched a movie, oh yeah, and I took pictures of them sleeping.
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These days I’m always making sure I include daddy in the everyday tasks. Bath time has become a favorite to watch them interact, and now, as of yesterday, feeding time.

RJ had his very first food (avocado) and though he got more of it on his body than in his mouth, I’d say it was a success. He was a little confused by the flavor and texture at first, but being able to grab something, put it in his mouth, and not have to take it out when it got too soggy seemed like a rewarding experience for my babe. Today, we mashed it up and used the spoon because I admittedly, got scared that RJ was going to choke, even though the avocado was soft. I’ve decided it would be best to try a little of both of the feeding methods I’ve read about: Baby Led Weaning and Purees. You know me,  I read a little about everything and then mix it all up into a combo that works for us. I want RJ to take the lead in learning to feed himself, not only to gain some independence, and help with learning to chew and swallow, but also for my own sake. Letting him get messy with food, and trust me, it gets real messy, allows me to mentally prepare for what will ultimately become him getting messy in lots of other things. I tend to be the mom who hops up to wipe him down at the very site of too much drool or seeing boogers creep out of his nose, so letting him have a little freedom in getting messy while eating helps me to stop doing that. It’s hard, but I put a wipeable table cloth on the floor to ease my mind, and then there are the dogs. I think they are just as excited about this journey into solids. Nobody has time to mop the floors every time baby eats, so they are welcome to all of the fallen veggies.

So why the purees too? Well, because I want him to get used to a wide variety of flavors and need to introduce things to him quickly so he can start having what we’re having (more on that in later post, but I plan on feeding him the same thigns we eat minus added sugars and salt) AND to learn how to use a spoon. I may shoot myself later for this one (or you’ll find me crying in a corner while cleaning pureed broccoli mush off my walls), but I want to give him freedom in creating his own experiences, and right now, as a baby, food is a great gateway for that. Also, watching him trying to lick everything off of his tiny baby spoon is just a priceless moment. Now with adding real foods into this rotation of life, I know my life is about to take another turn (as motherhood often does) Just in 2 days, I’m finding out that the hardest part of feeding the baby is cleaning the baby after feeding the baby. By the time he’s finished eating, everything is all sort of dry and crusty. So though he’ll have great skin from all those healthy oils in the avocado, I have to scrub a little extra to make sure its all out of his hair, his toes, his fingernails, and his butt <— don’t ask me how. For now, we’re feeding him in just a diaper because wiping baby down seems a little less daunting than getting stains out of clothes.

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We’ve reached a couple of other milestones,too. RJ is sitting up, he is in the early stages of learning to crawl, he recognizes cause and effect, knows his name, can roll over a full 360 degrees, and he thoroughly enjoys our daily singing sessions.

*Note: For any of you mamas that want some fun songs for you and your kiddos to sing, check out LadyBug Music. they have classes in person around LA, but as a mama on a budget, im perfectly fine using their YouTube channel to groove with my babe. The songs are eclectic versions of some you might already know and love, and some new funky ones that will really make your little one smile.

RJs smiles and giggly outbursts are my favorite parts of the day. Seeing his face light up and hearing him laugh let me know he understands the things going on around him. What more could a mama ask for? And with it being my first Mother’s Day, I would say that’s a pretty good gift as any.

Of course, there are a million other things I could think of asking for, but my greatest gift truly is this little boy and watching him grow. My journey into motherhood has changed me completely. I never thought certain things in life wouldn’t be important, until now. I’m much more protective of myself and my surroundings. Before, I kind of traipsed through life nonchalantly, but now I am on guard 24/7. Cars, dogs, potential choking hazards, I have my eye on all of it. My motherly instincts have kicked into high gear (and The Man gets to reap those benefits). I am always thinking about our family’s nutrition, making sure we’re getting enough vitamins, and making sure we enjoy the meals we share together. I try to ensure we have family time at every turn possible. The Man works a lot, so on those rare days that he takes off, I try to make it a good time for all of us. A lot of people have asked me if we’ve had a real date night yet, and the answer is NO. But, I know we wouldn’t have it any other way. I enjoy being with both of my boys and I don’t feel like RJ is throwing a wrench into our plan. Now, my son trumps any and every thing and I’m not ashamed of it. Yes, I find myself needing breaks and wanting to turn off for a little bit, but then something clicks and I have a sort of second wind. My family often comments on how great of a mother I am. Even though I live it, I know they see a side of it that I could never see for myself. It’s like hearing your own voice playing back on a recording. You don’t know how you really sound until you listen. It makes me happy to hear their words of praise to me as a mother. But there’s still something missing.

Before RJ was born, I had a bit of a falling out with my mother, so she is one person I still want to hear this from. It hurt when it happened and still hurts today, but we’re slowly working towards mending what was broken, but I know it’s not something that happens in a day. So even though my first Mother’s Day is going to be very special, there will still be an empty space. In my reflection of myself as a mother, I think about all the things I’ve wanted to tell her and show her and ask her. How many questions I diverted to Google because we weren’t speaking, and how many pictures I would’ve sent randomly just to make her smile. It’s on a day like this where it all kind of hits you at once. The moments that you can never get back, so you wind up trying to make up for lost time, and stuffing a bunch of memories and experiences into a short time, hoping for a return to normalcy.

But, as you other mama’s know, after baby, you have to create a new normal anyway. A life where you no longer get to be selfish and treat yo self. Of course, self-care is always important, but thankfully, we can get through life in yoga pants and messy hair (It’s chic). A full night of uninterrupted sleep will evade you, until it doesn’t (still waiting).  Errands take all day and exhaust you (even if it’s just the to grocery store). Everyone asks about baby before they ask about you (and forget all those gifts you used to get on the holidays). And guess what, even all that changes, and continues to change. As a mom, you are in a constant state of change, adapting to whatever stage your child is in and making it work for you and your family. It is truly amazing what a mother can do. And that’s why we have our own day.

So cheers to you, mamas, new and old. Those of you that have found the groove, and those of you still planting your feet. Those of you too tired to actually read this whole post, and those of you that read every week. Enjoy your day, enjoy your babies (I’m choosing to celebrate with mine whatever we do), and continue evolving and loving. You’re doing it right.

 

xo

 

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The Black Mama

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