playdate and lunch at the museum of fine arts
I've been shouldering such crazy guilt this winter, feeling foggy and not being able to engage Little Smith in the way that he deserves has honestly been very painful. In the last two years, I made the choice to shift much of my day to day focus towards being a stay at home mother and away from architecture. I am still working in my field, but I'm investing a teeny tiny fraction of the time and dedication that I did before motherhood. It's a decision that has surprised so many of my friends and family, yet I have been completely fulfilled and certain in this path.
It makes me cringe when I hear those parents who are so saccharine about having kids and go on about how 'amazing' their child is. The reality is that motherhood can be brutal, and my child is far from perfect. Somehow for me though, all the crazy moments and sleep deprivation and frustration doesn't tarnish my pride in the work I'm doing. It's not for everyone, but this is the right place for me right now.
It's rare for me to have this kind of confidence in any life decision; I'm a worrier, a second guesser, and a merciless critic. It was refreshing, a surprise even to myself... and then I got knocked down with feeling sick. Sick isn't even the right word, and really only those of you you have had the pleasure of being pregnant and the misfortune of experiencing true 'morning sickness' can appreciate the strange fog of nausea, lethargy, and general misery that was my winter. I just couldn't pull it together to plan activities, participate in play dates, visit parks. What's worse, I often couldn't even happily play with my little boy or prepare good food the way that I wanted.
Suddenly I was failing at the one role that had given me such pride and confidence, and it hurt. I couldn't actively acknowledge the hurt in the moment, because I needed every ounce of energy to get through each day and give what I could to my child. I put one foot in front of the other, but my whole identity felt fragile and it was a very confusing time.
It's awkward to write about this, I know in many ways it's self involved and melodramatic. I am so grateful that I am pregnant, that I am healthy and this new baby is healthy . I am supremely lucky. This wasn't the end of the universe, my little boy survived and of course there will be so many more challenges to face once a new little person joins our family. But this was the reality of my experience, and it left me with a greater appreciation and a big dose of humility for my role as a mother.
And now I am better. Seemingly overnight, but I think I actually gradually came back to life throughout February. We're catching up with friends, saying 'yes' to get together's and trips, doing projects, and just enjoying our time together. I've snapped very few pictures and spent little time in front of the computer. I'll get back to it all, it's important to me... but right now I'm enamored with being completely present in each moment with my little boy. He made his first mixed media sculpture during our visit to the museum today.
He calls it 'Bird'. He refused to follow any of the instructions or use most of the suggested materials. I'm so proud of him, he's a monster and he is also just 'amazing'.