My week and Mother’s Day and such…

My guys have been keeping me very busy this past week and I haven’t had a moment to sit down and write.  Since, Bo is already starting to stir and Littleman’s nap is likely to end any second, I’m resorting to bullet points:

  • It’s Mother’s Day today and I’m on my own with the kids because D is working.  At first, I was a bit bummed because I knew it meant a lot of work for me today.  But it’s actually been really nice so far.  Littleman slept in late (due to being up til 10:30pm for a dinner party – more about that later) and then we spent the rest of the morning outdoors.  It’s a beautiful day so went for a walk to pick up some berry and white chocolate scones (yum!) and Starbucks.  We ate our treats at the park, where Bo promptly awoke screaming and we had to rush home (tried nursing in the park but too sunny… kiddo was MAD!)
  • It’s Mother’s Day today and I’m remembering how hard it was last year.  Watching my sweet baby sleep as I write this, I know I’m one lucky momma.  But I can’t help thinking about the pregnancy we lost last year.  I think I will always remember that baby on Mother’s Day.  And I’m OK with that.  For a short (too short) while, I was that baby’s mother too.
  • We had a dinner party last night.  It was kind of chaotic, but fun.  Friends were visiting from the UK (expecting their first baby in June) and another couple came too (expecting their first baby in September).  The two guys were D’s best buds from childhood.  It was funny to see the three of them all mature and fatherly.  I’m also pretty proud of myself for pulling off cooking dinner for six adults and a kid when D was working all day and I have a baby at home.  I even baked a pretty kick-ass dessert (that was deceivingly easy).  The biggest challenge of the night was getting Littleman to bed.  He was having a ball (even though he was the only kid) and he ended up staying up super late.  I thought that would mean a rough night, but he slept in til 10am!  Woah.
  • Speaking of sleep, Bo has given me a couple of nice stretches this week.  On Thursday night, he fell asleep in his chair at 10pm.  I went straight to bed.  I woke up out of a dead sleep at 4am, needing to pee!  That’s six hours!  Aside from some sore boobs, I felt pretty darn good.  The next night he did a 5 1/2 hour stretch.  Now we need to work on adding another longish sleep to our nights.  After that one decent sleep, he tends to wake every hour or so.

Anyway, there are lots of other things that went on this week (like another “blind” play date – we hosted one this time!) but my quiet time is running out.  Happy Mother’s Day to all the new, old, expecting, grieving, hopeful mothers out there.

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Mother’s Day Part 2 – Being a mom

This year, Mother’s Day feels bittersweet for me.  I am blessed with an incredible son, who I love more than anything.  But this day also reminds me about the baby we are no longer waiting for.  While I’m definitely feeling the sadness in my heart today, I’m trying hard to focus on what I have, rather than what I lost.

It’s still kind of hard to believe that I’ve been a mom for more than two years now.  There is so much I could write about what it’s meant to me and how I feel about being a mother – about how wonderful and how challenging it has been.

What’s really amazing is how you can just morph into the role.  I always knew I wanted to be a mother, but actually being someone’s mother wasn’t something I could really prepare myself for.

I’ve learned that being a mom means being a jack-of-all-trades.  I’m part doctor, part teacher, part chef, part wrestler (ever try to get snowpants on a toddler?), part comedian, part negotiator, part cleaning lady, part singer.

There’s no manual that teaches you how to be a mother.  I’m a planner and an organizer, so I read lots of books before and after Littleman was born.  I realized very quickly, though, that no one else could tell me how to do this job.  The advice in parenting books mostly caused me more stress and I had to learn to trust my own instincts instead.

I have to laugh when I think about all the things I swore I would never do or say.  Or about all of the ways I planned to do things when raising my baby.  Things just don’t always work the way we plan it.

It was important to me that I breastfed Littleman, but I wanted to make sure that I got some rest too.  So I intended to pump and freeze my milk so that D could help out with some of the feedings.  Turns out Littleman never, ever took a bottle.  So much for that plan.  I ended up with a freezer full of breast milk that never got used.

When it was time to introduce solids, I wanted to make my own baby food so that Littleman could eat a variety of fresh, homemade foods.  D bought me a special baby food processor, complete with a food storage system.  I’d spend my precious time during naps steaming and pureeing lots of different fruits, vegetables and meats.  Littleman hated almost all of it.

Once he could eat regular food, I swore that we would offer Littleman whatever we were eating for dinner and, if he didn’t like it, too bad.  He wouldn’t starve and he would learn to eat whatever was put in front of him.  Nice try.  If I’m alone with a screaming toddler who wants a banana/yogurt/cheerios/pear/toast, then that’s what I’m going to feed him.

Even though some of my “plans” haven’t panned out and things don’t always go as expected, being a mom has been an incredible and exciting journey.  He may not eat as adventurously as I would have hoped or sleep through the night as often as I would like, but so far we’ve managed to raise a smart (he can count to 11!) and polite (he’s great with the “please” and “thank yous”) little boy.

When I think about what being a mom means to me, I don’t think about what my son ate for dinner last night or whether his t-shirt matched his pants today.  I think about the time we spend together as a family.  I think about playing outside, singing the alphabet song, reading before bed or pretending we’re driving a firetruck.  I think about the hugs and the kisses and the snuggles.

Although I am sad that I’m no longer spending this Mother’s Day preparing for baby #2, I’m honoured to be called “mommy” by a sweet, funny, loving and beautiful boy.  And, this morning, when Littleman said “I love you mommy.  I kiss you!” it made all the parenting stress, challenges and exhaustion melt away.  All that was left behind was love.

Whether your have children at home with you, are expecting, have suffered a loss or are trying and hoping to become a mother, Happy Mother’s Day to you!

Mother’s Day Part 1 – My mom

When I think about Mother’s Day, I don’t immediately think of it as a day about me.  To me, Mother’s Day is still very much about celebrating my own mother.  So, even though I am a mom myself, I wanted to start by writing about my mom and how important she is to me.

I have an amazing mom.  Growing up, my dad worked long hours so my mom stayed home with me and my younger sister.  It wasn’t until I became a mother that I realized how tough her job was and how much work my mom did.

My dad left for work before we awoke each morning and often didn’t get home until after we were in bed.  That meant that my mom fed us and got us to school.  She took us to swimming lessons.  She made sure we practiced the piano.  She drove us to our friends’ houses and always welcomed our friends over to play.  She packed our school lunches (yes, right up until we finished high school!) and made home-cooked dinners every night.

Now that I’ve grown up, I realize how lucky we were to have our mom at home.  But Mom’s help and support didn’t end when I grew up, moved out and started a family of my own.

When Littleman was born, she helped me tremendously.   In the early days after his birth, she would come and help out when D was working.  She loved spending time with her grandson, but she also helped around the house – bringing us dinner, folding our laundry, dusting, cleaning the bathroom – stuff that the mom of newborn didn’t have time to do but that desperately needed to be done.

I loved spending time with my mom and Littleman throughout my maternity leave.  We would walk together for hours, stopping for coffee or gelato.

My mom and I have always been close.  Sure, we had our moments during my bitchy teenage years and there are still times when we grate on each other’s nerves.  But, for the most part, we’ve always enjoyed spending time together.  It’s rare for us to go more than a day without talking to each other.  As an adult, I’ve come to think of her more as a friend.

I feel very lucky to have grown up with a great mom who has always been loving and supportive.  I’m glad that my mom is such a big part of Littleman’s life.  And I hope that I can provide the same love and support to my children as I received from my mom.