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This New Person — 26 Comments

  1. Congrats! If someone had warned me how hard motherhood was going to be I’d have skipped it. We don’t tell you because the truth is, no matter how hard it gets, it can all be fixed with just one cute grin. Life is beautiful. Great piece too!

  2. Oh, all those questions – yes, nobody talks about them on the message boards, and nobody talks about them even after you become a mother because questioning isn’t allowed. Embrace the doubt, fully examining all the stages of parenting that lie ahead. Just like you’ve done in this beautiful line: “Like learning how to be a sober alcoholic, this new phase of life is all about letting go of expectation.” xoxo

    • It’s such a funny thing, isn’t it? The lack of room in our world for doubts on this subject? We’re allowed to doubt everything else. It strikes me as so inhuman.
      And thank you. 🙂

  3. Oh these questions. I had them to, and do, every day. Since being pregnant and having my own baby boy I have always been mystified that the hardest and most unexpected parts of pregnancy and new-motherhood are hardly discussed at all except in whispers, as if admitting that the whole experience is rarely filled with sunshine and rainbows and the singing of the angels is somehow disloyal to this new person that we have brought into the world. It’s not disloyal at all. This is tough stuff, and it’s good and right to talk about it. And for what it’s worth, it took me a long, long time to feel like a mother. And the first time I saw my baby, my reaction was not overwhelming love, it was more “who is this little person who wasn’t here and then all of a sudden was?” If you ever need someone to talk to, please talk to me. I’ve just been where you are. I understand.

    • Thank you, Sam. Knowing women like you who have paved the way before me makes it bearable. Otherwise I’m not sure how I’d take the perpetual expectation of rainbows and angels from others.
      And I’m sure I’ll take you up on that offer.

  4. When I met you at blogher, the first thing I thought was, she’s not only liberal kind but also motherly kind. I’m glad you’re having a boy. There are too many girls in my life, right now.

    So many hugs, fistbumps and congrats.

  5. You’ll be tired, crazy, unsure, weepy, overjoyed, tired, dazed, confused, confounded, confuzzled, tired, happy, sad, frightened, a protective tiger, tired, amazed, surprised, give love, and be melted by drools, smiles, and covered in baby vomit. You will complain and cry today, and tomorrow you’ll be trying to hold on to the moments as they seem to slip through your fingers. It’s the hardest job you’ll ever love. Did I mention tired? 🙂

    Oh, uh…remember this words: where there’s poop there’s baby.

  6. I’m so glad you wrote this, Natalie, for many reasons — but most of all, so that you can come back and read it again a year from now, 10 years, 20 years. You write with such authenticity — I can imagine each step of the way with you. And you allow yourself to be vulnerable, which is brave and true. You’re gonna be a great mom. <3

  7. I relate to this SOOOO much!!! I was very ambivalent during my pregnancy with my first child. I was so fed up by the time I had her with everyone around me going “Aren’t you excited!?” It was too complicated to say “no I’m terrified” so I’d just say yes. I also was never hell bent on being a mom since I was a little girl. Honestly, I think one of the reasons I was so happy during that early post-partum time with my first was that I’d set the bar so low, I was pleasantly surprised. (the 2nd was a different story!).

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  9. I didn’t want to know if I was having a girl or boy with my first because I was afraid. Coming from a big family of five girls and only one boy, I felt like I had no clue as to how to raise a boy. My uncertainty about how to take care of another person was bad enough but if I had a girl, I felt like I at least had some experience. I figured that by the time the baby was born I would just be so relieved to have a healthy baby that I wouldn’t care. But I admit I breathed a bit easier when the day came and our daughter was born. The second time around I wanted to know and found out we were expecting a boy. I can’t say that I know “how to raise a boy” even now that he’s 10 but I can say that I love that boy more than I thought possible. I am sure you will know what I mean in time. Congratulations!
    Ellen recently posted…These Are DaysMy Profile

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