March 25, 2023

Since I couldn’t keep my monstera plant alive for a year, I decided to have… a baby. With everything happening from COVID to school closures + Zoomers, I was really nervous becoming a mother that could raise a 1 year old. If you asked pregnant me a year ago how I felt entering motherhood, I’d tell you I was so anxious in 1) knowing if I’m having a contraction and 2) failing as a mother. There was even this nauseating pressure leading up to the hospital for me to know that I was pushing him out “quick” enough because a quick push = good job (especially since I busted all these prenatal pilates w a personal trainer) … And with that, a big baby = great job. Parenting is filled with awful stigmas… and for me, a bunch of fuck off’s to get through.

Despite how how torn my body was and sleep deprived I’ve been, I have so much respect for parents after living through just one year of it. One of my biggest concerns was having enough cash – since I came back from my maternity leave to be this cool “workin mom” I quickly lost my job; the only thing I wanted to do was hold Cassian that entire week. Having to move Cassian’s shots to another month until we had some health insurance again was anxiety-inducing ; moving his helmet appointment to another week that we actually had insurance at the right week was frustrating. I am grateful for my husband and family who took Cassian was he sick, and worse – when I was so sick I could not even hold Cassian without feeling I was going to fall.

When I am panting in the elevator while holding Cassian for his dermatologist appointment and hear multiple strangers mentioning that “it will be alright” with such sorrowful looks about his helmet, I kind of want to smile and say fuck off;  there is no reason for complete strangers out there to make me feel bad about the 2k helmet that the doctor insisted I buy to treat his plagiocephaly and especially for them to make me feel worse than something I have accepted…I have been doing my best.

Parenting has been f*ing nuts. One minute I’d be laughing with a giggly Cassian in the park, another minute I’d be snapping because he kept (keeps) throwing the organic chicken + vegetables I worked hard in cooking while my 12 YO Bagel peed all over the floor… and another minute I’d be crying tears of joy because Cassian is crawling to me with his arms out for me to pick him up. Especially when I go to pediatric appointment and anticipate his pediatrician to share the breakdown of his growth progress, I feel like an insane person going through the vast colorful range of emotions.In whatever case, it feels pretty damn good to roll through this roller coaster and I am so proud of being able to support Cassian’s growth even if he’s in this 50% percentile.

I have so much respect for working parents – part time, full time, at home moms/dads/caretakers…I love my new myriad of parent friends that I’ve met in peanut, or just over the years and reunited with. You are all incredible support – and we are like this tribe just trying to get through a damn lush jungle of chaos + daily uncertainty. Being a mom overall is an insanely demanding job that is the most rewarding. It is patience on steroids. It is project management on steroids. But I have been able to provide

What surprised me was how sensitive/emotional I’d get from just taking Cassian to daycare (and picking him up). It is such an emotional experience to be separated from him when he was 6m, but it was important for me to have him socialize in a healthy environment. The waitlist for daycare is so long it’s nauseating and to see pictures like this with updates while I am working or away is so precious that I am greatly indebted to Brella. Thank you for providing him especially with a social environment to keep him engaged with babies his age.

If you asked me 10 years ago what I was looking forward to in motherhood, it is making food for my baby + baking/frosting his birthday cake. At about 6 months, I was feeling anxious that Cassian wasn’t eating any solids. But gradually with this whole baby led weaning of letting him feed himself gave me great satisfaction – reminders that he isn’t a helpless child, but can be independent; how times have changed (for the better?) … I wonder what my future grandkids would snap at me for (not) doing.

At least, weekly preparing and daily packing Cassian’s lunch has been an extremely gratifying ritual no matter how tired or busy I was. 

Entering this whole parenting thing really catapulted my social dynamic; no more spontaneous dinners/events/trips because I have to stay in my “mom cave” (pumping gear, snacks on snacks, surrounded by crapped-on clothes and spilled breast milk that Bagel is probably slurping). And.. this is why, I insisted we throw a one-year birthday party for Cassian (but for myself)

While I didn’t even think I’d breastfeed and I heard that breastfeeding makes a mom feel like a cow; I have breastfed Cassian throughout his year. I sometimes do feel like a cow, but at least 407 oz of my freezer supply of breastmilk is being donated to others in need as I write this (thank you Mothers Milk). I couldn’t have done all those hours if it weren’t for my peanut parent friends that supported me here and there in my journey.. but as for the one supporter all the way through so far? Bagel, who almost always came by my side to support and/or spend time with me.

While Cassian has lived one year, I feel like I have lived five years. Happy birthday again, Cassian – and many more to come.

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