Friday, July 29, 2011

That post where I compare Mommyhood with Writer-hood (oh wait, that's every post)

I was the supremo annoying first-time mom. Let me give you a look into that world:

*I literally bawled through ten months of breastfeeding (it never stop hurting) because I had the notion that if you don't breastfeed, you're a bad mom.
*I took my two-week-old to the library to watch puppet shows.
*I had my one-year-old pick out her flavor of birthday cake and help mommy make it.
*I started doing arts and crafts with my baby when she couldn't even yet sit up.
*I read every parenting book I could get my hands on.
*I had a set of RULES I would never break as a Mom, and I planned to stick to them.
*I went to the doctor for every sneeze and bump.

Now, let's compare that with my eight-year-later-self as a mother:
*Babies three and four never had a drop of breast milk. I learned a happy and not-hurting mom is more important. And guess what? They were HEALTHY!
*We still go to the library, but never with a newborn.
*A one-year-old pick out her birthday cake? Ya, that would require me to take four children to the grocery store, and that isn't happening! Whatever flavor we have in the cupboard is good enough.
*Baby number four is a year and a half, and he has yet to finger paint.
*I haven't seen a parenting book in years (except for one exception I read often Bringing Up Girls because my household is largely estrogen overridden).
*Most of the things I thought I'd never do as a Mom (such as let the TV babysit on a stressful day, or pick a pacifier up off the ground and, gasp, not sanitize it before popping it back in a baby's mouth) have long fallen to the wayside.
*Besides well-child checks and shots, we seriously barely ever go to the doctor. I'm a believer that rest and lots of fluids heal most things.

There was nothing wrong with the first-time mommy I was, I've just changed as I've become more experienced. In fact, the first-time mommy version of me could probably be considered more vigilant and less lazy. But the fourth-time mommy version of me is a more wizened version. I know what's important and I know when to let something slide. I cherish more of the big moments and fret less over the small stuff.

But without that first-time mommyhood, I would have never progressed to where I am now as a mother.

Now (finally) here is the writing analogy. Thinking back to the first-time writer version of me, have I also changed? Absolutely! Can you imagine that when I wrote my first full-length novel, I didn't even have the Internet? I never considered critique partners and writing forums and blogs (oh the blogs...).

Still though, I had to be that newbie before I could get where I am now. And in ten more years, I hope I can look back and say "wow, I have come a long way."

Share the funny things you did when you were a first-time mom or a first-time writer. Have you changed?


Jessica R. Patch said...

Your posts always make me laugh and I can relate.

First time mommy dressed her child "sophisticated" no velcro, light up shoes. Baby two is 7 and he can't tie shoes because all he wears is light up velcro!

First time mommy went by the book. No cereal until 5 months. Baby two had cereal in the bottle at 2 months. I needed sleep and yes I poked holes to make the opening bigger!

When I wrote my first novel, I never even heard of a blog and was so naive, I didn't even know there books on how to write. Sheesh! :)

Kaylee Baldwin said...

I LOVE this post! Yes, I would sit in the backseat with the baby when we went anywhere in the car with my first one. For the most part I was a pretty chill first time mom because my kiddo had a lot of issues (still does) but when he had surgery at 4 hours old, I knew I had to give up the idea that I had control over anything and just go with it.