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A letter to my children—as they grow older...

I have been raised by raising you and I am so grateful.

A letter to my children—as they grow older...

Dear kids,

Right now as I watch you sleep, I lean in so close I can feel your breath against my cheek. I think about the good moments today. I think about you touching my arm and telling me a story about a slug you found by the water. I grin to myself alone in the dark. I think about our conversations and realize how grown up you’re becoming.


How did it happen so fast?

You are perfect lying there so still; my heart swells like it might burst. Motherhood has made me so strong and so fragile at the same time. Since the day you were born, I’ve worn my heart outside of my body. Every day I fight against the urge to lasso the world and make it tame for you.

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I wish I could keep you in a bubble. I wish I could keep you safe here with me forever, but I will use all my strength, and I will give you wings instead my love; then I will cry the day you use them.

You are growing up, and sometimes I still see you as little. That’s frustrating for you I know. I don’t trust you, even though it’s time. I see it, but it can’t be.

It was only one second ago that you crawled in my bed in the morning with just your diaper, and we’d snuggle until the sun came up.

It was only one second ago that you were sitting in your car seat behind me mimicking some choice words I shouted at traffic.

It was only one second ago that I had a tiny crew, and no one was taller than my waist. It was only one second ago.

Everyone warned me of how fast it goes, but it didn’t make me ready.

I am often caught up in the craziness—a mess in the kitchen, an email I haven’t written yet, and a car that looks like a hurricane of crackers and juice ravaged the upholstery. There are meals to make, mountains of laundry to do, blankets needing to be soaked from a bloody nose last night…and there is the constant inner struggle with feeling like it’s too much, I can’t catch up.

I don’t want to miss any moments with you, but I do.

As I look at you beneath the blankets, I wonder how it is possible your legs are so long and your arms so lanky. (We bought you deodorant the other day, and you need it more than I do.) When I think about the times to come, I feel excited but so, so scared. I know I’m going to close my eyes for a moment, and my time with you will be coming to a close.

I can’t even handle the thought, so I don’t think.

I reach out and squeeze your hand. I understand that book now. I understand why an old lady would sneak into her son’s room at night.

“I love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.”
—Robert N. Munsch

As long as I’m living, I will remember you curled up on my chest.

As long as I’m living, I will cherish the moments of your chubby hand in mine.

As long as I’m living…I know you won’t understand until you have your own kids someday, and that’s okay. I didn’t understand either.

It is the greatest honor of my life to be your mom. You are truly a treasure that I’ve been entrusted with, and I will never be the same.

Your heart is so soft and tender, your eyes are bright and kind. You forgive me faster and love me harder than anyone I’ve ever met.

I have been raised by raising you and I am so grateful.

Please stop growing; please keep growing.

Motherhood is constant grief and constant joy. It’s so much anticipation and so much letting go.

I love you forever and for always,

Mama

I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.


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Sorry, you can’t meet our baby yet

Thank you for understanding. ❤️

In just over three weeks, we will become parents. From then on, our hearts will live outside of our bodies. We will finally understand what everyone tells you about bringing a child into the world.

Lately, the range of emotions and hormones has left me feeling nothing short of my new favorite mom word, "hormotional." I'm sure that's normal though, and something most people start to feel as everything suddenly becomes real.

Our bags are mostly packed, diaper bag ready, and birth plan in place. Now it's essentially a waiting game. We're finishing up our online childbirth classes which I must say are quite informational and sometimes entertaining. But in between the waiting and the classes, we've had to think about how we're going to handle life after baby's birth.

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I don't mean thinking and planning about the lack of sleep, feeding schedule, or just the overall changes a new baby is going to bring. I'm talking about how we're going to handle excited family members and friends who've waited just as long as we have to meet our child. That sentence sounds so bizarre, right? How we're going to handle family and friends? That sentence shouldn't even have to exist.

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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