Dear Moonshine –
You’ll be 6 months old tomorrow and I’m more in love with you than ever. On the way to Aspen yesterday (you slept the whole way) your Dad and I were remarking on the fact that every time we think or talk about you, we can’t help but smile. You’ve brought so much joy and life to our family. And it’s because of you that we are a FAMILY–our own little peaceful threesome.
It’s been a trying season for your mama with work. It’s so hard for me to be away from you all day for weddings. And it seems that all of my portraits are at night, so I’ve been missing our special bedtime rituals. I get little pangs of jealousy when you reach for your Dad instead of me, knowing that he has been playing Mr. Mom. I’m scared that I’ll miss your first word, the first time you crawl, or the first time you pull yourself up. You’re learning so much–everyday there is a new milestone. This morning while your Dad was sleeping, we went to the park here in Aspen and fed birds for the first time. You squealed with excitement as 2 dozen birds chirped noisily and fought for a piece of our chocolate croissant.
I’m so glad we are here for three days of escape, Monie. I love being here with you–even though we’re not really doing anything. In fact, last night when we got the hotel, we threw ourselves on the bed and ordered room service and a beer and watched TV. It was nice to do absolutely nothing as a family! It’s our first vacation with you. Our babymoon, if you will. We’ve never vacationed just the three of us–there is always something going on or somebody over. We are looking forward to the next two days of just being here with you with no distractions–watching you learn and soak up new experiences. Today we’ll go to the pool, then to the park. I noticed a fountain that you’ll love to visit and then maybe we’ll find a toy store and buy you your first souvenir. I can’t even begin to describe the peace you bring me, little lady. This trip, these moments–they are not taken for granted. I’m drinking in every second spent with you. Happy first 1/2 birthday! What an amazing 6 months it has been.
It’s been almost six months since my little bean was born and I’m struggling with my body image. I’ve struggled with my body image since I was 14 and have been insanely hard on myself over the years–starving myself, binging/purging, pills… bi-weekly colonics – you name it, I’ve done it. But I swore that when I found out I was having a girl, I would put this struggle behind me. It was actually one of the first things that came to mind when I found out that I would be having a little lady. “How in the world can I raise a daughter to be confident in who she is, inside and out, when I can’t do that myself?”. I’ve prayed about this, read articles, practiced ” healthy” thinking etc,. The other day, however, staring long and hard at my closet and ready to pull my hair out while eying those skinny jeans, that familiar feeling of self-disgust crept in.
The first two months after having Ramona, I felt like a superwoman. I’ve never been more comfortable in my skin. My body had done exactly what it was supposed to do during pregnancy and I was suddenly 25 pounds lighter! I could see my feet again and shave my legs without a struggle. But this feeling of being a beautiful mama changed when I started seeing other moms jogging outside my house with much younger babies than Ramona, wearing sport bras and short shorts. Did I mention that some of these perfect bodied moms were also toting two dogs on their jaunt? “Now this is a super mom,” I thought to myself as I sat on my porch swing with my baby and bottle of beer. Dang it!
And so the dilemma begins–How badly do I want to look like one of those ladies? Bad enough to spend hours at the gym everyday? Who has the time? Bad enough to give up beer? No way. And more than anything, I simply want to learn to accept myself where I am at. I haven’t let myself go. I just can’t fit into my pre-pregnancy skinny jeans yet. I only have 7 pounds to go – which isn’t much. I could starve that off in 10 days. I’ll get there: slowly, healthfully, hopefully. But how do I learn to be kinder to myself? I can’t bear to think about passing on any of these insecurities to my sweet girl. God knows there is enough pressure out there already for women and girls to look a certain way.
So today, I’m keeping the beer and giving up the sugar. I’m choosing the longer walks with Ramona (18 lbs) in the Baby Bjorn instead of the hours at the gym. I’m choosing grace and acceptance and PATIENCE. I’m doing this for me and my little girl. And I pray tomorrow will bring a new diet pill. Just kidding. Kind of.
I found this video while I was pregnant and was insanely moved by it. I think I need to remind myself that a post pregnancy body isn’t always going to be the same–at least not right away. But all of these bodies are beautiful. They are strong and fortunate to have been a home and “nest” to another human being. It’s a beautiful meditation that I think I’ll visit when I’m having the body issue blues. Check it out.
Two things mama should do before their babies turn 1
1.)Write a letter
2.)Take breastfeeding pics
…Rachel did both.
Your smile stops strangers in their tracks. Your laugh is an infectious little squeal. It seems like moments ago your Daddy said, “It’s a girl!!!” and I held you for the very first time. How has a full year gone by since those precious first moments? You amaze me every day. I love seeing the world through your bright eyes. Ruby Love, you are a living, breathing, smiling, laughing, squealing example of how quickly years pass by.