Monday, March 31, 2014

It Got Better: Part 1

This will be Part 1 of a two-part post. I'm preempting this upcoming Flogger Blogger Wednesday to bring you the rest of this story. But don't worry. I feel really bad about it.

In the last edition of Flogger Blogger Wednesday (which happened to fall on Thursday), I bemoaned my general lack of alone time. Frankly, I bemoan a lot of things, but I put special effort into bemoaning how motherhood has robbed me of my precious sloth, of time not so much well spent, as time purchased on impulse. It seems a small thing, to quietly spoon a bag of Tostitos while watching TV in one's basement, until parenthood comes along and eats the corn chips and puts new batteries in all of the musical toys.

But my hardest days as the mother of a 14-month-old (the baby-Giardia-with-a-side-of-mama-migraine days) don't even compare to those days as the mother of a newborn. 

I've heard that landing a plane is sometimes referred to as a "controlled crash," in that the plane must plummet from tens of thousands of feet in the air and yet, after a bounce or two, come to a stop on the runway in one shiny piece. New motherhood is a lot like a controlled crash, except you're never sure whether you're going to touch down lightly and taxi to Terminal B or whether you're going to do a flaming cartwheel into Baggage Claim.

You have no flying experience! It's not even clear in this analogy whether mom is the pilot or baby is the pilot, and a baby pilot sounds pretty bad for your chances of survival. Newborns can't even support their own heads, and they need at least another 3 months before they figure out computers. And if the baby is the pilot and you, the mom, are the passenger, why did you buy the damn ticket and where in the hell did you think you were going?

As a new mom, you just don't know how you're going to land until you land. And until you land, there's a lot of screaming and praying and bonding with strangers.

You've logged how many flight hours, exactly?

But this post isn't going to be about the terrifying decent. Several of my friends are about to become or have recently become new moms. Google "newborns" and "does it get easier." About 2.9 million results later, you might have an answer. You will also have an idea of how many desperate moms are out there, asking Google for parenting advice in the middle of the long, screamy night. Those moms don't need another list, describing how tough it's going to be. They don't need someone giving a play-by-play as the plane hurtles toward Earth.

Instead, I want to tell them that it does get better. That it does get easier. It's never easy, but it is easier. 

When Pork Chop was all freshly birthed and I was getting an average of 3 hours of sleep per day and crying into my decaf and asking the Internet how -- seriously, how? -- our species could be convinced to perpetuate itself, many mamas came to my rescue. Some brought food. Some called to talk me off of the ledge. Some rocked my son to sleep while I showered. Some IM'd with me in the grey February afternoons while I was tethered to a breast pump.

And I needed it. All of it. But there was this one thing, a seemingly little thing, that my oldest friend in all the world did for me that got me through to the better part, the easier part. Gina sent me a link.

Tune in on Wednesday to read more about the mysterious link. Maybe this should just say "Fin" or something. But I stink at brevity and I just took codeine cough syrup. So, I'll see you back here on Wednesday for Part 2. I'll be less medicated by then probably. 


  1. Ah! A cliffhanger! Eagerly awaiting tomorrow's installment....

    And make no mistake: the baby is DEFINITELY the pilot in this scenario. I was just the person looking for the oxygen masks to drop down.

    1. Thanks, Michele. And in the interest of full disclosure, I eagerly await figuring out how I'm going to end this story! (Okay, I know how it ends. My writing just hasn't caught up to the ending yet.)

  2. Better be nothing like the HIMYM finale b/c the internet is all crab-crotch about that right now.

    1. I had to look up "HIMYM." Winning at pop culture! And at oldness!

  3. Damn you Jess. Now I have to wait all day until you write the next post. Even worse, I could have to wait until tomorrow if you decide to flog yourself on Thursday and not today. Can't wait to read part two. Kiss, kiss. -Sarah