Today, You are 2

Tuna,

Today, you turn two years old.

25638435 Birthday candles burning on a seashore

It’s been exactly two years since that day we met in that freezing operating theatre. I lay there, with your Papa standing in his chalk blue scrubs by my side, when, although numb from the waist down, I felt the exact moment they took you out and you took your first breath. Your first cry was moments later. And although it felt like an eternity at the time, in a couple of minutes they had wrapped you up in blankets and placed you in my arms.

In those early moments with you, one of the thoughts that kept crossing my mind was that at one point, I thought I’d never get to meet you. Continue reading

Love is Sweatpants and Take-out, Actually

In case the marketing everywhere miraculously hasn’t reached you yet, it’s Valentine’s Day this weekend.

And maybe you’re like me.

I grew up watching Disney movies and rom-coms. Prince Charming, happily ever after, adorable meet-cutes, gigantic, suspenseful, highly emotional grand gestures, perfect lines in the perfect moment, so on, so forth, et cetera. Ah, that warm fuzzy feeling. That whole, “oh-my-gosh-that-perfect-guy-is-so-perfect!”. That sense of hope that one day, you might have someone bulldoze through crowds of people at a busy international airport to stop you from getting on that plane so that he can perform a heartbreakingly beautiful soliloquy about why you two belong together. Sigh.

happily ever after

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Mama wins today.

“Mama wins today,” I smugly said to my husband over dinner tonight.

He smirked at the conviction with which I made that statement.

“Mama wins today,” I repeated, as I proudly looked at the settled, alertly awake newborn in my arms, the happy, albeit exhausted, toddler on his lap eating a nutritious meal I had prepared, made from scratch with fresh, wholesome, food-blog-worthy ingredients, which involved oranges, greens, purples and pinks.

Are you a brand new mother, mama? Or have you been a mama for a little while now, but have no idea how to handle the stage your child is currently going through? Or are you, like me, trying to navigate the treacherous new path of being a mother of one more than you previously had? Or are you a veteran mama that is just going through a more trying time than usual?

If so, then maybe you’ll understand my sentiments.

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This Too Shall Pass.

Last night, as I lay in bed eating gummi bears while watching Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, exhausted beyond belief and wondering when Tiny Boss #2 would wake up next for a feed, I had to remind myself: this, too, shall pass.

There are a lot of things I forgot about having a newborn.

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Those first few weeks can truly be the most exhausting, the most challenging, the most painful and the most terrifying as you think to yourself how your world has been turned on its head and will never be the same again.

Repeat after me, mama: this, too, shall pass.

Last night, I spent two hours solely dedicated to trying to settle my fussy 20-day-old, while her father got her almost two-year-old sister ready for bed. I envied his task a little; its predictability, its dependable routine, its lack of screams and cries, and lack of moments of self-doubt and desperation. Those moments of “what do you want me to do?!” as you try and figure out what this little person needs from you. Continue reading

I’m a mother of two, and I get it now.

I get it now.

A week after giving birth to my second child, I get it now.

They said I would be overwhelmed with a combination of emotions I couldn’t comprehend – I get it now.

That I will feel immense love beyond anything I could ever have imagined, but at the same time feel fear that maybe I’m not going to be able to ever handle both kids on my own.

That I can look at my toddler and marvel at how she seems to have grown up overnight,  but at the same time feel like she’s my little baby who still needs so much from me and worry about whether I am going to be enough for her now that my attention is divided.

That I can look at my newborn and almost literally feel my heart explode with a love so mind-blowingly powerful that it totally consumes me, and also feel guilt in knowing that there are some things I was able to do for her older sister which I can’t do for her.

I get it now.

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Baby, I wish you didn’t have to cry.

I need to get this off my chest.

I’ve been thinking about it all day, and it’s getting me a little down.

It’s one of those typical mama feelings, which I’m sure many of us feel, and I know it’s normal, natural, healthy even, but truthfully, I’m not enjoying it. Not one bit. Nope. Don’t wanna anymore.

Tuna cried when I dropped her off at preschool this morning. Sure, it was only for about 5 seconds. I lurked at Clingy Anxious Mothers’ Bay, otherwise known as the area near the escalator by the entrance of her school, hidden from view, and watched her to make sure she stopped crying before I could tear myself away. She stopped crying. I couldn’t see her anymore as they turned the corner heading to the playground. And I had to leave.

I sort of wanted the teachers to suggest gently that I stay for the day. You know, for her sake.

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What my father taught me about being a mother

So often we, as mothers, think back to how our own mothers have shaped and influenced us as parents. They’re usually the default example to which we revert when we find ourselves in a situation.

In my case, I’ve been fortunate to have one of those dads that was very involved, very supportive, very there, all through my childhood, adolescence, and now adulthood.

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How my toddler taught me to love my body

Today, I came across an old photo of myself in an album that my mother meticulously put together about twenty years ago. I remember when she undertook this project. She wanted to have a dedicated album for each of her three daughters, and it involved hours of lovingly sorting, arranging and reminiscing over every single photograph. She gave me my album to keep when she came for the birth of my first daughter.

In that photo, I’m about eight years old. I’m standing at the shore of the ocean with my youngest sister, aged three at the time. She has a delighted grin on her face as she gingerly treads the golden sand, but you can’t see mine as it’s covered by my windswept, thick, brown curls with copper-tinged ends due to being in the sun for days on end. I’m wearing a bathing suit. My long, strong legs show that I was tall for my age.

All I can remember when I see this photo is the time my preteen self saw it in the album, self-consciously extracted it and hid it away from view.

I look so fat,” I remember thinking to myself. I hated seeing it and certainly didn’t want anyone else to see it. I remember my other sister, two years younger than me, asking me at some point why I hated that photograph so much. I don’t remember how I answered her.

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I’m sorry that you’re not going to be an only child anymore.

The countdown is on. We have about six weeks until baby #2’s expected arrival.

Of course, I’m ridiculously excited to meet this new little person, but so much of it is still surreal. The fact that a second pregnancy goes by so much faster than the first makes it difficult for the whole thing to sink in properly. Every day, it registers a tiny bit more that we’re headed to Newbornville very, very soon.

And with each passing day, all I can do is feel my heart break a little bit more for Tuna. Continue reading

How my toddler taught me to love my body

Today, I came across an old photo of myself in an album that my mother meticulously put together about twenty years ago. I remember when she undertook this project. She wanted to have a dedicated album for each of her three daughters, and it involved hours of lovingly sorting, arranging and reminiscing over every single photograph. She gave me my album to keep when she came for the birth of my first daughter.

In that photo, I’m about eight years old. I’m standing at the shore of the ocean with my youngest sister, aged three at the time. She has a delighted grin on her face as she gingerly treads the golden sand, but you can’t see mine as it’s covered by my windswept, thick, brown curls with copper-tinged ends due to being in the sun for days on end. I’m wearing a bathing suit. My long, strong legs show that I was tall for my age.

All I can remember when I see this photo is the time my preteen self saw it in the album, self-consciously extracted it and hid it away from view.

I look so fat,” I remember thinking to myself. I hated seeing it and certainly didn’t want anyone else to see it. I remember my other sister, two years younger than me, asking me at some point why I hated that photograph so much. I don’t remember how I answered her.

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