I'm back! And I'm a mom now. What in the world? Sweet little Miles Elizabeth Gilmore joined us on December 12, 2017, and we are forever changed.
I've debated writing about my pregnancy, birth, and motherhood experiences for a while and initially thought I'd keep these musings to myself. Why? Lots of reasons:
- Because this blog is already so all over the place. Everything I've read about starting a blog and building a "brand" harps on the importance of finding a single focus. With posts about my artwork, people who inspire me, my experience as a resident's wife, etc....well, I'm far from focused. :)
- I want to respect Miles' privacy. I would hate for her to read this blog in 15 years and be mortified by my detailed descriptions of her pooping all over herself during brunch (which has happened twice by the way. Sorry, kiddo).
- Most importantly, I don't want to add to the culture of comparison that seems to surround motherhood. I imagine that it will be difficult to find that balance of writing honestly about my experiences without making myself and others feel insecure.
Despite these hesitations, my heart has continually been pulled towards sharing. I want to remember this strange, sweet season of life, and I find that I process my feelings best through writing.
And even more so, I want to be an honest and encouraging voice in this space (a voice that I wish I had had, especially during early pregnancy). Because, y'all, I was terrified.
I always wanted to want to have kids, but if I'm totally honest with you, I never really had that desire. I didn't grow up babysitting; I thought (and still think) that puppies are way cuter than babies; and I often made up excuses to get out of holding my friends' newborns (their floppy heads, unpredictable moods, and gratuitous body fluids are very anxiety provoking for me).
And what makes an already awkward-around-kids pregnant lady feel even more insecure? Being married to a damn pediatrician. My husband, Beau, is a total pro. Which should have made me feel grateful, relieved, etc. (it does now!), but instead just made me feel like less of a woman. For instance at one of our childbirth classes, Beau and the rest of the moms were hands-on and involved, eagerly changing diapers and swaddling baby dolls. Meanwhile, I was sitting back with most of the dads, nervously scarfing down my leftover pizza from lunch and hoping that these "mama-instincts" that everyone talks about would someday kick in.
People love to talk about how difficult motherhood can be. And it is, y'all. It really is. But I was underprepared for how incredibly joyful it is, too. And that's what I want to write about. How a totally clueless, insecure, and anxious expectant mama like me could come to love being a mom more than I ever could have imagined.
I want to be honest about the hard stuff, sure, but I want to talk about the beautiful, sweet, transformative, good stuff too. Because I imagine I'm not the only one who felt this way (TELL ME I'm not the only one, guys).
So, why am I calling this series "Part of Me"? The day before my water broke, Beau and I opened up to some of our dear friends and mentors, Hope and Greg, about how anxious I was feeling about all the things — birth, being a mom, breastfeeding (I'll keep my nipples to myself, thankyouverymuch), etc.
And Greg said the most beautiful words, which I probably won't do justice here but I'll try. He said something along the lines of this:
"Here's what's beautiful about having a kid: Miles will always be a part of you and a part of Beau. Nothing can ever separate the Beau from her and nothing can ever separate the Lindsay from her. She's a physical manifestation of your love for each other and of God's love for us."
Whoa. His words brought an immediate sense of peace (and tears, because literally everything makes me cry these days). What a beautiful sentiment that this little girl is a part of me. A part of us. And that I was about to discover a whole new part of me for the first time--the part that is a mother.
So yeah, I'm going to start writing. I won't promise to write on a weekly basis or on any sort of schedule (because #momlife and I'm working on being realistic about my ability to balance all the things). But know that more thoughts are coming. And please, please, don't hesitate to reach out if any of this resonates and you're feeling equally anxious. I don't promise to have all the answers (I'm only a month in afterall), but I'd love to chat and at the very least, help you to feel a little less alone. Until next time, my friends!
Love & Respect,