Morgan Had a Little Lamb

Morgan had a little lamb, her name was Maddie Mae.

Lilies and Lambs

People said a lot of strange things to me during that year we were struggling to conceive; most of which I chalked up to the the fact that most people just didn't know what to say. I've been that person, too, at times- one really wanting to comfort or encourage, but at a loss as to how to do so.

In that year most people cheered us on; many asked questions; others said nothing at all. But all of them cried happy tears when they heard our good news. So I believe all of it came from a good place. But in that year, out of all the things that were said, perhaps the strangest "comfort" I received was from another mother- one who waved my infertility fears away by saying, "Don't worry, you'll get pregnant; and you'll wake up one day with your babies and not know who you are anymore like the rest of us." Um, YIKES.

My reaction was a combination of anger, empathy, and determination. I was angry- that someone could be so dismissive of the very real fear I had that I'd never get the family I so longed for. I was empathetic- that this woman, someone so lucky as to have not one, but several babies, could feel that way- not just about her own life, but about motherhood in general. And above it all, I was determined- abundantly so; not only to get pregnant, but to not become this lost version of a mother when I did.

And so when starting this little baby blog, four months pregnant and grappling with a name for it, I inserted a little piece of that determination.

This blog has always been meant to reflect my life- yes, as a mom; but also as all the other things I am. So I decided on a name that reflected this dichotomy- choosing two words to symbolize my life before and after becoming one; at a time when titular alliteration was all the rage. I chose "Lilies"- one of my favorite flowers; a symbol of the things I loved at the time. And "Lambs"- in honor of that little lamb I was soon going to welcome; the adventure we were about to start.

And while I named this blog before I became a mom, those two words- both of them- still so truly represent who I am today; nearly eighteen months later.

Yes, I'm a mom: I wipe snot. I change diapers. I cook meals for other people; when forgetting to eat myself. For many months I was covered in spit up, or drool, or someone else's food or all of the above. And somedays, I still am. I don't sleep in. I barely finish a coffee before it's cold. I worry about my daughter and my future babies- will they always be healthy and happy and comfortable? And I have the most perfect little girl to show for it.

Yes, I'm a mom. But I'm still me: I laugh at my own jokes; especially when I'm alone. I love my tattoos, and have plans to get more. I drink wine with my friends. I blast music and sing along in the car. I'm totally imperfect, and make mistakes- every day. And I'm OK with that. I have dance parties- now with babies, and grownups alike. I count down the seconds until I can ride a Soul Cycle bike- and I do as often as I can. I take pictures, and decorate, and write- now, more than ever. And boy, do I love lilies.

So motherhood, for me, hasn't been about what I've lost- maybe a few nights out, a little sleep, perhaps some postpartum hair; but rather about what I've gained. And that little girl shines a bright light on all the things I've loved and continue to love; my new life only adding to the old. Yes, I get to keep my lilies and have my little lamb too; making that determined pregnant girl that started this blog pretty damn proud.

Perhaps those strange words came from a woman trying to ease the pain of my slow start into motherhood- painting it as a team I should have been happy to not yet make. Or perhaps {and I hope} they came from a mother that didn't really mean them at all; but instead came from someone sleep-deprived from a long night with a sick kid; someone annoyed with her husband for not changing enough diapers; someone frustrated with her post-baby belly; someone lonely from a day spent only with children; someone embarrassed by unwashed hair or a formula-stained shirt. Because I've been that mom too, at times. And it's hard to be your old self when you let these inevitable realities of motherhood defeat her. But while somedays its trying, and exhausting and work to be more than just a mom, I know I'm a better mom when I am; making it sure worth that extra cup of coffee to make it happen. Even if it's cold by the time I drink it.

PS: I considered rebranding to Soul Cycle and Spitup, but it just didn't have the same ring to it.