Calling All Moms: Do You Have A Story To Tell?

Written by James Kicinski-McCoy
3:18 pm
03/14/17

If you haven’t had time to dive into our latest column “Mom Talk”, we’re highlighting super-mamas from all walks of life by sharing short stories and essays from their personal journeys through motherhood. Whether the narrative features a full-blown mommy meltdown, or one’s proudest moment to date, we’re celebrating what it means to be a mother, the diversity in everyone’s motherhood path, and the shared vulnerability that can bring us all together.

In an effort to expand our community and feature even more relatable content, we’re looking for contributors to be considered for the column. Do you have a story you’ve been dying to share? Do you feel like other mamas could relate to an experience you’ve gone through? Send us an email for consideration! We want to hear what you have to say, whether it’s hilarious, touching, or somewhere in-between. And, don’t forget to check back each Friday to read the week’s latest discussion.

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8 comments

Danielle Purza Page

I have many stories on motherhood I would love to share, being a mum of 3 misters and a sister . My journey began 14 years ago with my beautiful son Noah my first born . My second son Jude was born 9 years ago and my third son Eden is now 5 years old . We were extremely lucky to be granted with our newest addition little princess Aria who is 19 weeks to date . She has most definitely completed us as a family by bringing our common interest of human love into our lives . I live a holistic , healthy, spiritual lifestyle full of fun, fitness and vibe . Having studying Nutrition , yoga and fitness my passion lies in living an inner truth that is alligned with the best one has to offer the world . Would love to share my passion for all things motherhood with the world!! X

Cassie Daughtrey

I’m 35 years old. I have a 5 month old, a 6 year old, and a 9 year old. 7 months ago while I was home, my husband shot himself in the garage. I was 7 months prenant with my magic baby, Bodhi. Bodhi was an IUD baby that three separate doctors said was an unviable pregnancy from the beginning. Since my husband’s suicide, I’ve been picking up the pieces and living in a real life Full House scenario.. My best friend (a 32 year old gay guy) just moved in with me from Hawaii. My brother in law I didn’t know before now comes over everyday to spend time with the kids and me. I’ve started an Etsy shop that has done remarkable considering I didn’t now what I was doing. I’m a realtor so I’m self employed. I was left without life insurance or a plan. He didn’t leave a note. I thought he was making a smoothie. I’m doing life everyday. And it’s hard. And I’m grateful. And I’m happy. And I’m sad. And my life feels like a tv show most days. But I am in love with all of it. . Someone shared your post with me and so I said I’d put the shortest version I could in the comment. That’s as concise as I can make it. Thank you!

Helynn Boughner

I am a wife, mom, daughter, Associate Real Estate Broker, Business Growth Coach, Girl Scout Troop Leader and Former PTA President who is failing forward and daring greatly every day to get it “right”. As the proud mother of a 13 year old daughter and 5 year old son I have tons of stories to share about the highs and lows of motherhood and the lessons I have learned along the way on my journey. As I navigate my way through the challenges of the teenage years and prepare for the adventures of high school , college, and kindergarten all while juggling the demands of caring for two aging parents with various health ailments.

Suzanne Webb

I submitted a post just now. Thank you for this “mom call.” I needed some motivation to reflect, process and write.

Peggy

would love to submit my story. How do i go about it

Pamela Dailey

I live 60 miles north of New York City, which is where most of my interior design projects — mostly gut renovations — are located. I take the train in to check on job sites once or twice a week. When I was breastfeeding my son, I relied on a hand pump when I was out on site visits, since I could never be exactly sure where or when I’d be able to pump. Most days I took advantage of mommy-friendly retailers with lactation rooms. However, one day my construction reviews ran long, and I rushed to get to the train to get home and didn’t have a chance to pump.

I was really “uncomfortable” on the train but found an empty tie where I thought I could just be discreet and take care of my painfully full breasts. But of course someone sat down next to me who really wanted to chat — a man, to boot. I tried sort of hinting at the fact I was a new mom and arranging my insulated lunch bag into plain view, hoping he’d maybe catch my drift. He just kept talking….Finally, I had to interrupt him to just say, “I hope you don’t mind, but I need to pump.” I pulled out my nursing cover and just did what I needed to do. He didn’t talk to me anymore after that!!

Rachael Dymski

Hello!

I am a new mom and a writer. This is a piece I wrote on seeing my daughter smile for the first time, titled “Why Baby Smiles Are Everything.”

Thanks so much,

Rachael Dymski

The first days and weeks of motherhood are like entering into a secret sorority. No one tells you, before the baby comes, just how hard it is at the beginning—the soreness, the constant nursing, the sleep deprivation that puts your college years to shame—and why would they? Who wants to tell a glowing pregnant woman marveling over an Ergo baby carrier that soon she will be the primary caregiver of this helpless little human, who has never been to the world before and does not understand any of your rhythms, your literature, your culture, hobbies, schedule—that one day you will be writing to editors and hosting a dinner party and doing adult things and the next day your life suddenly runs in three hour cycles around a tiny little infant who needs your unending attention, who you must acclimate to being alive while frantically scrolling on your phone because you are sure you are doing something wrong and everyone has an opinion. And then it is three in the morning and your arms are burning while you bounce a ten day old up and down, up and down as she louder and louder until her face turns beet red, and it would be funny if your insides weren’t sore enough to feel like they are falling out of you and if you had more than a few hours of sleep and if this little screaming burrito wasn’t yours and if you could convince yourself that the reason she is crying is not you.

That’s when the sorority of other moms is a raft in the middle of the ocean, and the women who knew to bring diaper rash cream and nursing tanks to your shower are the ones who show up with coffee and just to take a crying baby off your hands for a half hour. Their words are like ropes and you find yourself clinging to the saving grace that everyone who has been a mother has completely been there—that for every time you’ve turned on the hairdryer while bouncing your baby on the exercise ball to calm them down, they’ve spent hours doing stairs, or squats, or turning up the static on their radio to 15 to overpower the sound of their baby’s crying. That for every time you’ve wanted to hand off your baby to someone else, they’ve passed theirs off to their husbands, have gone for a drive, and thought about not coming back.

In those early days, I asked sometimes, why anyone would ever do this again. And the answer was always the same: you’ll forget how hard it was. Just wait until she smiles.

Two weeks ago, June started smiling.

And my heart exploded.

It wasn’t just that she smiled. It was also that I finally recovered enough physically to hold her up to burp her; it was that my hormones finally settled enough that I could process my baby as mine, that with the smiling came the ability to be more content, to coo, to track objects with her eyes.

I knew I loved June before she smiled. And I knew, somewhere in the recesses of my mind that this stage is temporary, that it’s all learning, that the days are long but the years are short. But when she started smiling, something clicked for me. She is her own, full person, and first comes smiling, then cooing, then rolling, crawling, walking, talking, thinking for herself, finger painting, writing, math, sleepovers, dates, college, career. This work, which is so mundane in the details, a repetetive cycle of nursing, burping, rocking, swaddling, is the most extraordinary task I will ever undertake.

Babies don’t come into the world smiling. They enter it with cries and clenched fists, physically incapable of thinking past their own immediate needs. Maybe, before they can smile, or laugh, or express any sign of contentment, they have to know someone will be there for them.
I don’t know enough about baby psychology to know where June’s memory begins, but I know that she is not going to remember these early days like I will. Maybe these days are a gift to me, a gift to Andrew—a time for us to make mistakes, learn to read June’s body language, meet her needs, and realize, with every smile and facial expression, just how much we love her. It is repetitive, yes, and mundane at times, but then we learn at her doctor’s appointment she has grown two inches and gained two pounds, and it is the nursing, the burping, the sleepless nights that aided it, and suddenly I realize that out of these routines, this sameness of each day, the most incredible mystery is unfolding.

June is growing. June is smiling. My body, in order to nourish hers, must be involved at the smallest detail, but because my body is so invested, so is my heart. And when she smiles,

We’re at a stage of life right now when many of our friends are having babies, considering foster care, adoption. I know motherhood is different for every woman, but I think that on some level, to get through those hard, early days, this is always true:

Just wait until she smiles.

Klaudyna Piatek

Hi,
I’m a new mom to a lovely 3 and a half month old boy. My family lives in the South of France, and I wonder everyday about how we will raise our child in two (perhaps three) cultures without confusing him or making him feel destabilized. I struggled with my pregancy even though medically everythig went very smoothely. I’d like to share this with other moms-to-be as I would have loved to see that I was not the only one having a hard time carrying my little boy. I also fell pregnant less than a month ago and we have had to terminate, one of the most difficult things to do, especially so soon after seeing what a beautiful little person we created together. I hope to be able to share with you. Thanks, Klaudyna

Miriam Cooper

Instagram = @mimis.bowl

When my daughter was born one of the many challenges for me as a new mum proved to be food. I was very surprised by this, as I love to cook, to watch cooking programmes, read cookbooks and most importantly eat good food. I would have called myself a capable and aspiring home cook, but as my daughter approached six months I found myself struggling over her first tastes and first solid foods. Even this simplest of tasks raised a barrage of questions: “How to puree an apple? How should I cook it? Do I need to sterilise my cooking utensils? What cooking utensils do I need? Can I freeze it? If I freeze it how hot does it need to be when I reheat it? Is an apple too sweet a first taste?” And so on… After sleepless nights my anxious and exhausted state of mind didn’t help guide me. I believe I am not alone. Learning to feed your baby is at times extremely daunting, especially a first baby.

I began cooking by trial and error, teaching myself from scratch. I tried it all: from the expensive ‘all-in-one steaming and pureeing machine’; that then required 30 minutes to take it apart and clean it, after each use… To the ice cube trays that froze solid so I couldn’t remove the food (you need freezing trays with a soft silicon shell). I tried pureeing every fruit and vegetable my green grocer had; initially fighting seasonality, because I had read somewhere about a special list of fruits and vegetables that were good first foods to try. I noted down my experiences and worked on recipes that my daughter liked and would eat. There is no harsher, or more immediate, food critic than your own child to deliver feedback…

I have begun to blog online (instagram, twitter, website coming soon) about my baby food meltdown, I want to share my story with other mums, as well as great recipe ideas, that are simple and healthy.

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