Parenthood: 90 Days

boston family portrait photographer

90 Days of Parenthood

play group new moms north end

Nardito and I have just returned from a few days traveling solo, without the engineer. Wow.  What a difference it makes to have a second parent around! We were staying with friends, none of whom have children.  I realized how different my life rhythms are 90 days later.  We survived our 48 hours away and happily cozied up at home together as a family again.

Gratitude

In a section in the end of happiest baby on the block, the author notes that we live in a time people are raising children in nuclear families.  And I am so grateful that James and I are not in fact doing this. We have a several spheres of loving support. 

three month old pajamas bed

 Our families have been tremendously helpful. Our neighbors at Midway (including the other new parents) have been amazing. And the moms group that I've joined have also been wonderful. (I'm the kind of person that's reluctant to do something like join a new mothers group. But I'm so glad that I did.)

Special shout out to one of my best friends since high school, Margot, who forged this Motherhood and business woman path ahead of me. She has been not only giving us material items, but also sharing wisdom and making sure that we take the time to reflect on and enjoy parenting.  

Firsts

documentary family photography newborns in car

Our baby book has lots of blank space for writing.  I haven’t filled out much of it yet.  I would have excessed that chore, though the legacy of both my and the engineer’s lengthy baby books keeps the guilt on that front going.  But I have been taking an absurd amount of pictures.  An astute reader will have noticed the distinct shift in my instagram feed.  So far he’s been to Maine and Rhode Island and the Berkshires.  He’s taken adventures into the North End and Brookline.  He’s been to Chinatown.  Erupted in his first fit of giggles. Endured bath time without tears.  And received a blessing from the priest at the new Shrine of Our Lady of Good Voyage.

Challenges & Solutions

changing table family photojournalism

Balance has not been attained, but the idea of it seems like less than a mirage week by week.

These things are what we have worked on together: 

Learning to nurse in bed and Nardito’s growing head control were game changers for me.  Learning his cues, particularly for sleep, was key.  

Figuring out what to wear for easy breastfeeding access that wasn’t looking like pajamas. After spending much of the winter in layers of leggings and dark colors I was ready to slip back into my spring clothes.  They fit, mostly.  Though many of them weren’t quite suitable to feeding the baby and absorbing spit up.   

Finding time to exercise.  Once my baseline strength came back, I wanted to be moving and getting back to the yoga studio.  Having trouble finding the time.  The downtime I get is filled up with my own basic needs (shower anyone?) and my work.  I’ve been fitting little bits in here and there.  And when I can find an uninterrupted stretch of time I pull out the yoga mat and put on Yoga with Adriene.

More in Love Every Day

This selfie pretty much sums it up! 


Parenthood: Two Months in

Parenting: 2 Months In

The delirium has worn off.  Mostly. The adoration has grown. Absolutely.  The routine is starting to reveal itself.  We are just getting to know this beautiful boy.

At some point in the last two months, our neighbor Roberto told us that the first few weeks were the hardest.  But that we wouldn’t remember it. It was true.  We barely remember the first six weeks.  We definitely don’t remember the first two.  

first bath in the kitchen sink
first bath in the kitchen sink
photo of me and baby where we both are lucid and happy by our neighbor Roberto Mighty
photo of me and baby where we both are lucid and happy by our neighbor Roberto Mighty
family self portrait at passover
family self portrait at passover

I’m in love. With the gummy smile and the goofy baby talk.  With his pensive stares and furrowed brow.  With the growing strength of his long fingers that wrap around my thumb.  With the way that he sits perched on his dad’s shoulders and intently takes in his surroundings.  

On the heels of my first Mother’s Day, so far this trip has been both exhausting and wonderful. I wasn’t sure what parenthood would be like.  Helping my parents with extended care of my disabled sister prepared me somewhat with bathing and diaper changing rituals, with the power of music and setting routines.  Seeing so many of my friends take this step before we did also gave me some idea of the major changes in our future.  But experiencing it first hand is a different thing.  

As new parents, we’ve talked about how we are both finding the process of integrating the identity of parent to be a slow one.  We are three.  And that changes things small and large.  Learning to navigate both the dog and the stroller on walks.  Embracing the microwave for speeding up meal time.  Tackling nursing in a carrier, so I can eat my own dinner.  Saying yes and thank you when people offer help.  Accepting that our days are consistently damp with milk and spit up and diaper leaks.  

boston family photography father and son photojournalism

Last week, as Mother’s Day posts on facebook prevailed, I read an interesting NYT article about matrescence (the act of becoming a mother).  In this common but nevertheless complicated life shift, we must integrate parenting into our identity, navigate a new family dynamic (in our immediate family as well as extended families) and reflect on our own relationships with our mothers.  It’s worth a read:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/08/well/family/the-birth-of-a-mother.html

if you follow me on instagram, you may have noticed that the feed has been taken over by this charming little man.  

boston documentaryfamily photography  

One of my favorite portraits of father and son above.  As I am the one with the camera, there are many images of these two and not enough yet of me and the boy.  


And we are off to ny!

And we are off to New York! To attend a wedding (once in a great while I actually get invited as a guest , or in this case a plus one, and not a vendor).  So being on the other side of things means I have to figure out appropriate attire - which has been more of a challenge than I realized.  Invitation says picnic attire, but feel free to jazz it up.
what does this even mean?

I decided to interpet this as a chance to channel Jessa Johansson, since I am pretty sure that I have the same pair of flowery rayon pants that she is wearing in the season one promo shot.  And I have this hat.  Description from the Goorin website :

It’s the hat that lets you tell your story without ever having to say a word. For work or play. For every day. A hat for every head. With a brim wide enough to protect from the seaside sun and add some mystery in the shade, floppies are lighthearted, fun and always glamorous.

So that's that. Lighthearted, fun, glamourous is nearly jazzy picnic, right?

Have a beautiful weekend!