Motherhood seems to be made up of a fluctuating chorus of tiny achievements:
These moments are small moments of internal victory--inner dialogue, inside the ol' noodle. They are moments you'd love to share with your friends except you're afraid you've already become that Mom friend with nothing better to talk about than literal and metaphorical baby shit fits.
So you keep them in.
They begin to pile up and you sort of organize them into little stacks of Mom goal gold. Here and there... stacks and stacks of prideful new Mom moments all around, filling up all the empty space where the rest of your life used to be.
My latest bragging awe is the amount of perfect chub on Nugget's four month old legs. The way each roll perfectly rests atop another like soft serve, like the Stay Puft marshmallow man, like an assortment of beans crammed inside a well worn sock--her legs are pure baby bliss. I salute my boobs. I salute them for working overtime, putting in the effort, for not giving up, and especially for picking up the other's slack.
That's right, Lefty--you minimalist, two drop, single squirt dud. I'm looking at you.
These gains from unilaterally breastfeeding feel like a trophy in and of itself.
Morning smiles are some of the best smiles to be had. They've traveled straight from dream land, restful and pure. Sometimes you get them upon delicate baby eye opening, sometimes after a few minutes of feeding, sometimes both, sometimes more.
Don't be too anxious for them.
Because your little bundle of soul and joy will vomit inside your smiling mouth.
Today’s precious little moment is brought to you by:
When you realize you no longer quite chew, enjoy, savor, fully swallow.
There’s a new habit of inhaling... as quick as possible with hands and nails and food flying quickly with precision.
I mean really shoveling it in.
I’ve been having a hard time on the inside lately.
All the different split up parts of me can’t agree.
Or maybe it has nothing to do with agreement, but if feels like everybody’s trying to talk it once and I don’t know which voice to listen to.
My life feels like one big sequence of conflicts.
Here's a conflict: I’m sick and tired of seeing FOB. I see him four or five times a week, text him every day, first thing in the morning and last thing at night. He feels like the only person I can really share all of Nugget with. You know, cuz he's the other half of her. He is also the last person I want to share anything with. It’s been about a year since he and I were dating and in love. Facebook likes to remind me of memories I’d rather forget, but can’t avoid. It’s a really weird feeling being so utterly heartbroken over the memory of an expectation. He never was what I imagined him to be and we never were exactly what I thought we were but yet sometime how feels like the whole world is wrong. I need space and time, but have to be around him.
Here's a conflict: His family is in town. All of them. His sisters, niece, nephew, Mother. I’ve been a really really good sport about exposing Nugget to this family. Encouraging it actually. They're very nice people, don't get me wrong. It's just that... I had to sit in his apartment yesterday for the first time since he dumped me. And yes, remember, he dumped me. And I haven’t sat in the apartment since the last time I was there when all I could do was sob and wail and question. When I was shattered and forced out. Not that long ago... when I was so pregnant and alone. I can't be in those rooms anymore. I don't know how not to be for Nugget's sake.
So to be sitting there with my four-month-old baby with the enemy and all of his support system... it hurt. I felt like I was being tested not just emotionally, but literally being tested. Every diaper I changed his sister and Mother watched like a hawk. Or at least I felt like they did... My fingers fumbled. I felt like I was cracking under weight of judgement and eyes.
These are just the feelings I have with others. They don’t even begin to touch the feelings I have myself about myself....about who I am now or who I am as a Mother... or who I was but I am now. There are so many voices shooting off inside me from different parts of me that I’d love to get control of.
Maiden to Mother to Crone. Alone.
Here's a conflict: maybe I need to pump up the Prozac dosage? Maybe I need more pill to feel more me? Maybe that would just be bottling everything up further? Can breastfeeding take more pill? Can Dotty? Will I ever create again on these drugs?
Here's a conflict: My Mother hates him. Can't stand him. Can't take what he's done to her daughter and granddaughter so we live in moments of utter secrecy and silence in regard to him. The air fills with tension. I censor what I say or what has happened. I am careful to emote. I think of her feelings before my own. I tip toe where I sleep.
Here's a conflict: still haven't spoken to my sister. Still abiding by her desire and proclamation to leave her and her family the fuck alone. Still don't feel guilty about it. Still totally happy with the decision--and when I talk about it with other people, they try to convince me otherwise.
Maybe that's the problem?
Thinking of Nugget's feelings before my own.... Nugget's and my Mom's and FOB's and who ever else I'm in the room with. All go before mine. As a courtesy, as a recovering Catholic, as a human. I've always jumbled up my feelings, my future, my worth, my goals, my heart, my brain... with whomever I'm entangled with--lover or friend. And here I've gone and made another human I'm so connected with for eternity... without backing up the structure of myself completely that I feel lost as her leader and protector.
Here's a conflict: Feeling lost while not going anywhere.
Mallory Kate is a blogger, artist, single mom and funny girl outta Nevada.
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