I love this photo of my baby Lindsay on her first swing ride, because if you look a little closely, you will see something amiss… look at the shoes… see it? Mommy put her shoes on the wrong feet! DOH!
Ok, so I guess I won’t be winning any mother-of-the-year awards. But, since I’ve managed to somehow keep my daughter healthy and pretty darn happy for the past 13 months, I don’t think I’m doing too badly as a mom either… even if there are days when I put her shoes on the wrong feet, her shirt on inside-out, or her diaper on backwards (only ONCE). Truthfully, there are days where I’ve gone off to work dressed worse.
Motherhood, as you have read on the blogs of my fellow Oy!sters, is an awesome challenge, and if you don’t have a sense of humor about it, you are going to be in for a really rough time. Because there are going to be days when you will forget to pack the diapers, wipes, or a change of clothes and it’s inevitably the one time she has a massive, gravity-defying explosion—like up the back and into the ears—when you are in the middle of nowhere. Or, you will take your baby to services and she will sit perfectly quiet up until the Rabbi’s sermon and at that moment she will screech “Dadadadada”, distracting the entire congregation and annoying the Senior Rabbi—a.k.a., Dadadada’s boss.
While I could go on about my “mommy adventures,” this blog isn’t about being a mom, or about my absolutely perfect and brilliant daughter. (She can clap! Get out the applications for Harvard!) Nope, this blog is about the OTHER women in my life—my family, my friends, my colleagues, and those random kind women who have helped me through all the ups and downs.
Truthfully, I have been happily surprised by just how great my fellow XY chromosome peers have been. Sadly, I think I more prepared for criticism and judgments, and I would be lying if I said I have not received negative comments about my full-time-burb-to-city-commute work schedule.
But I have received far more in the way of encouragement, support and random acts of kindness from women—some who I know well, and others who I will never see again. When I went back to work, my friends and family were rocks for me. They were the ones who when I was petrified and crying, told me it would be ok, that I would be fine, that my daughter would be fine, and they were right. Never once did any of my friends who are stay-at-home-moms ever make me question my decision or lifestyle, and for that they have my enduring love and respect. And when I returned to work, I found an office filled with women (and men) willing to listen to me babble on about my baby, who shared their own experiences, offered support, and even exchanged baby gear. I know that not every woman has this kind of support at work, and I do not take it for granted.
And then there are the complete strangers I have met in the parks, on the planes, in the bathrooms, whose little random acts and words of kindness can make a new mom’s day. Such as the waitress at Walker Brothers who tells you about baby gas drops when your baby is colicky (thank you Walker Brothers Waitress). Or the women in your aisle on the airplane who doesn’t mind when your baby cries. Or the dental hygienist who tells you not to listen to any “so-called experts” who say that babies in daycare or with other childcare providers are somehow disadvantaged—her children turned out just fine, thank you very much. It makes you realize just how kind and generous women can be, and when you are inevitably on the receiving end of a catty remark, it really doesn’t matter.
So, on this St. Patty’s Day, I want to wish every woman (and man for that matter) who has held me up, given me a shoulder to cry on, and told me that my kids shoes were on the wrong feet and that she has done it too, all the luck of the Irish. (Hey, I’ve got a drop or two of Irish blood in me—pass me a green beer.) Thank you—you all have been my pot o’ gold.