Ok, I’ll go ahead and say it – it’s just easier this time. I haven’t been shy expressing the struggles I had as a first time mom to Garrett. Anxiety, guilt, shame, control (or lack there of) – you name it, I felt it. But with Charlotte, it’s as if those heavy clouds that hung over my head the first year of Garrett’s life, were never even in the forecast. I’m not sure if it’s due to my hormones not being as imbalanced – I keep saying that maybe my body rejected the boy hormones, and that’s why it’s easier having a girl. Or maybe it’s just that there really is such a thing as (and I cringe as I say this, cuz I really do hate the label), a “good baby.”
Remember those TV ads from the ‘80s with the close-up of a greasy fried egg sizzling on the skillet, followed by the ominous “This is your brain on drugs?” Well, consider this my updated millennial PSA for all you mamas and mamas-to-be out there. But instead, imagine a close-up shot of your feet with a flip-flop on one and a work flat on the other (which one of my fellow colleagues totally did), followed by the words “This is your brain on baby.”
Last week I had started a draft for this blog post with a working title of “Happy Place.” Except a lot’s happened between now and then. As I laid awake after a much needed cry fest last night, the only thing I could think of was that it was time for me to “get real.” Too often we feel the pressures of putting on that happy face, even though we know well and good we are holding back tears or anxieties that eventually come to a head when we’re least expecting it. Last night was one of those times. I was preparing to give my son a bath just like any other night, but this night he insisted on having a “boo boo” that was going to hurt if he put his foot in the water. Oh dear. So for a solid five minutes (felt like 30) I tried every bribe in the book, until tears ensued and dad walked in asking buddy what’s wrong. To which I went off on a lightening speed explanation on why I’m so frustrated after trying to negotiate with a toddler for ten minutes, which results in said dad backing out of the bathroom slowly, very slowly.
In honor of The Second Shift’s #WomInspired campaign, I thought I would share my own story of empowerment and the very special professional role model I had that led me to a happier place as a woman, a mother, and a professional. The importance of women lifting each other up and serving as positive role models and mentors to those around us cannot be overstated. I was fortunate enough to work alongside Tracy Seng in my nearly five years at Los Angeles Magazine – someone who inspired my career, and has always supported those around her to follow their own path.
Everyone knows 2016 was a crapshoot. I don’t think I know one single person who couldn’t wait for it to be over. So as I was mulling over just how to put into words what this year meant for us, it dawned on me – 2016 was a leap year. Now try and follow me here. A leap year, in both the literal and metaphorical sense, means to correct drift. So if you think about it – all 2016 was meant to do was get us back in synch and help us find our true North. I don’t know about you, but the older I get and the more complicated life is – it only seems harder and harder to follow my internal compass. But 2016 was a year for reflecting and looking inward, whether I wanted to or not. Many of you have read my initial recap of this year that I wrote back in Sept. Well a lot, and I mean A LOT, has happened since then.
I could have written the typical “2nd Birthday Recap” post, showing off the crazy themed party with professional-like photos. Except, we opted out of that this year for an at home low-key celebration with the hubs and GaGa (my mom) – complete with gifts just from family, and a dang good box cake if I do say so myself. So instead I decided to do some reminiscing, and it may have taken me 2 years – but I finally know how I met your mother. Buried under all that flimsy armor, so proud and tough, hiding her emotions at her own expense. I have only one regret – I wish I’d met her sooner.