I would have posted this sooner, but it’s taken me some time to gather my thoughts after the tragedy in Vegas. When I was single (or just prior to starting a family), things like this would happen in the world, your mind tells you how horrible it is, and you react like any compassionate person would. But it’s like the minute you have a baby, you no longer think with your head. In fact, it’s as if all of the world’s emotions get sucked into your heart and BAM – you’re a mom. You no longer just fear for yourself, you fear for these innocent little people who you created, and your mission in life is to protect that innocence for all it’s worth. But the duality is that you still have that logical pre-mommy side of your brain telling you that it’s impossible. That they will get to an age where they will become aware of the bad things that happen around them, outside of this parental bubble you’ve created, and you come to grips that this “age of innocence” is over. You accept your job as parents to raise them to be good people who fight for what’s right. Period.
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.”