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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

We Don't Have to Go at it Alone – Officially Introducing "Small Beginnings"

"So, what's your favorite thing about being a mom?"

I was asked this at a work event a few months after the birth of my baby boy; and for all of my extroverted nature I could not, for the life of me, think of anything to say.

Great work, Brett. Not only have you failed at showing the world how much you love your son, you are also now the sole individual responsible for destroying the institution of mothering.

Postpartum anxiety is a mother, y'all.

The fact of the matter is at the time, I didn't have a favorite part of motherhood. Because, what glamorous trait of motherhood could I cling to?

The leaking?

The catching-spit-up in the palm of my hand?

The cluster feeding?

The two-hour plotting just to walk out of the house for 15 minutes?

The fear that I'd start nursing and never end and that my child would just remain a permanent fixture to myself?

How about the fact that I hadn't had longer than a three-hour stretch of sleep in months? Or that I felt like my life was on pause while I was watching my friend's lives unfold before me on Instagram?

 "I think just the identity of being a mom," I stammered. Then quickly asked for the sour cream and onion chips. After all, these feelings weren't going to eat themselves.

Now that I've had a year and more blessed, blessed sleep, I have found my favorite part of being a mother is the community that surrounds it:

You don't have to do any of it alone.

None of it.

My first venture into the nursing mother's room (also known as the "cry room" – for the kids, I presume. Not the moms) at my church afforded me beautiful people with whom I could simply lock eyes and feel understood, seen, known, in a time when I felt none of those things.

It was around then that my writing took a turn. Did other people feel this way? Did other women find joy and utter satisfaction in having their lives turned completely topsy-turvy? Was I missing something? This didn't feel as awesome as other mothers made it out to be.

It felt like a lot. And for a while, I felt like the only one.

Because while I loved my little nugget with all of my heart I also loved functioning like a normal human being.

That's why I wrote and released my first e-book, Small Beginnings: Essays on Pregnancy and New Motherhood. It's for the women who feel alone. It's for the women who find humor in suddenly having to be okay with not fitting into their pants.

It's for the women who relinquish their pride, their vanity, their own sense of self to suddenly launch a tiny human into the world.

It's for the women who keep it real. And the women who, perhaps, are curious about the things that no one wants to tell you about.

I'm incredibly proud of this. That it's here. That it's real. And that in spite of all the changes that haven taken place over the last year of my son's life, I'm still a writer.

Check out the e-book here!

The thing about motherhood is that it's not a force you can take in all at once. It's first felt in those first few shocking and blissful, confusing moments after you get the positive pregnancy test.

Inch by inch, maternity blouse by maternity blouse, you seep into motherhood. The community, the sacrifice and eventually, the love of it all.

And though we may not always agree on how sleep schedules or discipline should lead, we're there for each other.

It's small, but it's s a truly beautiful thing.
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