There is so much beautiful heartfelt writing about parenthood that I’ve been reading lately that I feel like I could link to a different great piece every day.
My wife pointed out this one to me the other day and I thought it was painfully honest and excellently written, with heart and a little humor.
It’s from a blog called “Coffee + Crumbs,” billed as a “collaborative blog about motherhood,” and it’s by a woman named N’tima Preusser. She talks movingly about how difficult the first weeks and months of parenting can be, cutting through all the happy talk to describe what it could really be like if you have a difficult baby.
Here’s an excerpt:
The love you will feel is nothing like you have felt before. It will be foreign and familiar all at once. It will fill you to the very top of your heart, nearly spilling over. The thing about this kind of love, though, is that it can feel heavy. Disproportional. You may feel like you will nearly break in half from the top-heaviness. You will not be able to tell the difference between exhaustion and depression, and that darkness will rob you from what should be the most tender months of your daughter’s new life.
Your baby will cry, a lot. Your days will both begin and end with the saddest screams you will ever hear. Your body will respond the way that it is programmed to – with panic. You will google everything from “dissecting baby poo” to “newborn who hates life.” And you will come up short. You will always come up short.
Your baby will only sleep in ten minute increments.
In a plastic rocking chair. (Don’t buy a plastic rocking chair.)
In the bathroom.
With the bath water running.
You will feel like you are going mad, day after day, alone in that bathroom. Between the sound of the water running and her screams, you may feel like your nerve endings will be permanently frayed.
At the endless ER trips that you take you will be written off as “The Paranoid New Mom.” (Press on.) They will give you pamphlets on “Colic,” and that just will not cut it. For awhile, nursing will be excruciating, and your baby will fight it, hard. Contrary to the laws of nature, Anabel will not come out knowing how to siphon milk from your body. Also, panic will flood your body when your milk lets down the majority of the time. Yes, breastfeeding induced anxiety attacks are a thing, and it will happen to you. (Hormones are jerks.)
Did I mention how depleted you will feel?
And then toward the end, the essay takes a turn:
Though you may never have parenthood all figured out, there will be a day when you will find a way to wrap that love around yourself, instead of being buried in it.
And though it is hard to believe, one day you will have a vivacious, smart, and unbelievably happy little girl. A girl that absolutely adores the world. And you will have clean hair, and time to make breakfast for yourself in the morning.
I highly recommend reading the whole thing.
**Next up, a story I think all people around the world can appreciate: How Justin Bieber’s music saved a man’s life.
Check out this story: A Russian fisherman was walking in the woods and was suddenly attacked by a bear and pretty much torn limb from limb.
He most likely would’ve been killed in a manner of seconds, until his cell phone rang, and the ringtone was The Beeb’s “Baby Baby Baby,” a tune that was put on the Russian man’s phone by his granddaughter, he claimed (yeah, sure!).
The bear was so scared it let go of the man and scampered away, leaving him looking like this (above) but still alive.
Justin Bieber, life-saver! Or, you know, this story is proof that even savage, attacking animals are repelled by his songs.
**And finally, John Oliver tackled a subject near and dear to my heart as an ex-journalist: Native Advertising, i.e., the scourge and increasing frequency of major newspapers allowing “paid content” to masquerade as news stories, hardly indistinguishable in look from actual newspaper stories. (Here’s a particularly noxious example)
It’s disgraceful and awful and sadly apparently necessary for newspapers’ survival, and completely blurs the line between news and advertising. Happily, John Oliver bitingly digs into it.