Why I write

This past year has been something of a whirlwind roller coaster for me. On November 15, 2009 I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Aleksander. I thought I was prepared for motherhood. I had 12 years of babysitting experience; I read books; I talked with my mom and other mothers. I was sure I was ready.

I was wrong.

Nothing could have prepared me for the realities of raising a baby.

For me, the first three or four months were kind of rough. My darling boy was not the sweet, angel baby I was expecting. He was loud … really loud!! And it was so difficult to get him to go to sleep. We swaddled. We jiggled… and jiggled and jiggled and jiggled until he was asleep and we were completely exhausted. Breastfeeding was not the easiest thing for me either. Aleksander never quite figured out how to latch on to my left side, so it was usually excruciatingly painful for the first few seconds.

At 6 weeks, we found out he had a dairy allergy. How, you ask, did you discover this? He screamed – I mean it – he screamed for an entire day. This was also the day my husband left for his first business trip since Aleksander had been born. I was a total wreck. I have no family close by. My parents live in Florida, but I couldn’t call my mom and tell her to hightail it up to Philadelphia. I couldn’t even call her, because she was visiting her sister in Mexico! My friends all had small babies of their own. I felt totally alone. Isolated. Helpless. Hopeless. I sobbed right along with Aleksander. I begged him to stop crying. In a ridiculous moment of delirious desperation, I even offered him $100 if he’d stop! Luckily, he did go to sleep for the night. I took him to the doctor the next morning, and they tested his stool for blood. A positive response indicated the dairy allergy. Since I was nursing, that meant I was the one who had to go off dairy … all dairy. Not just milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, ice cream. But any and all things made with these ingredients – bread, baked goods, even most cereals! And it turns out that dairy ingredients actually come under about 20 different names. No kidding. Twenty. But I did it. I’d have done anything not to repeat that horrible feeling of helplessness as Aleksander screamed away.

Of course it wasn’t all bad! He was beautiful. He was so little and helpless. And so very sweet. He had such big, curious eyes. Sometimes he would open one eye, as if to check things out and see if it was worth opening the other one! Just darling!

Looking back, I think I asked an awful lot of myself. I still do, really. I feel responsible when things don’t go well, when he’s cranky, when he cries and I don’t know why, and on and on. I think it’s called being a mother.

My own mother says we should all get tiaras to remind ourselves of what great jobs we’re doing! (Hence the name of the blog.) When I’m feeling frustrated, I think about that. And I thought I’d take this opportunity to remind myself and all new mothers that we’re doing a great job! We’re certainly doing the best we can. So let’s not be so hard on ourselves. Let’s give ourselves a break and put on our tiaras!

This blog is not about all the adorable things Aleksander does. This blog is not about me venting my frustrations. And it is not about imparting the wisdom I think I’ve acquired in the past year. (Okay, I may fall into these traps occasionally … but I’ll try not to!)

This blog is about offering words of encouragement for all of us mothers who work so hard to raise our kids. I hope it will help me remember to appreciate my son, myself, my husband, my family, my friends, and all the people who support me as a mother. I hope it will help me remember to enjoy this precious time and stay focused on the things that really matter. And if along the way it uplifts and provides inspiration to other mothers, all the better!


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Patsie McCandless
    Dec 28, 2010 @ 10:57:53

    Such great positive words of understanding and inspiration!

    You can put on a tiara for your beautiful writing style, too!

    Bravo Kate!


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