I never thought I would be a mommy-type of woman. I envisioned my life with a husband and a career, and a nice trendy apartment in a vibrant and modern European city. Sure, I wanted children, but that would be later, and they were not a priority.
I had a pretty good plan, and I was going to stick to it.
In high school, my two best friends used to joke that one day our grown-up selves would meet at my place, and I would frown while watching their babies drool over my nice cream colored leather sofa. Today, living in a house, in a suburb-like environment far away from Europe, I sometimes wonder what happened. I am writing this post from a dark blue sofa with a cover on it to protect it from the dog (yes, I even have a DOG). My two best friends actually do live in cool urban places. What could turn my life around?
It fits in four letters … B.A.B.Y. She is now 14 months old, and she is little, but she is fierce. My husband and I actually joke that we should apply for her name to be added to the national hurricane-naming list. A lot of my other friends have had babies since I had my daughter and have asked me for advice. Here is my biggest piece of advice on parenting for you: Don’t plan. High chance is, that little bundle of yours will do the planning for you.
My plan :: Mostly natural birth with soft music, husband massage, and yoga ball. Up and walking 30 seconds after delivery.
Her plan :: Break your water, flip around and request a C-Section. No exercise for 3 months.
My plan :: In our room, in her crib, for 3 months, then in her own room.
Her plan :: First month – no sleep unless in arms. Thirteen following months – back and forth between her crib and parents’ bed, because it’s so comfy and it smells so good. Although, I need more space for my legs to spread out. Papa gets 10 inches to the right, and Mama gets 5 to the left, if she is lucky.
This one needs its own category.
My plan :: Put baby in bed. Baby falls asleep.
Her plan :: Touch me, touch me, touch meeeeee. And I need to touch your nose.
My plan :: Nursing every four hours.
Her plan :: Nursing all the time. Not. Enough. Milk.
My plan :: Cute baby outfits with French-inspired patterns
Her plan :: Do not put anything over my head. Yes, that includes onesies.
Items in the house (including but not limited to pens, frames, plants, utensils, curtains, etc.)
My plan :: Wait – I needed a plan for that?
His plan :: Live life. Eat, sleep, play, repeat.
Her plan :: The dog is so coooool. I can climb over him, touch him, take his toy (put it in my mouth). And my favorite: I can chase him in my walker.
My plan :: 3 loads on the weekend
Her plan :: 1 load a day. That does not include my sheets.
My plan :: Love you
Her plan :: Love you unconditionally. Give you more love than you’ve ever received, even if you’re tired or dirty, or look bad. Teach you how to love, be a better person, a better wife, and a better mom.
In the end, my baby is the boss. Not that I do all she says and wants (I mean, there’s no way I am tasting the dog’s food), but I certainly follow her schedule, her needs, and adapt to her phases of development. Right now, we have had a lot of changes in our life, and she’s back in our bed. She also needs to be in my arms a lot. So what? I am not wrong for loving my child. She will not be behind in college because she received attention at a young age, and I certainly do not feel like I am sacrificing my femininity to take care of my baby. My husband agrees, and that’s all that matters for us. We are the family; we are the core.
So, here is my new plan :: Just love her. No other plan will be necessary.
Marie recently relocated from Connecticut with her husband Eric, daughter Maëlys, and dog Milou to New Orleans, although Eric and she had already lived three years in the city before. She is originally from France and enjoys cooking all things French to her family, speaking with lots of “oh la la’s” , and sipping wine on a cool evening in her outdoor kitchen. She is still trying to figure out what she does “for a living”, since she helps Eric run his dental practice, taught until giving birth, and now stays at home with Maëlys. So, to make things easier, she is now working on her first book