Friday, February 12, 2016

Motherhood (or a lifetime without sleep)

It's been far too long since I pulled up this blog. The reason? Motherhood. As I think back on the life journey whose moments are captured in this blog...from Kuwait to DC to marriage to Virginia Beach to Italy, I am amazed at the twists and turns that led to this beautiful moment in time. Marty and I have a daughter! And she is amazing. So this blog is now a blend of life. It is mommyhood with its ups and downs. It is Italian living and European adventures. It is self discovery as I take on the biggest challenge of my life: finding a way to be wife, mommy, employee and still myself. It is adventures that now include a beautiful squirmy delightful little girl. It is getting up in the middle of the night because Maddie May is sick and my sleep is secondary to her cries. It is lying in a hospital bed moaning in pain during that messy horrific incredible experience of childbirth. It is filling up my phone with pictures of our daughter as we explore the French Alps. It is learning to parent with Marty and feeling my heart fill with joy as he dances around the living room holding Maddie and singing Piano Man. It is the pain of separation as I drop her off at daycare so I can resume managing the global operations of a nonprofit literacy organization. It is fighting the guilt that I'm not that perfect mom who already has the baby book filled in with special moments and keepsakes (at least I'm keeping the keepsakes even if they're just being thrown in a pink box). I'm not just Global Nomad Gal now. I'm a whole bunch of other things and this is life. And I wouldn't trade it for the world...although in my crazy moments I might trade just a smidge of it for a good night's sleep.

This blog is one way that I still find the "me" in the midst of all my other roles. It is my creative outlet. It is the clickety clack of the keyboard while the baby monitor hums with the sound of white noise and sleeping baby grunts. It allows me to take a moment to think of adventures lived and special moments to memorialize. Writing allows me to share stories with those that I just can't always find the time to connect with in this new crazy life. In mommyhood, I find that time takes on a strange pace. It races by during Maddie's happy moments. And it slows to a crawl on sick days and cranky days and gassy days. There aren't enough minutes in the day to do all that I would like to do. I want to be the perfect mom. I imagine most moms want to be perfect. And we set for ourselves an impossible goal. I will never be perfect. I'll never have enough tummy times for Maddie. I'll shout to the rooftops that I got her into a sleep routine and she's logging 8-hour chunks at night, and then she'll get hit with a bug and she'll wake up more times than when she was a newborn. I'll get her dressed in the perfect outfit and time it perfectly for that morning spit-up. And then I'll realize that all of the clothes that still fit her are in the wash and I'll take her to daycare in PJs. I'll plan the perfect schedule to have dinner ready when Marty comes home and then be inundated with work and forget to thaw the chicken. I'll make grand plans to learn Italian and take music lessons and then I'll cancel everything because you know what? Maddie and Marty are more important. But I also know that there is still an entire life left to live. And there will be time. But for this moment, family is my adventure. And I'm lucky enough to be living my family adventure in Italy. We get to raise our daughter in a place where her 9 week birthday was celebrated at a chalet near Mont Blanc. I got to drown the sorrows of hearing her first cough in baguette and French chocolate. She got to be baptized by a British Anglican priest in a beautiful old church in Naples, surrounded by family and people from a multitude of nationalities. She gets to hear English and French and Italian and Spanish every day as she learns to speak. She got to ride a train to Rome with mommy and daddy and Nana when she was only three weeks old. She was nursed sitting on a bench in the Pantheon. And on the side of the road in Northern Italy. And in a charming little restaurant in France. These are the moments to treasure.

So as I get back on track with my favorite creative outlet, I hope to share these moments. I don't want to stop being Global Nomad Gal. But now I get to be a Global Nomad Mom raising a new little global nomad girl, and that's pretty awesome.

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