When my husband and I got pregnant last year we thought that we’d be totally fine raising this kid on our own. You see, we are originally from Idaho, lived in Iowa for four years during medical school, and relocated to Milwaukee in 2013 for residency. We have – zero, zilch, nada – family anywhere nearby. My husband’s work schedule is wonky so we live a somewhat non-traditional life. What was adding a baby to the mix? I’m not sure I would call us naïve; innocent might be the better word choice. Neither of us had really spent any time around infants and while few of our close friends have children, the ones that do live hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away.
My first few weeks of motherhood were like most: overwhelming. Going from working full-time to suddenly spending all of my days caring for a tiny, high-needs human was a bit of an adjustment. I was also surprisingly lonely. There’s something about giving birth that makes you feel as if you’re the first person in the world to ever experience something so intense and amazing. And then, after the newborn haze starts to lift, you realize that you want to be able to share your little person with the world, have an adult conversation, and to have someone to tell you that everything you’re experiencing is completely normal. In short, I needed my village, my community, and my sisterhood.
With no family in the area, connecting with other mothers here in Milwaukee has been my saving grace. When my sweet boy entered the world I feared that without my village, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t love him enough, care for him enough, be mom enough for him. But, my friends lifted me up, made me feel secure, and helped me realize that while there are challenging moments, they are overshadowed by tiny human laughter, watching someone learn to explore the world, and seeing someone’s personality develop and unfold in front of you. And then it hit me: that star-struck love. I felt more love for this tiny human than I knew I could hold.
I have blogged off and on since 2008, but figuring out how to blog as a mom has felt completely new. I’ve wondered how vulnerable I want to make myself in this vast digital world. But, I now know that I want to share my experience because while it may feel unique to me, I know that there are plenty of other mothers (and parents) who can relate. I truly believe in mothers sharing their stories, their struggles and their triumphs. I look forward to sharing my journey through MKE Moms Blog and engaging with other mothers as we take part in this adventure together.