One year of mom-ing.

Hey internet-blog!
Sorry, I stopped updating this blog, obviously. It became summer and I was gardening and then I started an Etsy store and got kind of obsessed with that. It’s called Infant Industrial Complex. It turned out to be the perfect thing for me, at the perfect time. I needed a project I could do from home, in little bits of time here and there, and I was sewing lots of stuff for Malcolm but mostly dumb made-up things he didn’t really need. So I decided to actually start a store and try to sell dumb made-up things to other people for THEIR babies. So far, I am not getting rich, but I am having fun. Also, I love the way sewing solves engineering problems with fabric with cute designs on it.

Diversionary paragraph related to my Etsy store: I expressed something to James about how I would inevitably fail at this, just as I have failed at/abandoned every creative/online venture I have ever started (see: this blog). And he was like, “how can you fail at something if it’s just for fun?” That thought had NEVER OCCURRED TO ME. Self-realization: I am not great at doing things just for fun. This is why it’s good to be married to someone who is not the exact same as you.

My son turns one tomorrow. And on Monday, I started back at work part-time. I am on a weird schedule for the first couple weeks, but when my new normal schedule begins, I will be there three days a week. Lots of people I know have said this was about perfect for them when they had little ones, so I hope that turns out to be the case for me. Right now it feels like staying home any longer is impossible, like returning to work is impossible, like sending my kid to daycare is impossible, like trying to keep nursing him while he CONTINUOUSLY BITES ME is impossible. (That last one might actually be impossible, for real. I started flicking him on the cheek when he does it, and then he bursts into sobs, looking at me as if I’ve betrayed him TO HIS CORE. And I’m like, dude. You BIT MY BOOB. That was SO MUCH WORSE. Babies. They have no sense of proportionate retaliation. [Anyway, the cheek-flicking isn’t really retaliation, it’s supposed to be a deterrent, although so far I would say it’s accomplishing nothing, except that it also makes my baby cry, which is worse.]) So I guess, with all this impossible around, I’ll just try one of the seemingly impossible things and see if it works.

Anyway, when I went to work on Monday, a co-worker asked me a benign question about how things are going, and it included the sub-question, “But don’t you just love being a mom?” or something like that. And it made me think a lot harder than it should have done. I mean, I love this kid so much it hurts my heart, so much I don’t throw him across the room when he bites my boob five times in the space of one hour, so much I spend approximately 95% of my life doing dumb crap I don’t care about so he’ll stay alive and happy. But that’s not the same thing as loving being a mom. You can love a person and still not be happy about the other stuff. For example: right now Malcolm is getting a molar*, his first one, and the inflammation in his gums makes his nose run continuously. Like, when people who hate kids imagine a prototypical kid, they’re probably imaging a grubby, grabby little demon with snot literally bubbling out of his nose. That is my kid, right now. And he hates having his nose wiped, so I spend, I don’t know, half an hour a day pinning his arms down with one hand and trying to wipe away snot with the other while he squirms and screams like I’m torturing him. Would I say that makes me happy? Like, in my soul? I’m going to go with no.

But here’s the thing about being a mom, I think: the cultural narrative about how rewarding all this shit is is so powerful that it’s not even a question, it’s an assumption: you love being a mom, right? What answer is there for that question other than yes? I guess No, because I’m a terrible person? It’s kind of a tough corner to be in, conversationally. So we’ll just go with, yes, I love being a mom! I think it’s all the snot, and the biting.

*We assume. He will not let us look in his mouth.

One year ago today, I was in labour. FOR THE WHOLE 24 HOURS. So at least today is better than that, because I’m gonna order takeout later, and my kid scoots around the floor on his butt like a total weirdo and makes me laugh every day.

Also, I’ve read some books. Maybe I’ll blog about them soon. After all, it’s fall, so my gardening time is over, and a person can only sew so many stuffed hedgehogs**. Sorry, Internet! I’m gonna try to be better.

**It’s a lot, though. Last week I made 11 stuffed cacti and yesterday I started 9 hedgehogs. I only make prickly animals and plants into toys, because I’m a bit of a prickly person.

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