Blog/ a bit of buzz about Rome and Italy.

My Life Has Changed, You Really Wouldn't Understand.

A few weeks ago, a visiting friend, who only knew me during my Ed the Artist days in Los Angeles, asked me if my life has changed now that I am a mother. I’ve always hated this question, and more importantly, I’ve always had a strong disdain for those women and men who look at you out of the corner of their eyes and half-whisper, “Ever since my child was born, my life has changed completely. You really wouldn’t understand.”

For the majority of my adult existence, my primary life concerns have been my hair, my rent and whether or not Bella would be a good dog if I left her in the house through the wee hours of the morning. There never was the possibility that I could even remotely relate to the Life Changing World of Motherhood for the obvious reasons: I had no kid, no over-sized, ugly bag filled with wipes and child paraphernalia, and I was overindulged with time. To the parented, I was considered blessed. To those without children, I was normal, almost boring.

My life clumsily followed ahead in this somewhat superficial world until two years when I inherited a five-and-half-year-old and, ever since, I’ve had the privilege of test driving motherhood and family life each month for twelve non-consecutive days.

Preschoolers are the ideal starter kids, practically autonomous yet they still idolize, so despite tantrums and the redundant use of the word “no”, my tiptoeing into motherhood was easy as pie. Mini e and I would have the typical profound conversations about everything from policemen to polenta as well as playing the annoying situational games such as princess, fairy or mice. If I were to summarize my schizophrenic life alternating between All about Me and Family of Three, I’d say it was not entirely too hard organizing my time around organizing the time of a child.

That sentiment has evaporated now that I have a baby. Where as I can just wipe mini E’s face, make sure I have an ATM card and rush out the door, with baby, I prepare the Mary Poppins-esque bag, fuss over clothing that may or may not look stylish with the ever unstylish Baby Bjorn, cry over my only two pairs of sensible shoes, which are never cute enough, only to find that it is time to feed, change or sleep so plans are never followed through. Ironically, I am just as late as I was before all the trappings of motherhood.

So yes, my life has changed. Maybe. When I think about it, I realize that I am doing exactly what I have done before, but with a baby and taking just a bit longer to do so. I have an innate desire to color coordinate, this time its my clothing with my baby’s. I am still relentlessly pursuing banal information like finding the best stroller/pram for the cobblestones and small doorways of Rome (I stroll with the vintage Peg Perego). At the end or start of the day, I am planning and gossiping: wicked playdates and boytalk with second graders usually. And I still sit around building things to tear just down. All of this with my eight-month-old best friend in my arms.

In my opinion, the main life change is that I can no longer carry a clutch handbag.

3 comments on “My Life Has Changed, You Really Wouldn't Understand.

  1. I'd say the first year of being a mamma was actually really sucky (I'd like to say something more profound but the word "sucky" comes to mind)! And, yes, it was a life-changing event. It was as if a bomb had gone off in my life, and it took that entire first year to put the little pieces back together. Now that my son is almost 18 months old, being a mamma is much easier and more satisfying. And more fun! I'd have another one right away if he/she could be born potty-trained, walking and sleeping through the night. And without colic, reflux, those icky skin/dandruff issues or the desire to breastfeed every 90 minutes! Maybe I'm just not a newborn person?

  2. I can safely say that Sucky is a good description. X, fingers crossed, has been great– sleeps 12 hours, eats everything, only cries when not fed enough. What has been sucky is that I don't have as much freedom, and the babydaddy doesn't really get that.

  3. What's up with the babydaddies not getting it? Not sure if yours is Italian but I think that even though my husband and I had found a great balance as a childless couple that was all thrown off kilter after we had a kid. I think that even though he knew me really well and we'd been together ten years, somewhere deep down in his subconscious, he perhaps thought I'd turn into an Italian mamma after the bimbo was born. As if being at home trapped with a colicky baby and changing crappy diapers was somehow supposed to be a pleasure and I was a whiner for pointing out that, in fact, it was not. The Italian mamme make it look too easy. And do it with a smile on their faces and a "sì, amore" at the ready. Thank God we moved past that phase. I still get shivers up and down my spine (of fear) when I think of the first six months or so with baby. As your baby gets older, you will have more freedom. My son is turning into a little person now who can be taken pretty much anywhere we go – provided we feel like chasing after him the whole time. Oh well, viva le mamme!

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