You scarf your meals … I actually have to actively focus on not doing this, or else I am instinctively shoving half a piece of toast in my mouth. Must eat quickly, baby will cry any second, nom, nom … or eat cold meals. Yesterday I reheated a piece of lasagne for dinner. But by the time I got to eat it, it was half-cold again — and I had no time to re-reheat it. I was starving from missing lunch, so I ate it anyway. The pre-baby me? Yeah, I used to scoff if something wasn’t reheated to the perfect temperature, or had slightly burned edges. I barely remember that girl!
You find it extremely difficult to stop talking about your baby … or pregnancy … or your friends’ babies. I am probably still in the grace period of new-momness where people aren’t telling me to shut up — or maybe I’m just discussing Baby Boy with people with also love him to bits? I can hear myself sometimes, yakking away about Baby Boy, and I have to will myself to change the subject. This is why it’s good to have other mommy friends — you can discuss nothing but your children for hours, and find it fascinating (really) about how the two babies fit into clothes differently.
You don’t have much time to get yourself pretty. Before I became a mom, I would walk through the grocery store and see new moms looking kind of … beraggled. Slightly-rumpled top, askew ponytail, no undereye conealer when they reeeeally coulda used some. Now? I get it! They’re not sloppy — that look is actually NICE compared to the spit-up-coated bra and underwear they’d been wearing at home. That ponytail took 30 precious seconds to do, and looks a lot nicer than the scraggly half-bun they’d been sporting at home. Sure, they forgot concealer, but they took the time for some blush and tinted lipgloss, so they wouldn’t look so dead-tired. This look took WORK, so appreciate it, dammit!
You put yourself second. Darling Husband, my mom and Little Sis have always joked (hmm, maybe were serious?) that I’m high-maintenance, a diva, that “it’s all about me,” etc. Since having Baby Boy, I believe they’d have to revoke that statement. He comes first, period. I make sure I’m not neglecting myself, but I’m definitely not the front-runner anymore.
You spout advice uncontrollably. Stuff like, “Oh, it goes by so fast! Enjoy it while it lasts!” (FYI, it does! Baby Boy is only 10 weeks old, and already I feel like he’s so BIG and grown-up! He’s like a mini-toddler or something, so how has it only been 10 measly little weeks?) Seriously, you have one baby and you feel like an expert (when in fact you are still a newb yourself!). Two of my friends are due in the next two weeks, and already I’m all, “Best swaddle blanket blah blah blah,” and, “Don’t buy that! It’s useless crap!” When I have my second baby, I’ll probably open some kind of parenting school or something.
I’m Heather Laura Clarke. I’m a writer living in beautiful Nova Scotia, I have a 12-year-old son and a 10-year-old daughter, I married my high school sweetheart, and this is the story of my handmade life.
I have depression and anxiety, and I fight like hell every day to keep them from taking over my life. Creating things helps.
Whether I’m writing novels, decorating a room, busting out my power tools to build furniture, getting muddy in the pottery studio, sewing clothes, or cross-stitching a swear word, I’m all about using my creativity to craft a life I love.
I’ve been writing this blog since 2009, so if you dig deep into the archives, you’ll meet a bright-eyed 25-year-old newlywed who was basically obsessed with having kids, buying a cozy house, and supporting herself full-time with her writing. (Spoiler alert: she got exactly what she wanted.)