Category Archives: babies

A mom of two

I remember one day back when my daughter was maybe eight months old. It was around 10 in the morning and raining out, so I took her to a story hour at the library next door to my apartment in New York City. We were late, so by the time we arrived the story hour was over. There was a mom of three there. Her 4-year-old was sitting calmly next to her, a 2 year-old on her lap and a 3-month-old on a mat on the floor. She was beautiful, full of love and life. She somehow stayed calm, reading a book to all, while touching the young baby. I was awe-struck at her mothering. I sat nearby with my baby and I wanted her to wrap both of us up in her love. As a mother of just one, I didn’t quite feel like a mom. Not compared to that supermom.

Back then I was just getting used to my life as a mother of one. I really had no concept of what it would be like to have 2 of them.

This past October, just 2.5 months ago I had baby number 2. Lilly Emme Paperny was born. I’ve been wildly overwhelmed by — wow, just having a second baby. I’m also so busy. Mon dieu. How did our mothers’ do this? I mean, how did they do it? Motherhood has to be the hardest and the most unappreciated job in the world.

Meanwhile, I am feeling old and tired. My skin looks dry — and it is dry. I’m breastfeeding like crazy and I’m dried out. I feel like I’ve been through a war and I’m on autopilot. I have no “evening” because my baby only sleeps for 4 hours before I need to breastfeed her again. It’s exhausting. I’m on edge. And I don’t feel like anyone understands. Perhaps they do, perhaps it’s just tough. I want 20 massages, I do!  And then I stop and ask how have women done this for centuries? We are amazing. My mom is amazing.

At some point I’ll have more time. At some point my little girls will be grown. And then I’ll be sad. I’ll miss them as babies. My two-year-old is just hilarious. The things she says, the looks she gives me — her songs, her dances. What a great age. And little Lilly, oh my gosh. She’s so sweet, so alert.

So now I’m a real mother because I have 2. I have “children” not a child. I have context because I’ve just raised another infant from 0-2….

I am also more than just a mom. I am. I’m a playwright. I have a new job waiting for me when I’m ready. And when will that be? Right now…is right now.

How To Write A Thesis

Maya, my 16-month-old, woke up last night and really wanted to read a book before going back to bed. She loves going through the bookshelf on mommy’s bed and pretends to read “big people books.” It’s rather hilarious. Since we are at my mom’s, most of these books are from my college years. The book she chose: “How To Write A Thesis”…I told her as she took the book with her to her crib in full reading pose – “Maya, this book made mommy very sad. I hated reading that book, if I ever really did read it, and I hated writing my thesis…ugh. Can’t you read a book about Cookie Monster?”

I’m Back, sort of

Happy New Year! I haven’t written anything for a long time. I’ve been away on maternity leave. I had a baby in October, so I’ve been busy. And, as cliché as it sounds, my life has really changed this year. It’s amazing and it’s very hard to wrap my head around how staggering it is to be a mom, mentally, physically and otherwise.  No one can tell you how wonderful it is. It’s absolutely one of those things you need to experience to believe – and the hardest thing you’ll ever do. Not surprisingly, my conversations and concerns have been all about baby – and I must admit I haven’t gotten out much in the past few months, so I haven’t had much to say.

I was joking the other day when I was out ever-so-briefly that it’s wonderful to see New York City even if it’s only from a cab window.  I drove by my old haunts the other day – The café Grounded on Jane street and thought — oh how much I want to go in and order a coffee and write….but no, it’s not even close to possible.  My life as I knew it is now over.

This was a rather weird year for me, I’ve been pregnant and a new mommy for the whole year…and I moved – such transitions make for lots of confusion.

About a month before the baby was due my husband and I moved to Tribeca or Baby Park City, which is what I call it.  I’m not kidding, it’s all babies all the time.  I recently joined the Hudson River Park Mommies Group, which is pretty hard-core email group for mommies who live downtown.  Strollers are a common sight down here – about as ubiquitous as cars — and every time you stop to chat to one of the mommies you find out she’s a part of “HRP.” As soon as you are a mommy your conversations and concerns change.  Mommies talk about poopies, breastfeedings, pediatricians, playgroups, sleep schedules, etc and it feels like it never ends. That’s what these women do – they talk. And now that’s me – I talk baby.

I’ll admit it, probably like most new mom’s I’ve been frustrated, irritated, annoyed and sometimes depressed. I’m resentful that my husband often sleeps till 2PM and then gets up and takes a two hour long shower.  Mommies never, ever get a break and I think that is what is so shocking about the whole new mom thing – we suddenly have much more responsibility than our man. I have felt like I’m drowning in New York at times.

But here’s a little bit of sunshine.  I’m in Sonoma Country, California at the moment. We are spending a few weeks here with my mom, hanging in her country home. I am nowhere near New York or the cold weather or the HRP mommies. I’m in hippy wine country.  It’s nice here. This is where I grew up. My husband and I get to sneak away for an hour or two and go to the mall while my mom watches the babe and we’re thrilled about it.  The best part is that I get to share my wonderful daughter with my family and friends which I wasn’t able to do in New York.   Last night my mom and I sang the baby  lullabies in the room she created for her (my brother’s old room) in the house where I was born and raised.   Life really does come full circle and having a child reminds you how precious, beautiful and amazing life really is. More to come, but for now, I am sending you all a little bit of Sonoma County fuzzy.