In part one of this series, I talked about how differently I have handled all the baby firsts the second time around. My second child was born three years after my first and I handled it much more, shall we say, level-headed. I had an embarrassing amount of meltdowns the first time around that make me now realize how green I was in the world of parenting. A good example would be when my son first got a diaper rash. Not a big deal, right? Slap some butt cream on that and keep an eye on it. Well if you had asked Andrea of three years ago, she’d probably be in tears talking about it, calling the doctor, and reading all the books at her disposal. All for a simple diaper rash.
In part two of this series, I want to dive a little deeper. Last time, I talked about the basics. Those firsts that every parent experiences. This time, I want to talk about the firsts that kept me up at night. Things that, to this day, I still reflect on and compare to when we had our son three years ago.
The bris versus the baby naming
First time: This was, how do I describe it, a doozy times a million. If you don’t know what a bris is, it is a ceremony in the Jewish faith where a baby boy receives his Hebrew name and gets circumcised at eight days old. Yes, you read that right. It is a private ceremony where a mohel circumcises your son right in front of you. As a Jewish convert, my son’s bris was my first bris ever. It was very difficult for me to get through, to say the least, and understandably so. Three years later, I am still not sure how to wrap my head around how hard it was. But it is tradition (cue Fiddler on the Roof), and something we will always remember. I’ll always be thankful for our friends and family who surrounded us that day and gave us the strength to get through.
Second time: When we found out we were having a girl, one of my first thoughts was, thank GOD it will not be a bris. Girls in the Jewish faith have a simpler celebration, called a baby naming ceremony, where she will receive her Hebrew name during services at the synagogue. You do not have to do it eight days later, so we took our time and chose to schedule it when our daughter was two months old. At that point, I was already feeling more like myself, with the postpartum fog lifting. I was able to plan my outfit instead of scrambling in my closet, tears streaming down my face, minutes before leaving the house. It was no doubt an emotional service for our family, but I didn’t feel doom and dread like I did for the bris.
First time: When we had our son, my husband and I both worked full-time in downtown Indianapolis. I took three months off work for maternity leave then we sent our son to daycare Monday through Friday. I cried every morning for a solid month. A lot of mothers can relate to how hard the transition is going back to work after maternity leave, and I am no different. The guilt, the exhaustion, did I mention guilt? I felt it all. Looking back, I’m really proud of myself for managing a full-time work schedule and a baby.
Second time: A week or two before I found out I was pregnant with our daughter, I was told that I was getting laid off. My office was closing its location in Indianapolis, and only a few people were chosen to work remotely. I would work two more months then be done. I had worked there for eight years, the company I worked for through all of my adult milestones. I got engaged, got married, bought a house, and had our son working at this company. That is a lot of office celebrations. It was bittersweet because I would say goodbye to coworkers I enjoyed working with, but I was also saying goodbye to the career. I was mentally done with it, and couldn’t imagine starting over with another company. Now I am a stay-at-home mom. I do work part-time, but it is a much different change of pace at a few hours a month. It’s a whole different ballgame this time around.
Through both experiences, a few things have remained constant for me. My love for coffee, wine, and a nice pair of stretchy leggings. I’d love to hear from you, Indianapolis Moms! How did you handle the firsts differently?