My daughter was born in the peak of the pandemic; literally the day the first case hit New York City in February 2020, she was born. My life changed in many many ways than one, obviously the most important was by being a mother.
I put away so much of the mothering tasks and things related to mothering at the back burner before becoming a mom, because I was 100% convinced that my own mother was going to come to the United States and teach me how to mom. She was scheduled to be here with me for five months after all, so she was going to teach me everything I needed to know, as a mother of 7 and grandmother of 18, I thought. All of that was true, except the pandemic hit and her flight was delayed and then canceled and then she was hit with travel restrictions, and more travel restrictions and next thing you know, she wasn't here. So there I was, alone, and dealing with a newborn baby in the NICU in the middle of a pandemic also trying to balance work because I had to leave work unexpectedly earlier than my maternity leave and I had several outstanding projects and motions due.
In that moment I had to grow up.
I have always been an independent person right from when I was young. I threw my own 10th year birthday party because my parents were out of town and I couldn’t wait for my parents to come back and celebrate my birthday party. I found my first job at the age of 16 at a friend's parent's video club. I put myself through college and law school. I started my own law practice. Needless to say, in every other aspect in my life, on an exterior levelI exuded the vibe of "I got this" in letters 25-miles high. And then comes motherhood and then I realized that out of everything I thought I knew about motherhood, I knew nothing.
The first being with sleep. I naively expected that the baby would easily fall asleep when she comes home. She did not. Then came breastfeeding, postpartum anxiety, vaccinations, teething, milestone....I learned that I had a lot of learning to do.
In the past year and few months, while raising my daughter, I have had to grow up in so many ways.
I have had to deal with fears, projections, businesses, clients, doctors appointments, nutrition issues, so many things that come with being a mom that made me think of myself as well. Every decision I made for our daughter also directly affected me, and likewise, every decision I made for myself, also affected her.
This sort of double sided recipe reciprocal relationship is one that is as beautiful as is as it is daunting. I’ve had to think of the type of parent I want to be, which has made me reflect on how I was parented. And when I catch a glimpse of true everlasting unconditional love in her eyes, I am even fueled to do more growing up, to do more learning, to do more striving, not only to be better myself, but to best myself so I can be the best for her. This double sided reciprocal relationship is single-handedly one of the best relationships I have ever encountered in my life. And of all things motherhood, I wish somebody would’ve told me that in raising my baby, she was at the same time raising me.