Music is one of the world's most powerful tools. It has the power to spark intense memories. It can make you laugh, make you cry. It can ignite revolution, and can bring about change. And coming from a long line of both musical and performance artists, music is life to me.
Growing up my mother had a song for each of her 4 children. She ensured we knew the song and her reasoning for choosing it. Even now as adults hearing "our song" on the radio almost always leads to a call to mom, who is always tearfully happy to hear us sing them to her. Seeing how powerful that connection was has lead myself and my siblings to assign songs to our children.
My eldest daughter's song came to me as I listened to the radio during a very emotional day during my second trimester. As the words flowed through me and I rubbed my growing bump tears came to my eyes..."Baby since the day you came into my life You made me realize that we were born to fly...". My baby turned and kicked as I sang...Magic was experienced in that moment.
With my 2nd and last daughter (fingers crossed people) I was very much caught up in the land of "uncomfortable, pregnant, and with toddler" and didn't have the chance to experience such magic. And unfortunately, postpartum depression and anxiety took away much of the magic in the first couple of months (yes, doulas experience these things too). So my little one's song came to me early one morning as I breastfed her while my toddler and husband provided beautiful snoring background music. She gazed up at me lovingly as babies tend to do as they feed, and the words just flowed..."the sweetest thing i've ever known was like a kiss on the collar bone. The soft caress of happiness, the way you walk your style of dress..." She smiled at me and started humming as if singing the song back at me. After crying my entire face off, it was sealed.
Both of my girls know their songs when they hear them. My oldest goes "MOMMY! That's MY song!!!" #tears
So if you haven't chosen a song for your little ones yet, maybe consider it. It can be yet another life long bond that you share with them. It does not have to happen at conception, or even in the first year. It doesn't have t be a popular song. You can make it even more special if you are, like my local Doula colleague Amy and her husband, artists and write an original song for your children.
Like all things,
it doesn't really matter how or when...
What matters is that you don't miss out on the
Last month, it happened. It finally happened. I finally lost my Ctrl. As a working Mother of 2 toddlers, I must say, I'm surprised it lasted this long. But man, it will be missed.
I knew it was coming. I could feel the wobble, the instability every time situations became severe enough that it was needed, it became weaker. See, the reality is, these situations were becoming more frequent. The need for Ctrl became a regular thing. Situations needed to be fixed, adjusted, redone...quickly. Shortcuts were keeping me afloat man. Being a Stay At Home Working Mom is one of the most difficult jobs on the face of the planet. It is never ending. Oh and let's not talk about the wifely duties that are ever entangled with everything else. No wonder shortcuts became more necessary. NO wonder my Ctrl jumped ship.
I remember the day my kids noticed it's instability. My oldest, who is 4 years old, looked shocked. She was used to things being orderly; things being where they are supposed to be. Her instinct lead her to want to help ME put it back. She needed to fix it. My youngest, my precious almost 2 year old (#prayforme), had a completely different approach. She saw my Ctrl preparing to pack up and leave, and after staring at it in amusement, she decided to help IT out. Her instinct lead her to pick at it until it had noting left to hold on to. She took it clean off.
I still knew where it was though...I still knew what happened. So, like any other busy mother, I put it back. I held it down and pushed it into the springy crevice it was so meant to be. Knowing it was broken, I held it there then walked away with hope that it would magically decide to rejoin the mechanical ranks that is my keyboard life. I secretly panicked. No way could I do all of what is required of me without those shortcuts Ctrl allowed me to access.
This facade remained for a few days, almost a week. Until I looked up one day and it was just...gone. I looked everywhere. Literally, everywhere! It was gone! It.Is.GONE! Life has ever been altered.
Okay, that was dramatic. I mean, it took about a half day to realize that I could still utilize Ctrl...I just didn't have the pretty outward symbol of control. From the outside view, I had completely lost it.
But Alas, Ctrl is pretty hardwired into this mommy! I shall survive! Who gives a damn what the outside world thinks! As long as I have it! (Let's not forget there's another one of the other side...I'm ashamed to admit how long it took for me to remember that though.)
But , in all seriousness, do they sell loose keys at the electronic store?
"Mom ISO Ctrl! Needed ASAP!" LOL
This time of year is filled with tons of emotions. So many are bouncing around with joy and excitement. For most of us, the memories are continuous. And nothing sparks memory and emotion like Music. And this season is full of amazing music! And whether you are a Cindy Lou Who or a true Grinch, there is a song out there for you this time of year!
One of my favorites to play on repeat this time of year is "Mary, Did You Know?" I first heard this song years ago early one morning, a full 9 months pregnant, in a car with my husband. As I listened to the words my eyes did this whole wet/rainy thing (that, at this point in the pregnancy I was completely over). And I couldn't help but think of what this song meant to me, a person carrying child.
Take a listen at the talented Pentatonix version below:
So, now, years later, I find myself surrounded by pregnancy daily. Hearing this song now, I still cry, but not just for the memories that I carry from my own pregnancies; I think about all of my past and present clients and every pregnant person ever who has laid there, one of those sleepless nights and thought "I wonder what kind of person this baby will grow to be? What wonders will he/she introduce to the world or the community around them? How can I foster this baby's amazing qualities?"
Every single mother I know or have come into contact with has these thoughts. It is one of the magical things of the pregnancy stage of motherhood. As we fall in love with this little, moving, stretching and bladder kicking being we daydream of the person they will become.
We become biochemist and dream of our unborn child having the perfect mixture of genes from their ancestors. "Our grandmother's smile, his grandfather's charming nature, my hair, his brilliance, my father's hustle, his mothers determination....and NOT my sister's temper! Lol"
It is the background music playing, sometimes ever so softly, in our day to day from the moment we are aware of the growing being within.
So as I sing this song: "Mary did you know that your baby boy would one day walk on water? Mary did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters? Did you know, that your baby boy has come to make you new? This child that you've delivered will soon deliver you." I can't help but think, while she might not have known the specifics, she absolutely knew he'd be great!
All Mothers Know!
If you haven't been able to tell by the increase in boobage on your social media timelines/feeds, it is World Breastfeeding Week! Hip Hip HOORAY!! The breast are out, babies are nursing...everyone is happy! Right? Well the whole reason for the week is to help normalize breastfeeding. The fact that a worldwide event exists for that reason means, well it means that there are quite a few pissed off people on social media this week. They are stomping up and down their feeds with their "report this post" fingers ready and willing to knock your beautiful pictures into Facebook timeout! I haven't posted anything yet this year, but I know it will happen. Around about the 3rd like and 2nd comment of solidarity, the picture will just fall off the face of the earth. But you know what...it is what it is!
And I am here to say: Do what you want with your boobs! Whatever that means to you!
If your baby is hungry and wants to nurse in the middle of Whole Foods, whip it on out! It is organic! 😉
If your baby says "hey lady! It's about that time!" but you are at the park and prefer to be more covered, Do whatever makes you comfortable and keeps that baby healthy and happy!
If you are like "I wish I could breastfeed more but I despise pumping. So I chose to supplement for times when I am at work." Go right ahead? Do you need me to wash some bottles?
If you said from the beginning "I am NOT Breastfeeding! Get off my back! I do not want to!" Can I pick up some formula for you?
At the end of the day moms It is YOUR Business what you do with YOUR Boobs and YOUR Baby!
I just wanted you to know that!
Now I'm off to piss off some facebook friends! Hell, it's World Breastfeeding Week...I'm not doing it right if I don't get reported at least once right? 😝
#WorldBreastfeedingWeek #Breastfeeding #FedIsBest #YourBoobs #YourBaby #VIPDoulaSupports #NoMatterYourChoice