Motherhood

New York Sunsets Save the Day.

Our new neighborhood faces the Hudson River. This means that it’s extra cold and windy in the winter (we’ve been warned by all our neighbors!), and we’re a bit farther from restaurants and stores, but the flip side is that the evenings are so, so beautiful.

Yesterday we had a pretty stressful day — Anton wasn’t eating, I was exhausted from never sleeping (not to be such a broken record about it!) — and, while Alex took Toby to Shake Shack, my plan was to take Anton for a walk, call my mom and burst into tears. But when we got outside, we saw this sunset and everything felt better. The fresh air, the pink sky, the sound of water lapping. Thank you, New York, sometimes you really come through in the clutch.

(My little walking buddy.)

P.S. Hope I don’t sound like such a psycho all the time! These early baby months are no joke. :)

  1. newmomma says...

    I know this post is old but man does it help to know it’s not just me. I’m a new mom of a sweet 4 month old who simply doesn’t like to eat. I knew motherhood would be hard work but I had no idea how difficult it would be emotionally (the stress, the worrying, the confusion). Keep writing Jo –it helps so many of us and thank you!

  2. like. no love your candor.
    from one young mama to another..totally understand! Days when for whatever reason your little one refuses to eat…astronomic stress levels are very understandable

  3. sorry I am just reading this now. But i wanted to say thank you for your candor.
    I was a basket case whenever my little dude was not eating (and he was bottle fed…which didnt make me feel any better about life). Everyone around me would say “you are too worried. its no big deal if the baby doesnt eat for a day”
    (he was born such a small kid that if he had an eating ‘off’ day or two it would show on his tiny features dramatically).

    Its good you have a mama with whom you can call and sob. I am a recent expat in a country where i am a beginner at the language so …yeah… Left most of my freinds/family in the last country i lived …so yeah talk about a low point.

    but it helps reading about the experiences of other young mamas.
    (your boys are beautiful by the way)

  4. There’s truly nothing like a gorgeous sunset or sunrise. Somehow they are so calming, and draw you right back to what is really important. Maybe it’s because they make us seem so small? Not sure, but you just can’t beat it. Even just seeing photos seems to do the trick. :) Thanks for sharing!

  5. French food dictionary balanced in my palms, like a slab of slate flecked with twinkly mica. The weight felt substantial. It smelled like an animal in the forest. Pulling back a page, I’d realized I’d not had a real book experience in ages. I’ve become careless with books, viewing them as throwaways, like H&M clothing. I’ve been guilty of sacrilige. I’ve marked them up, hard covers too, with pencil, pen even, as if knowing the sufferable truth; modern books are defamable.

  6. a psycho?!? i’m amazed the quantity of stuff you do and especially all the blogging. i don’t have children and you do more than me. you’re not a psycho. you’re inspiring.

  7. This was in no way a psycho blog. Very touching and more than likely you could have helped out others in a similiar situation
    as you are in. I don’t have a child myself but I have helped raise some and been around alot of others. Keep up your faith and things will work out.

  8. exactly know that feeling : But when we got outside, we saw this sunset and everything felt better. And after calling with mommy:)

  9. I came across your blog while you were pregnant and I too was waiting on my second baby! I have a now two and a half year old and our new baby girl was born on September 15th. It is so reassuring to hear someone as interesting and collected as you talk openly about how nuts these first few months are! This weekend my husband and I had planned our first trip to my parents house in two months (our new baby’s first visit to Grandma and Pappy’s!). Well, it was a disaster. No one slept (literally-no sleep); our two year old refused to even go into the room he used to excitedly sleep in and instead had a sad tantrum all night. Needless to say, we went home early and vowed to try a new plan of action the next time we come. I was beyond disappointed and mulled over our unsuccessful weekend all day! This too shall pass! We will both get through these early months! Thanks again for your honesty!

    -Another Tired Mommy

  10. Lots of love and respect to you! My husband and I took our newborn son to the chiropractor after our midwife suggested it and it changed his whole demeanor. He was calm, ate better and slept much better too. Never in a thousand years would I have thought of that on my own! They say birth can really whack out a baby (mom too). <3

  11. I’m late to the party, but I want to say that your son Anton is beautiful, even if he is the reason for your sleepless misery. No, but really, I truly hope he’ll give you more sleep soon. My second son became like a whole new baby at 3 months… Hang in there!!!

  12. It looks so peaceful and he is so adorable! Keep it up! You are amazing! Impressive that you can still blog while moving in, taking care of a baby and a toddler!
    xx

    http://taty-in-newyork.blogspot.de

  13. Hope you’re feeling better Jo, *hugs* Xxxxx

  14. I loved this post and especially loved everyone’s comments!! I have an 8 month old and like all the moms above said You’re not psycho!! I wish that moms would be more honest about the bad days. It as if to admit it would mean we are bad mothers which is so not the case. Thank you for your sincerity!! You’re not alone! Xo

  15. Best to you! I also have two boys (3 and 1), and I’m just now starting to feel more normal again…less hectic, and like my husband and I have figured it out more. :)

  16. As the mom of three little boys, I know what you’re talking about… One piece of advice I got when I was going through a difficult time with my first baby was that “in 6 weeks this will all be a distant memory.” I don’t know why its 6 weeks, but that seemed to work for me. For some reason the sleepless early baby time seems to go on forever, while also going by really fast. It was nice to have a specific tangible goal… “if I can just make it through these next six weeks.” And a lot always seems to change in 6 weeks.

  17. I have been reading your blog for the last couple of years (I love it!) and I haven’t commented before, but I have to say, THANK YOU for mentioning your exhaustion! I just had my first baby at the end of August, and it has been the most wonderful and the most difficult experience of my life! I love my son more than I thought possible, but sleeping for 2-3 hours at a time night after night after night has really taken a toll on me. A woman I don’t know, who was walking with her toddler, stopped me on the street today as I was pushing my baby in a stroller. She said, “Oh, he’s so cute and tiny!” Then she leaned closer to me and said, “It gets better.” I laughed and said, “So you remember what it feels like to not sleep, right?” and she said, “Ohhh yes. I promise, it gets better.” It made my day. Hope this helps you too!

  18. you’re not psycho. Many went through the same thing in the first few months, some even went on to have harder journey (never really sleeping well, etc) for a lot longer, I hope Anton will get to adjust to good sleeping schedule and be easier to feed as time went on (sooner than not). Hang in there, honey.

  19. You are so not a psycho. Thanks for being honest, it’s what we all love so much about your blog. :)

  20. You are so not a psycho. Thanks for being honest, it’s what we all love so much about your blog. :)

  21. You are so not a psycho. Thanks for being honest, it’s what we all love so much about your blog. :)

  22. thank you for making me feel that I am not the only one who wants (and does) burst into tears when things with babies don’t go smoothly…recently i had a very complicated fracture in my leg, and i had a very difficult time with my 14 month twin girls that actually didn’t want to sleep, eat not even come to me, because i could hardly move…i was convinced they hated me!…I was so stressed out! thanks to my husband’s support i got over it, and realised they are just babies…it s too hard to be a mother sometimes!good luck!
    mygenerouslife.blogspot.com

  23. My son is a week or two older than yours, and went on a “boob strike” a couple weeks ago, refusing to eat. I was so tired and stressed out, BUT my Little Man finally ate, and all was well. A friend reminded me that a missed meal won’t hurt him, and it turns out he was pushing out his time between feedings. Best of luck, and hopefully you can grab some sleep this weekend.

  24. I remember those first few months with number 1 as being really hard and now I have number 2 coming at the end of January. I wondered if you had any tips for what has worked with Toby as a toddler while you tend to Anton. You mentioned a nursing bag that comes out just for the toddler when you nurse number 2 – has that worked? Anything else that helps when you can’t move from the couch and the toddler wants to play? Thank you Olivia (New Zealand)

  25. Are you traveling to France and could use a portable French food dictionary menu decoder that will fit in a coat pocket or a purse?  Do you just need a concise dictionary for those French recipes you make at home? The A-Z of French Food is a 4000+ entry, 142 page, lightweight, compilation of French cuisine gastronomy terms translated into English and augmented with explanations and historical anecdotes.

  26. Oh Jo! You are doing great. My kids are 4 1/2 and 13 months, and this first year of the second baby’s life has been the hardest most intense time I’ve ever been through. But a few other posters pointed this out, LIVE IN THE MOMENT! Don’t worry about later or what happened. Be there in the moment and don’t impose stress. When the baby isn’t sleeping, don’t think about what you have to do or how much you wish he would sleep, just be there. This year is gonna fly by so fast when it’s over that your head will spin.

  27. I’m so glad you’ve shared how you feel this time around. Feel free to do so and thank you for doing so. Sleeplessness is the main problem for new moms, I think. I had my first baby two months ago and you sharing your experience has made me feel less alone and more understood :)

  28. one of my favorite things about my commute home to brooklyn from midtown is how the timing lines up with the sunset. when i hop off the subway and look back to that mesmerizing skyline + sunset, i get this sort of accomplished, indescribable feeling… even on a day when nyc has totally beat me up :)

    meg

    http://www.twininthecity.com

  29. you’re doing a great job, Jo!

  30. You don’t sound like a psycho! Sadly I don’t have kids, but when I’m really stressed and sad, nature always help. I’m not a “let’s go for a hike” or sporty person, but just sitting in the park, watching a nice sunset or feeling the wind or the rain makes me feel more relaxed and think that everything is going to be fine. :)
    xx,
    E.
    http://www.theslowpace.com

  31. Loving the updates about the new atmosphere. :)

  32. Aaawww! Anton is tooo adorable! I know he is frequently attacked with kisses. I’m sure it gets hard sometimes but hang in there Momma!

  33. That little face is the most precious thing I’ve ever seen. No you don’t sound psycho. You sound honest. I wish I had had an outlet for that type of honesty when I was in those first few months. I definitely needed it. Say hi to Anton and Toby’s dad for me.

  34. We need moms to be more vocal about how difficult motherhood is! Thank you for being honest!

  35. Complain all you want – it’s totally your right too :) The first few months are always SO hard, but soon enough they will be far behind you. Hang in there, and keep on watching that sunset. One of our favorite things to do in Battery Park was to have a picnic for dinner, because no matter how bad our days were, just being outside, seeing the water with the kids running around made up for it. Hugs! Audrey – This Little Street

  36. You take walks with your new baby!!!! How awesome is that! When my baby first got here (he’s 3 1/2 months now) I counted getting up to go to the kitchen as walking. You are an awesome mama!

  37. Aren’t those moments wonderful? I feel like its the heavens saying “You can do this!” Its nice to hear you be honest about how difficult it can be with a newborn (and another little one). You can do it girl!

  38. Please don’t apologize EVER about how tough it is with the little ones. It IS hard. And the sleep deprivation is astounding (and made me see why it’s used as a form of torture!). Vent all you like – after all, this is YOUR website. And you have lots of us out here (who have been through it) to support you. Hang in there!

  39. Hello from the other side. My youngest kid is 23, and he is only 12 minutes younger than his twin sister. Their older sister is 2 years older. Although it was a while ago (my husband was in medical school and never home), I recall with a shudder the sleep-deprived fog of those days. I imagined I would never get another full-night’s sleep. They grow, they sleep, you sleep. It’s so hard to get through sometimes–but it’s all worth it. I don’t look back fondly on those days as some said I would. I do really love my kids & I’m glad they’re here!

  40. Hang in there, friend! Know that other moms with babies (and toddlers too – insane right??) are rooting for you! One tip I found helpful in those early months… I always left good, soothing music playing in our family room overnight. This way when I got up to nurse the baby at 2am (and 4am and 6am!) I didn’t feel so alone. And the music made me feel happy and cozy. My husband and I also live by a new mantra that our friends with babes have also taken on: WE’RE DOING IT. When toddler and baby are going berserk and you want to rip your hair out, just think: WE’RE DOING IT. When you’re at a restaurant and your boob is totally exposed and your toddler is throwing noodles everywhere, think: WE’RE DOING IT. (Also, high-fiving husband helps too.) I swear!
    Thinking of you! YOU’RE DOING IT!

  41. I feel like that with our 5 month old puppy! I’m a wreck, I cried for weeks and it’s a dang dog! I have a new found amazement for you and every mother I know. Maybe that’s why women are so damn strong.

  42. I’m in New York for the month staying with my boyfriend who’s currently doing a photo internship (we’re from Toronto.) We were riding the F train home and I was admiring the sunshine on my fellow passenger’s faces, so when we finally got out at our stop and I saw this amazing sunset I was in awe. So glad we were up high on the elevated train to get a decent view. It was a pretty magical experience to add to my time here. I saw your photos on instagram too which made me happy. :)

  43. Beautiful post! It’s so true, sometimes the simplicity of a nice walk, fresh air, and a beautiful sunset can make all of your worries and cares disappear. It’s also a good reminder to live in the moment and not worry so much.

    You’re not a psycho! It’s true, the first few months are super hard, especially when you have more than one child! Live in the moment! That’s my new motto after having 2 kids and having plenty of my own psycho moments!
    http://itsazooatthezoo.blogspot.com/

  44. HUGS AND KISSES!! Xx

  45. Hello. I know you have a ton of comments telling you to hang in there (you CAN do this, mama) and I know you probably stop reading all the comments by this point, but I still needed to add to the chorus that there in light at the end of the tunnel. Boy oh boy, my second child (I have two sons, 2.5 years apart) WOULD NOT SLEEP for two years. I am not exaggerating. He woke up ever hour or two for two years. We tried everything. Nurse back to sleep, don’t nurse so he does not expect (when he got older), don’t cry it out led to cry it out desperation (that did not work for us), sleep with us, don’t sleep with us, drive, walk, go to bed late, go to bed early. Well, you get the idea. I was a walking zombi. It was so hard. But…at around two he just started to sleep, and went to bed well. He is 9 now and is the best sleeper ever. Goes right to bed at 8 pm, never argues about it, goes right to sleep and sleeps until a decent time. This will pass, but boy is it hard when it is going on. Keep going, mama. You are doing great.

  46. Oh my goodness, we are in the same boat! Our little guy is 8 weeks and I am ready to sleep. Walks are such a lifesaver! So is a glass of wine with dinner.

  47. Giiirrrrllllll I feel ya! I always felt worse at dusk-gearing up for the night ahead. I often repeated this african proverb to bring a sense of reality and calm to myself. “However long the night, the dawn will break.”
    Good luck to you, I am sure you are doing an amazing job and (eventually) it will get better!

  48. Never apologize for how you are feeling. Anyone who has had a baby/babies knows exactly what you are going through and can sympathize. My second was a really bad sleeper and I remember feeling all over the map with my emotions because sleep deprivation make everything harder. Hang in there. If I have learned one thing from being a parent, it’s that these tough times with your kids are just phases and they will pass.(although it doesn’t feel that way when you’re in them!) I sincerely appreciate your honesty because I feel so many parents can relate.

  49. Hang in there. I just cried through the first 4 weeks especially. At 8 weeks it got a lot better. I can’t imagine having a newborn AND another child! The best thing a friend did for me was to spend the night in the nursery so I could sleep – I pumped bottles for her so she fed my daughter and rocked her back to sleep every time she woke up – and I slept from 8pm to 8am – it was like I blinked and woke up! But I felt so much better. Even if you have to hire a sitter to do it for you – it is worth it just to get back on track. This too shall pass…:D

    • Oh and a glass of merlot and a piece of chocolate every night helps!

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  51. You’re a beautiful and normal mom and your baby is a beautiful and normal baby. As a mom of 3 boys, I was sometime caught by my mom or my dad secretly crying (to relieve the stress of it all) in the garden, in the kitchen, in my bedroom. (Parents seem to always know when something is going on with their kids no matter how old the kids become.) I loved my life (raising 3 boys and owning a fragrance company), but that doesn’t mean it didn’t come with hectic schedules, lack of sleep, and the wish to please everyone (impossible!). My boys are growing up in a flash and now it’s my oldest (16 years old) that is now finding me secretly crying in my garden, kitchen, bedroom. I’m crying now because he’s off to university next year. His hugs make it all better. Good luck and remember, you’re perfectly, beautifully normal.

  52. I have a 5 week old, so I’m right there with you. Sometimes it’s the little unexpected things that just make you take a deep breath and immediately feel a smidge better :)

  53. I almost hate commenting on your blog because you already have so many comments and I always feel like, “Jeez I don’t want to give that woman more to do.” But here, I couldn’t resist. I loved your line about being a broken record and feeling like you sound like a psycho. I think the same things sometimes! I’m in the throws of it too– just a few months ahead of you. My second was born in March. Anyway, for the sake of uplifting… here’s a funny letter I wrote recently on my blog to my old and dearly missed friend Sleep. Hang in there lady… it has to end at some point! http://aimeecartier.wordpress.com/2013/10/04/dear-sleep/

  54. Sounds pretty natural to me. With my second, who is now 11 months, I thought I had everything under control having been through it with my now 2.5 yr old not that long ago. They’re all different, and sleep deprivation is the worst. The good thing is this time you know there’s an end to it and it gets better, even when you feel like you’ll never sleep again. Hang in there!

  55. I just have to comment because you sound so stressed. My advice is to get an inflatable mattress and you and your husband bunk with your other son for a while. Give the baby his own room (in the crib) and see if he starts sleeping better. Crank the white noise, block the light, etc. Once he’s in the groove, you can move the crib to the other room and reclaim your bedroom AND your sanity.
    And as soon as he can start solids–do it! Start with protein (chicken) early. Here’s a recipe http://thecreamline.wordpress.com/2012/07/24/making-homemade-baby-food-chicken/

  56. the hardest time of my life was last summer when my 2nd baby was months old, my father was beginning chemo treatment, and i felt like i was nursing all the live-long day and had the worst thoughts about life. i was a hormonal hotmess! but man, life gets sweeter w/ 2, especially when your babies start playing w/ each other, it’s worth all the no-sleep, PPD bullshit of that first whole year of hell, i know you don’t believe me now, but it truly is worth it.

  57. Oh my gosh you do NOT sound like a psycho! In fact you seem super together, like you’re handling it all really well! I’m due in a couple months with my first and nervous about the transition. Such a good reminder to just go for a walk! Always helps:)
    ~Gaia

  58. Oh mama, you are not alone! And you don’t sound anything like a psycho :)
    Our baby girl is almost 8 months and STILL NOT SLEEPING. I am very familiar with the need to call your mom and cry. So familiar. It’s so hard to have two littles! And to be working on top of raising them is a HUGE challenge. You are doing an awesome job and it will get easier. Enjoy those sunsets and get yourself a
    burger too!

  59. Joanna. We’ve all been there and no one got us t-shirts. I’m the first-time mother of a 6-month-old and I still feel I’m losing it every single time the eating/sleeping patterns change. And I need to skype to my mom in tears, she just moved to Brazil. I always call her a bad grandma, just for “abandoning” us in this time of need (of her shoulders, of course).

    We’ll make it. And all our babies are the sweetest babies in the whole world :D