Each mom has something that they feel especially proud of as a mother, something that they did that they will and have remembered fondly through the years.
When I was pregnant, many veteran moms shared with me their amazing journey with breastfeeding and how it was the best thing they did for their child. They raved about the effects of breast milk and the bonding that ultimately came from spending so much time with their baby.
This was not my experience. I will not go into the disastrous details of my journey with breastfeeding and will simply leave it at I’d rather stick a nail in my eye than go back to the first month of breastfeeding.
Other moms share how they love staying home with their baby and seeing them take every breath, make every move. They set up their play space every day and just sat and marveled. They were there for every nap, every cry, every nap that resulted in a cry. They went with them to baby play classes and stood outside the room watching them play because the thought of leaving them for even a moment was unbearable.
Again, this has not been my experience. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching Rafaella play and discover and – on occassion – sleep. We listen to music together: Buena Vista Social Club, Springsteen, Otis Redding. And I feel happy and satisfied when an hour of The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, Fats Domino, Queen, Perez Prado has passed and she is enjoying the music as much as I do. This is definitely one of my proud mama moments. But staying at home all day and not writing or creating, even for one day, makes me batty, and I imagine, a total hag. Ask Mike.
My very proud mama moment is more of a shared proud parent moment; something shared not only between mama and Rafa but with papa also. Maybe it is the foodie M.O. that Mike and I have in common, but each week before we go on our family shopping trip, we decide what vegetables and fruits Rafa will be eating that week. This in itself is fun! Pears? Carrots? Pumpkin? Apples? The doctor gave us so many choices.
After we’ve decided and bought it, it’s time to cook it up a la Latino. Peeling, coring, chopping (onions, garlic, etc. – think your own broth) and then we plop the vegetable of choice in to boil with the broth we’ve created. The fruit is a little easier with just peeling, coring, and steaming in a separate pot. When the veggies are soft we strain the broth and then put the them in the blender (think puree). This makes her food for at least a week if not longer.
Since eventually this would go bad, we scoop this puree into ice cube trays and freeze them. Then, transfer that to a bigger container for easier access. Every morning when I wake up to get her food prepared for the day, I take out 7 cubes and put them in a container to defrost and Wala! (is this how you spell Wala?!) (Added edit: Thanks to some readers, I am correcting that it is most certainly not “Wala” but Voilà. Thank you.) By 1:00 her lunch is ready to be eaten. It takes a little bit of work on the front side but it is so easy in the mornings to put a few cubes into a plate.
And the part that feels really good, really proud parent, is that we, her proud parents, are really nourishing her. I have back up fruit compotas (baby food) in the fridge, just in case, but knowing that what we are giving her is straight from the ground to her mouth (with obviously some washing) feels amazing. Feels Superwoman (umm… Superparent) ish. And by saying this I am not saying that if you don’t boil, puree, and bottle your own baby food you are not a good parent. I am simply saying that this happens to be our thing. This is our breast feeding, our stay at home all day and never get tired of it, parenting thing. Food. That’s our thing.