There were seven babies in my apartment today. Not including the one that's normally here.
I started a group for new moms of color in Brooklyn when I was pregnant because I was frustrated that I felt so crazy all the time and all of my friends were excited or commiserated with me but couldn't relate, at all. I was skeptical that making this group would even work because I am rarely outgoing and all I wanted to do all the time was sleep. But when I was awake, I was lonely. I moved the group to Facebook because everyone uses Facebook and meetup.com wanted to start changing me a monthly fee once I hit fifty members.
I really slacked on planning meetups for the past few months, because I was hugely pregnant and then I was the mom of a newborn. But I knew we needed to do something for the holidays. I offered to host a get together.
I always drive myself a bit crazy with these things.
I crave perfection a bit too much. I wanted the apartment to be dazzling, for Eve to be as precocious as possible, to have good snacks and drinks. I wanted to be an impeccable hostess and make it all appear effortless. That desire can really kill all the joy in a gathering. I've thrown parties where I spent the majority of the time running back and forth trying to make sure everyone had everything they needed and wondered, at the end, why I didn't have any fun. Today I forced myself to chill out at multiple points. It made a difference.
So many babies. Babies who could walk, who could stand, who could crawl, who could sit, who could hold their head up. Babies who could screech and laugh and babble. Babies who could reach and grab and chew. Babies who could eat solids. Babies who could smile. Babies who didn't understand why mommy was smearing glue on their feet and pressing them onto a shiny globe. Babies who loved to grab the shiny globe. Babies who desperately needed naps.
We drank wine and refused any guilt for doing so. We talked about breastfeeding, and not breastfeeding, and daycare, and the distant goal of additional children, or staying happy with the number we have. We grabbed our babies when they wandered too far or too close to something dangerous. We changed their diapers. We took pictures. We made ornaments - one, two, three, four times until we got it right, or good enough. We exchanged gifts. I opened my chocolate immediately and realized I hadn't really eaten all day. I wondered if my milk was nutritious enough, since I hadn't taken my vitamins, my Fenugreek, drank my mother's milk tea. We do many things for our babies; I could see the exhaustion lurking behind every smile. I promised that we'd eventually have a mom meetup without the babies. Everyone agreed.
Eve's ornament is hanging on the tree. It isn't Pinterest-perfect. I'm exhausted. There is glitter everywhere. Today was a good day.