What Motherhood Feels Like. (honestly)


Here I am- 2 months exactly since little Hugo was born and turned my world around. It really goes by much much too fast!  2 months seems like an eternity and yet I feel like I just held him for the first time. That saying, “Long Days, Short Years” really is true. Overall, I feel pretty good about how things are going. Every single day is easier than the one before, and I finally think he’s old enough for me to notice patterns that actually stick.

In the beginning we’d have something like 3 days in a row where he took a nap at a certain time and I’d think I “got him” you know? “Hugo always takes a nap at 3…” and then just like that, the next day, everything would change, he’d not take hardly any naps and I’d be flustered and confused.


It seems like babies change and grow so much that as soon as you master one “problem,” they go through a different phase of development and there’s a whole new issue!

I had days in the early weeks when I was all alone and the poor thing was screaming bloody murder and I just didn’t know why. He was fed, dry, burped and had just woken up from a long nap. I couldn’t for the life of me understand why why why he was crying!? It’s infuriating and frustrating and makes you want to punch a wall. You want so badly for your sweet baby to be happy and when you’ve done everything in your power to soothe them and nothing works, it sure is tough.

It was around that time I discovered the vaccum cleaner. (Thanks Mom!)  Man oh man was that a game changer. All I had to do was turn the sucker on and the crying stopped. Instantly. Something about the deep loud white noise and vibrations was just what the doctor ordered and for 2 weeks the vacuum was almost always on.


Then that phase ended and we’re onto something else. See what I mean?

Another thing is outings. I’m a girl who loves being out and about. Walking around the city, exploring my neighborhood, running errands- all of it. So it’s not much of a surprise that I was eager to get out with Hugo when I had recovered enough. Short stroller rides around the neighborhood then turned into braver excursions. An example is on my birthday when Andy and I took the stroller with us into the city to walk around the East Village and have a special lunch. (This ultimately ended in disaster with each of us taking turns bouncing a screaming baby outside while the other ate.) Then other days- he’s great and sleeps the whole time. It’s so hard to predict what will happen. My biggest fear is him having a hunger meltdown (or worse a poopy blow-out) when I’m somewhere where I just can’t take care of that need,  (like on the subway.) I found that if I bring an oz. or two of pumped milk with me I’ll be much more relaxed in case hunger strikes when I least expect it, (and of course those are the times I never need it!)

Family Pic

Luckily I’ve found great activities like baby/mama yoga and the “Crybaby Matinee” (a movie designated for mamas and babies- crying is allowed and there’s even a changing station,) that make me feel at ease about nursing in public and not worrying if he needs to be changed.

Every day is different, every day is better. Sometimes when I’m in the recliner nursing- with no water in my glass, the remote on the other side of the room and no food in arm’s reach- I feel a bit trapped. Literally. It’s times like those I feel frustrated that I can’t take care of my own needs, knowing that even though he’s asleep,  if I try to put him down he *may* wake up- and is it worth it? Even if I’m thirsty, hungry and needing to pee, I can still watch TV and browse facebook on my phone for a few minutes!

Anyway- that is my scattered train of though regarding this early part of motherhood! I really do love it though… I love that baby to the moon and back, and I try so hard to enjoy each moment when he is so little. Even in the middle of the night, through my exhausted, zombie-like glaze, I try to savor him being so needy of me and sweet. I know these moments are all fleeting and I’ll miss them soon.

Oh, and it’s true that I will likely never really get a good night sleep again. The truth is though, I’ve just about forgotten what restful sleep even feels like. Yes- I’m beyond exhausted most of the time and some nights poor babe will only actually sleep on my chest, but I try my best to cherish our special Mama/baby moments! :)


  1. Love this! I’m currently ‘trapped’ as I’m reading this with my 7 week old asleep on my chest, the laptop is beside me but is out of battery and the charger is just out of reach! Plus it’s 10am and I’m dying for breakfast but as you said the chances are my baby will wake up if I put her down to get those things so I’ll wait it out! I too love my baby more than anything in the world but nothing prepares you for how hard this will be! Hugo is adorable by the way!

  2. Aw, I love these pictures and can’t wait to meet Hugo! Funny about the vacuum, my friend’s newborn loves the hair dryer… go and figure! I bet you are one great mama and Hugo must feel so loved.

  3. I LOVE Hugo’s latest photo. He’s getting so big :). You were on my mind this morning when I was putting together the dough for “no-knead crusty artisan bread”, so it was fun to open my e-mail to a picture of Hugo! You’re doing a great job with him, Audra. It’s tough, but just follow your instincts like you’re doing and everything will be fine. I remember when my first son was born and I felt just like you do. Everything was new – uncharted territory so to speak – and I was scared to death. In spite of that, it’s now forty two years later and he’s doing great LOL!!! Then came my second son, and he presented his own set of problems with projectile vomiting and severe colic. Even so, I felt more relaxed because other than the colic, most of the things were familiar to me. Forty-one years later and he, too, is a healthy and happy man. Then came my daughter who was as easy as pie. Being so busy with toddlers made me a very relaxed Mom with her. She quickly got fed, burped, changed, and carried on my hip as I tended to the needs of the others. I didn’t have time to worry about every little thing that she did or didn’t do. Worked like a charm!! Thirty eight years later and she’s happy as can be. They each have two children of their own and are great parents. Somehow, it all gets done :). The good weather is coming and you, Andy, and Hugo will have a great time being out and about as much as possible. Hugo will be less and less fussy as each month goes by and less needy as well. What a great age he will be for the summer months!! So much to look forward to……………..

  4. Your little family is just adorable, and things will only get better. I tell all new mothers to enjoy each and every stage of their child’s life, it goes by so quickly. At my oldest son’s first birthday party (so long ago), my mother told me I’d be surprised how quickly the next 17 would go by. Not only that, but both of my ‘boys’ are now in their 30’s and to me it was a blink of an eye. So enjoy, my dear, enjoy.
    By the way, your food looks as marvelous as Hugo does.

  5. Vacuum and hair dryer work like a charm for me. I totally hear you about feeling trapped sometimes. I hate thinking that because I feel like I am being selfish. Like all I want him to do is nap so I can bake or cook and try and get back to my blogging thing. Not that I don’t loooooove my son and loooove being a mom but I like to be something else too and feel like I have another purpose. Andy is about to turn 4 months and it is going by way way too fast I am definitely taking advantage of every snuggle but not too much because I don’t want him used to only sleeping in my arms. On to the next adventure, cereal and teething! Yikes!

  6. Sounds like you are rockin’ mamahood, Audra! And Hugo is just precious. I love the Crybaby Matinee – what a fantastic idea! Looking forward to hearing more updates in the future. xo

  7. Ah Yes, 10 years ago I felt the very same way. Very elequently put. You have time to write, so thank you. I remember going for a walk by myself let’s say and sitting there in shock. I realize now it was a traumatic shock. I was 38 when I had my only child and I think that’s why it was more traumatic.
    White noise is great. In your belly they listen to the working of your body and well it’s noisy. So the vaccuum/blowdryer helps mimic that. My daughter used to like constant movement. The swing was a great investment. I always thought I should hook up the stroller on a treadmill. We would drive around wanting to drive through the red lights. So we would crawl to the lights not wanting to stop.
    Take one day at a time, one breath at a time.
    Enjoy the journey/ Every grey hair, you will have earned.
    keep writing…

  8. Love reading about your experiences as a new mother. All those memories came rushing back and as I read, I found myself shaking my head “yes. Yes. Yes.” Relating to each word and feeling. As exhausting and draining as it all can be, I miss those days of sleepy babies of my chest or in my arms unable to move. Those moments are so precious! Hugo is gorgeous and your family is beautiful. Enjoy every second of it!

  9. First of all, he is adorable, and lack of sleep or no, you look great! I have 2 daughters, the older one is 3, the younger one 3 months. You would think the experience with the older one would help, and it definitely did, a bit, but infants can be different from one day to the next, and even more so from one baby to the next! Almost no tricks that worked on the older one works on my baby, and I have to keep re-configuring her schedule, as you said. But don’t worry about never getting to sleep as you used to. Once they start sleeping through the night, so will you! Good luck!

  10. Thanks for sharing your experiences so honestly! Echoing the sentiments of the other mothers, I totally relate to everything youre saying. That trapped feeling, the frustration combined with incredible love… My husband and I spent the first 4.5 months taking turns bouncing and eating dinner! My daughter is 6 months old now and though much has changed for the better since she was a newborn, there are always new challenges. I really struggled with the early months, but it sounds like you’re doing incredibly well keeping sane! Keep trying to get out, make mommy friends and try new activities. Before you know it you’ll be listening to the same heartaches from another new mom and you’ll be the one giving advice :)

  11. Loved t his post! I can relate to it so much, as I was the same when my daughter was Hugo’s age. In no time at all though, you’ll be whipping your boob out in public without a second thought – something I thought I’d never do. You’ll also get a good nights sleep again! It took my 7 months until I decided to just let her scream – 2 nights without a couple of screaming sessions and we now get 12 blissful hours each night! Good luck and enjoy your journey, it does go soooo fast!

  12. Great post, Audra, very relatable and honest. I think there’s so much pressure on women to be perfect all the time, especially in motherhood when you’re just trying to figure out what on earth you’re supposed to be doing! I admire you being open about this. Hugo’s a lucky guy to have such a well-balanced mom :)

    We are thinking of trying next year (which is actually a big step for me even to say, because that feels surreal), and I’m trying to remember that everything WILL change, but in many ways, for the better.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *