I’ll never forget the first time I felt like Supermom.
I was nursing my infant, Sadie, while my 2-year-old, Maya, sat waiting for dinner. The oven timer went off, and in one swift (and, in retrospect, dangerous) movement, without removing Sadie from my breast, I slipped a mitt onto my free hand and pulled a 400-degree tray of chicken out of the oven.
Damn, I thought. I’m good. Then five minutes later, Maya dumped her plateful of food on the floor and Sadie spit up all over my face. It’s an apt metaphor for parenting: One minute you’re killing it, and the next your kid pukes on your face.
No one alerted me to how disorienting that dichotomy could be, or how much patience, sacrifice, and grit this parenting gig requires. My friends had kids around when I did, so they were similarly shell-shocked. My own parents hinted at it over the years, but it didn’t truly resonate until I had children. (So thank you, Mom and Dad, for sending me to college instead of buying a boat.)
No one let on how rewarding parenthood could be, either. Some feelings — like the otherworldly sweetness of snuggling your newborn, or the elation of hearing her first giggle or watching her take her first step — are impossible to explain.
As editor of the inaugural issue of Metro Detroit Baby and Beyond, I’ve tried to infuse my hard-earned wisdom in these pages, which cover everything from how to spend those last kid-free months to the state of your body, sex life, and living room after baby arrives. We also feature expert advice to help parents navigate big questions, like when your child should hit certain milestones, and how to handle separation anxiety when it’s time to send them to school. The goal in all of these stories is to provide insight that will make parents feel less unmoored than I did during those frantic early days and months (OK, years) as a mother.
I don’t remember the last time I felt like Supermom, but truthfully, it doesn’t matter: Wherever the pendulum lies, it will soon swing in the other direction, and then back again, and so on. I’m enjoying the wild ride. I hope you are, too.