They say it takes a village to raise a child, so I’ve invited some fabulous bloggers to share their thoughts on motherhood. This week they’ll be discussing everything from pregnancy to newborns to baby gear for first-time moms. Renee Garner from Wolfie & The Sneak is an artist who blogs about indie design, art, food, motherhood and style. We met on Twitter, and when I learned she was pregnant with her second child, I was eager for her to share her perspective on Bunny & Dolly.
Change is hard for me, so a nine-month pregnancy is just what I need to get used to the idea of having a kid around. I guess we’re all that way, needing the transition in time, and for whatever reason, nine months is the magic number for humans. If it were any longer (elephants…2 years!?!) surely the birth rate would have bottomed out centuries ago.
This time around—my second pregnancy—is slightly different from the first in that I feel better prepared to bring a child into the world. I know firsthand what the sleepless nights are like, and I know the depth of my patience. I know the joys and excitement of each new day, each new skill and the satisfaction of answering each question asked, even when those questions are asked over and over and over again. I’ve lived through the mysteries that came with child #1. But child #1 is a girl, and we just found out that child #2 is a boy.
As you’ve probably deduced, I’m female. So when we found out the gender of #1, there was a quick and vast realization: All my “girl” experiences flashed through my mind—the understanding that the things I have been through will help me guide her. With the worry of bringing new life into the world came a calm; my personal experiences gave me comfort and strength in my ability to be her mother. It was all familiar territory.
It’s been 4 days since we found out #2 is a boy, and these 4 days I’ve been coming to terms with the fact that I have little knowledge of what life will be like for a boy. First, I mourned that this experience wouldn’t allow me to re-live #1’s baby days, an ignorant daydream that subconsciously fueled the decision to have a #2. It didn’t take long to realize the extent of that ignorance, because #2, no matter the gender, will be a unique and amazing individual. After all that inner-transformation, growing and mama-maturing, came the third acceptance: This child will have a penis. The prospect was terrifying and unexpected, it was unfamiliar…it is change.
What do I know about raising a boy? All of that confidence I had in answering the mysteries of bringing a life into the world whooshed out the window with the prospect of needing to stock up on peepee teepees. Luckily, I have my partner Charlie to lean on. He’s excited to share his experiences as a guide for #2 (and for me) through this unfamiliar territory. He knows what boy-ness is like; in fact, that boyishness often peeks through his thirty-something face. It starts with a glint in his eye and spreads across in a broad and confident smile, melting my pregnant nervousness, allowing the excitement of a whole new learning experience to begin.
I really appreciate your honesty about raising a boy, Renee. I felt the same exact way when I learned I was going to be a boy’s mom instead of a girl’s mom, and I’m sure that many readers had similar experiences. Thanks so much for contributing!
PS: You don’t need peepee teepees. Your little guy will manage to pee all over you and his surroundings anyway!