Jun Dishes

verb/diSH/ : food or sex or gossip or fiction in real life

Noah Is A Happy Sponge

This past weekend at the garden store, Noah happily followed this cool little girl with sunglasses up a little bridge, but then he asked for help coming down the bridge.

He reached out his hand…

NoahBridge

He’s all grown up but still my baby, and on Friday we party!

This Friday, Noah will be celebrating his second birthday and I am so proud of myself for getting this far. Yes, I’m proud of Noah and my husband Davy and hearts and rainbows packed to the rafters, but I really am fucking proud of myself. I don’t think it hurts to admit you’re a good parent when you’re being one, or to let another parent know you see their efforts too. Sometimes it’s a thankless job and we could all do with a kind word. It keeps you all in check when you’re feeling like a shitty parent anyway, because half the time it’s out of your control.

Sometimes I feel like a shitty mom. Not often, but sometimes. It happens.

But I realize now that being a good mom means being good to yourself too and not just to your child first. Equality’s great and all, but there’s no real equality when it comes to childcare around-the-clock under your own roof. In real life, moms are just in a whole different arena than dads. I can say this wholeheartedly now that I’m a mom and still-feminist. Oh my god…the f-word.

I have a lot more defects than you’d think, and there are demons that I fight every day, personal ones. Just because you become a mom doesn’t mean your precious child fixes everything in your life by default. Hell no. You now have to manage another life in addition to yours and whomever else’s, and juggle your insecurities or handicaps, anxieties and minor fails. Plus, if you’re a klutz like me, you’ll give yourself at least one new bruise or bump a day. It comes with the territory, and shaving your legs in a hurry so you can run off and play like a maniac with your son who’s about to turn two!

If sponges could be happy, then I’d describe Noah as a happy sponge. He is one of the happiest children most people have ever met, because they’ve told me so. He’s at the age where he’s soaking up everything in his environment and retaining so much of it, then recalling it at whim, and sometimes it’s freaky just how much he knows. Noah is, hence, a happy sponge.

I don’t know about other moms, but I’ve heard countless times of how I “shouldn’t be” down or sad because I have Noah to look at. It’s not just on Twitter or Facebook or blog, but in-person and in e-mail and text message. “Don’t be sad! Look at Noah!”

It’s like saying people without children are more qualified to be sad because they didn’t birth a child, or perhaps people without children are supposed to look to their dogs or iPhones instead?

Yes, I post countless photos of Noah all sponge-happy and yes, he brings joy to my heart and soul. And there’s nothing sweeter than Noah’s smile to me when I need it most, especially before coffee, but it doesn’t make everything else bad go away. Life goes on like anyone else’s, with or without children.

Happiness can be found in many places, but I’d be lying if I said that just looking at Noah made my day turn around. Days are meant to up and down, and Noah helps me through it. Believing a baby is a cure-all is dated and delusional.

I do realize that most people who say “How can you ever have a bad day when you have Noah?” or something to that effect, mean it in the sweetest way and they’re right. At the end of the day, my biggest accomplishment and new love is Noah. But there’s a real and dangerous epidemic beneath the surface, with new motherhood, in minimizing any mom’s bad day. To put it plainly, postpartum depression isn’t mythical or cute or “her problem” no matter how brief or long it endures. I’m not sure if I ever had it or have it now because the time has flown by so fast, and my hormones are raging under a new birth control pill anyway. In the end, nobody is to blame for it. Fun times!

But I look at my Noah now, and I see in him all that he’s absorbed from me in the last two years, and I know I’m a stronger mom because of it, good and bad.

Thank you to all the moms (and non-moms) out there who’ve helped me along the way!

Always dishing,

Jun

Posted under: Reality Dishes

Tagged as: , , , ,

22 comments

  • I have so enjoyed your writings since way before you found out you were pregnant. You have the ability to take people on your life’s journey, though countries away. I felt like I was with you in the waiting room to see if you were preggers, and then again during the hilarious yet scary delivery when Noah arrived unexpectedly early! I cannot believe that was two years ago! You are a stellar mom & wife and now buisness owner! Sometimes people “see” more when they don’t have in-person contact – and from what I read and what I see in all your faces, you have created a very loving and secure environment for Noah, therefore, happy child! Your husband adores you, even if you’re having a fight now and then; and I know your customers will only get THE best foods from you – as you put your whole heart and soul into whatever you do. You should be very proud of yourself – I’m proud of you, and I cheer you on!

    • Jun Song on March 18, 2014 at 9:45 pm said:

      Reply

      I know you’re always around Joyce. Thank you for never holding back,, her or anywhere else. I always love hearing from you. Life is crazy and I’m just about as crazy as I want to be. Ha! Thank you for the love and cheering on! :)

  • Anonymous on March 18, 2014 at 10:15 pm said:

    Reply

    My boys are grown now but I remember all of these feelings and “moods” clearly.
    In the end as I still beat myself up on what I did or did not do, what I did or did not look like to others
    All I know for sure is… I loved them with all that I had. They were (are) loved and safe and always knew that, wether I was smiling or not.

    It’s not easy, it’s not always joyful, it’s a judgmental world.
    The best we can do is the best we can at the time, and its enough, if with love in our hearts.

  • I remember years ago feeling bad because people told me I had no reason to feel bad. Having kids is the best AND the worst job ever! The happy sponge times are incomparable, but the hateful, screaming, mean, times are incomparable in a whole different way! Add in the puking and pooping, and us having to play nursemaid when we feel like puking and pooping, too…well that’s just icing on the cake of being a mom. We have every right to feel down sometimes, but we never forget how blessed we are to be somebody’s mommy. My happy sponges are 35 and 38, by the way. :-)

  • karenramb on March 18, 2014 at 11:32 pm said:

    Reply

    Well said! I still feel thst out of all the things I have accomplished. . My son is my greatest achievement. You should be proud Jun..in this “give me..I want..minute rice world “..you are still standing ..”demons” and all.
    love you guys xo

  • You’re welcome. You continue to amaze me. Through the good times and bad times you always keep your eye on the prize. I’m very proud of you and happy if I contributed a tiny bit.

    • Jun Song on March 19, 2014 at 1:44 pm said:

      Reply

      Yesssss you get it. It’s hard. Keeping your eye on the prize because life is ALWAYS hard just in different ways! :) I’m so glad we have each other. Thanks for the love K!

  • Just like with a job, you have to have time off. You can love your job with all of your heart, but you need that weekend. You need that vacation. With a child, that time off is limited. And you can’t always take it when you NEED it. It can be overwhelming. Don’t ever feel bad about needing time away . The little sponge will see you taking time for yourself and will learn from it. I was a sponge once. As were you. We are still sponges taking in, but as we age, we squeeze out also. We absorb everything at Noah’s age. Good and bad. It is a time of learning the basics and absorbing life lessons. We are still absorbing, still learning. When the absorbsion stops, we die. <3 ya.

  • Dear Jun,
    If you have the feeling you may have Post Partum Depression, Please, please go to your Dr. I know you are an intelligent woman, but sometimes women think, it will just pass. Don’t do that to yourself, don’t suffer needlessly. I know it’s none of my business, but I’ve seen it first hand. You said yourself, you need to take care of yourself also. Please think about going to the Dr. It can’t hurt, only help. And knowing is power for you to handle it. I hope you will keep us posted. I want to know that (you), Davy & Noah are All happy and healthy. With opening your new shop you have added stress. Now is the time to find out. I hope you don’t feel I have overstepped. I care.
    Hugs, Aileen

    • Jun Song on March 19, 2014 at 1:50 pm said:

      Reply

      Thanks Aileen. I speak to my doctors openly, and to others who need to know what’s going on my head. A lot! Ha.

      What I was trying to relay was that moms need to treat themselves better…part of that is speaking up and saying no sometimes. :) I switched up my pills after talking to my doc and I just love the healthcare here. It’s much easier, accessible and affordable to talk to a professional if you need to.

  • Being a non-mom who posts pics of her dog, I’m not sure which category I fall into.
    Or do I just need a private room? <3

    'Duality' in life is tough.
    Being a woman doesn't do much to ease that fact.

    • Jun Song on March 19, 2014 at 1:46 pm said:

      Reply

      I think that’s just it! We all have issues and cope in different ways and having a kid doesn’t make it easier or harder or black and white, it just adds a different layer :) Duality and contradictions oh my! :)

      You hit the nail on the head…I’d love to hear from men / dads!

  • Gosh, I can’t believe he is turning two already! Ya done good, Mama, and I’ve no doubt you’ll continue to do so. A major part of all that soaking he’s been doing is because you’re exposing him to so many good things… part exposing, part genes… and heaven knows his genes are awesome! Enjoy his party… and in case I’m not around on his day, and am playing catch up next week, Happy Birthday to Noah! xoxo

Feel Free to Dish!