“And that is why I wish that you lived closer to me. One day we will meet halfway in Hawaii and let the kids meet each other . . . their future husband/wife…. Miss you lots. From one sleep deprived mother to another, BA”
Shortly after I became pregnant with Jack a friend told me that she was also expecting. I was overjoyed both for her and her wonderful husband but also for me. I had someone to share the woes of pregnancy with: ballooning breasts, queasy stomach and the endless struggle to stay awake after the lunch break. We both worked as teachers in the same school and each recess we would sneak away and discuss what remedies we had discovered, be a shoulder for a hormonal breakdown and discuss the differences between the Bugaboo and the Perego. Our friendship blossomed as our tummies expanded.
One night after we had returned from a neighbourhood restaurant, she and her husband sat in our living room and told us that they had some exciting news. They were moving to New Zealand, in a few weeks. I sat, stunned into silence. Of course I was happy for them that they were about to pursue their dream of living a more simplified life abroad but I couldn’t help feeling abandoned. Selfishly, I thought how this impending move was going to dash all of my maternity-leave daydreams. We wouldn’t be pushing our matching red strollers along the pathways of Riverdale Farm. We wouldn’t be meeting up once a week for our babies to play together upon a fuzzy blanket while we chatted happily about how wonderful life as a mother was. (Give me a break . . . looking back I see what a naive fantasy this was).
I was crushed. I was losing my buddy.
Amid tears and hugs goodbye, we made promises to email and Skype at every opportunity. These promises were not empty. In the months leading up to the births of our children and for nearly four years since, a flurry of emails has criss-crossed the globe.
Reading my friend’s written words has moved me to tears, encouraged me, and comforted me. Together we find ourselves thick in the mire of motherhood but the wonders of technology has bridged the geographical gap between us.
I was given a copy of The Mommy Chronicles: Conversations Sharing the Comedy and Drama of Pregnancy and New Motherhood from my mom who knew all about the lengthy emails that passed between me and my friend.
Sara Ellington and Stephanie Triplett, the authors, are good friends who were separated by distance when they were experiencing their first pregnancies. Their book is a chronicle of emails that were exchanged between them. They gripe about the physical changes of their pregnant bodies, share their emotional breakdowns, offer each other post-partum support, debate issues such as returning to work versus staying home and of course, the changing relationships with their husbands is a regular subject.
The women are candid in their exchanges. They are neither whiney nor sarcastic and they don’t paint an unattainable ideal of pregnancy and motherhood. However they do share the beautiful intimacies about being a mother that only another mother fully appreciates. Sara and Stephanie would make the perfect companion for any new mom.
Do you have a favourite “mom” book that you gift to your newly expecting friends?