Then and Now (Or Five Months of Developing Mother Instinct)

22 Weeks and 5 Days

22 Weeks and 5 Days

Hav­ing a baby changes every­thing… for a lit­tle while. After the first angsty few months, life goes on and you are not so new at moth­er­ing. Sure, like in a new job, so you are still try­ing to please your big boss—but hey, the world won’t col­lapse if you check your per­sonal emails at work and take a slightly longer lunch break once in a while.

Well, it’s the same thing with moth­er­ing. There is “then”, five months ago, when Mark was a tiny lit­tle thing, and now, five months later. Mark is still a small baby but we’ve wisen up a bit.

I think.

So here are a few exam­ples of our reac­tions “then”… and “now”!

Then: “Mark drooled all over his t-shirt and mine! Let’s do a load of laundry!”

Now: Mark drooled all over his t-shirt and mine. Meh, it will dry… over yesterday’s drool. It’s baby drool, not toxic matters.

Then: “He didn’t fin­ish his bot­tle! He will never gain weight and the doc­tor will blame me, again. Come on baby, you have to fin­ish your milk!”

Now: Not hun­gry? No wor­ries, lil’ bud­dha. We will make a big­ger bot­tle of milk later.

Then: “Oh my God, the baby is cry­ing! Must com­fort now. Must do some­thing. Any­thing. Please make it stop!”

Now: Alright, he is not hun­gry, not in pain, he burped, he pooped… meh, he is just fussy. I’ll fin­ish doing the dishes and I’ll be right there.

Then: “Agheu, arheu, agheu, arheu…” Gosh, baby speak is so cute. Let record it. Oh wait, let’s make a video. Come on baby, talk to me!

Now: I love you Mark and yes, what­ever you are say­ing, I agree with you. But can you, ahem, shut up for a sec­ond? Mommy would love fol­low­ing the movie.

Then:NOOO! Don’t suck on your fin­gers! Let’ wash your hands thor­oughly first!”

Now: “Here baby, you can suck on the blan­ket. It’s clean. I think. No? Yeah sure, suck on my fingers.”

Then: “Come on Feng, let’s go back home. We will shop another day. It looks like Mark is about to cry.”

Now: “50% off on Levis jeans? I can totally keep Mark busy while try­ing them on!”

Then: “No point in going out to eat, he is not going to sleep through the meal, it’s going to be stressful.”

Now: “Let’s go for sushi, eas­ier to eat with one hand while hold­ing Mark!”

Then: “He hasn’t eaten in three hours. I’m wor­ried. I’m going to wake him up see if he is hungry.”

Now: Hell no, I ain’t wak­ing him up! He will wake up when he is hun­gry. Wanna watch a movie?

Then: Come on, let’s put him to sleep. He has to sleep. Babies sleep a lot, right?

Now: Let’s put him with his toys. If he is tired, he will pass out… eventually.

Then: He is mak­ing sounds. Must com­fort now.

Now: Oh, that? No, just play­ing with his toys. I mean, fight­ing with his toys. Poor Sophie la girafe!

Then: This pyjama looks a bit too small. I’d bet­ter retire it now.

Now: I will retire the pyjama when I can’t but­ton it up anymore.

Then: No one but me can take care of my pre­cious baby.

Now: Any­one wants Mark for a cou­ple of hours? Please? Please?

Then: Count­ing the num­ber of wet dia­pers and doing a search online to make sure he pees enough.

Now: Okay, he pees enough. Includ­ing on me.

Then: Chang­ing him as soon as he pees.

Now: Do you know how much pee these dia­pers can hold? Trust me—a lot.

Then: The first food he will ever try will be organic, ethically-grown and pre­pared in a com­pletely ster­ile and allergy-free environment.

Now: Mango ice cream at the Chi­nese restau­rant? Yep, he likes it. He also like lick­ing a spoon cov­ered with choco­late cake.

Then: Me, a mother? It feels so… weird!

Now: Me, a mother? Yep. And also a woman, a writer, a trans­la­tor, a part­ner, a friend… Yep, can do it all. I think.

Note: No baby was harmed in the process of writ­ing this article.


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. I glad to see that you’ve adapted being a mother. You’ve incor­po­rated moth­er­hood into your iden­tity and while you’ve strug­gled to find the bal­ance, lit­tle by lit­tle you’re get­ting there.

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