This episode starts with a few announcements. First, the free January retreat is here! Visit the Free Retreat page above to sign up for this 10-day online workshop that will guide you through setting realistic resolutions for 2018. We start January 22. Next, keep an eye out for Feminine February, a month-long book club that celebrates all things sensual, sexy, and feminine. You won’t want to miss that. And finally, I hope you’ll tune into my new Facebook live show, Office Hours with Professor Powers, which begins TODAY! You can catch it live every Wednesday at 10am Central Time, or watch the replay from the Wild Cozy Truth Facebook page
Today’s essay, In the Presence of Motherhood, describes all the big feelings around my best friend’s journey to motherhood. She gave birth last week to a perfect little boy and I was lucky enough to be present for it. Then I chat with my friend Kat Johnson. Her husband and my husband were college roommates, and they are some of my favorite people in the world. She tells me about growing up as a part-time Mormon and her decision not to continue with the Church. We spend some time talking about both of our experiences with blended families and step-parents. Then Kat bravely shares her experience losing her brother to suicide and has beautiful, simple advice for anyone witnessing another’s grief.
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If you want to reach out to Kat, her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the Presence
My best friend’s baby was born last week and I was lucky enough to be there for the first few hours of his life. I’m so grateful she asked me to be present and am honored to have this kind of relationship in my life.
When Jen first told me she and her husband were trying to get pregnant, my selfish gut reaction was sadness. I didn’t want anything to change, I didn’t want to share her, I didn’t want our friendship to get complicated. Part of me still feels that way.
But I did not expect the happiness I felt seeing her hold her child for the first time. What an amazing moment. The fear of losing my friend to motherhood is gone. Our friendship has permanently changed, but that’s not a bad thing. In fact, it’s a wonderful thing. After witnessing one another grow out of adolescence and into adulthood, now we get to witness one another settle into adulthood and into the people we were meant to become. There is nothing better than having a front row seat to the show of someone’s life. And now her life has expanded with a tiny human.
She’s already an incredible mother. I don’t know how she’s doing it. Unbeknownst to her, I was Googling every little detail the doctor and nurses mentioned out of sheer panic. (What aren’t they telling us?! Is something seriously wrong?! No, Renee, childbirth is just a big fucking deal.) Meanwhile, Mom was perfectly content letting the doctor and nurses do what they do best. You know, like a normal person. I realized I’d be the kind of new mother who would insist on a live-in nurse or who would be at the ER every 6 hours. I would not be a good parent. My nerves aren’t cut out for that kind of care.
For most of my adult life, I’ve known that I’m not built to be a mom. But I honestly thought holding a 2 day old baby would kickstart my biological clock. It’s still silent, though. My ovaries didn’t light up like E.T. like I thought they might. Yes, he’s a darling little bundle of squishy, wrinkly warmth but even looking down at his adorable tiny face, I thought, “I love you, but I don’t want one of my own.”
But that doesn’t mean I’m missing out on parenthood. I get to nurture in my own way. I’ll have plenty of opportunities to watch this baby grow up. I’m already embracing life as Auntie Nay, singing Broadway tunes to him, kissing his soft head, holding his tiny hands, thinking of him constantly… I’m a proud aunt and a proud friend. I can’t wait to snuggle him again… and give him back when I’m ready to go.