Happy 2016, readers! Parents and non-parents alike, I sincerely hope your holidays were filled with decent rest, good company, great food, and even greater sex YEAH I SAID IT.
I know that the holidays can be a time of deep loneliness for a spectrum of reasons.
In 2015 I watched many people very close to me, more than ever before, (and some of whom I didn’t know personally, but whose stories I still followed) parent/partner/live through some difficult stuff. Circumstances that brought on struggles I know nothing of. Friends who’ve lost parents. Who’ve lost children. Who have dealt with major health scares, or worse, whose children have experienced major health scares. Who simply (its not that simple) have not gotten adequate rest in a long time and are feeling out of their minds. Who don’t have the flexibility within their job to stay home when their baby is sick. Friends who are experiencing strain in their marriage. Who feel like the only single person left on Earth.
If you fall into any of these categories, you deserve a thank-you. I mean, really, you deserve so much more, but at the very least…thank you. You made it to a brand new year, and that is so worth celebrating.
Thank you, moms of babies.
Thank you if you nurse, for being a caretaker, despite having the nutrients literally sucked right out of your body. Many times a day. Nursing is hard. Thank you for doing it.
Thank you if you bottle-feed for washing all of those f^&k!$# bottle parts each.and.every.day.
Thank you if you do a combo of breast and bottle. For pumping. That can feel like chaos to some (me), so thank you for feeding your baby the way you’ve chosen to.
Thank you, moms of babies, for going as long as you go without hot pampering showers. If I could come hold your babies each and every night, and send you into a clean bathroom with a fully stocked shower of nice, organic, lavender-scented body products with a sharp new razor, an avocado face masque, and a big glass of your favorite wine with instructions not to come out for 2 hours, I would do it, mama.
Thank you, moms of baby boys, because what an amazing thing you’re doing, raising young men in a time when it is so important to impart lessons that will set their generation apart in terms of respect, bodily consent, equal rights, and everything in between. You have a big job, so thank you for doing it the best way you know how.
Thank you, moms of baby girls, because what amazing honor it is to be able to mother a girl in this time. To teach her she’s not JUST gorgeous (oh, but she is) but also strong, smart, and so so so funny. That she has ownership over her body. And that she is the coolest ever.
Thank you, moms of babies, for doing all that you do and for running on such little feedback.
Thank you, partners.
Thank you for baby-wearing. For changing diapers. For taking initiative.
For putting butt cream on butts. For the night feedings. For the back scratches.
For everything you do to divide the workload.
Thank you, moms of moms (and dads of dads and dads of moms and so on).
Thank you, mom. The Nonis and the Darlins and the Grandmothers out there. When you come over, you do way more than is ever expected. I know why you do it, but thank you anyway.
Thank you for being at the heart of our villages. You bring experience, fierce love, and maximum nurturing to the table, and it feels good.
Friends without kids who get the shaft far too often because babies come first, thank you for understanding, or at least saying you do. That has to be so hard. Thank you. You’re amazing.
Uncles and aunts, friends with much older children to pave the way, internet inspirations, nice people at the grocery store, coworkers, THANK YOU.
Its important that I’m able to express some of the gratitude that I’m bubbling over with. Maybe its because subconsciously I’m scared all the help in my life will stop if I don’t show appreciation. Maybe its because I can’t bear the thought of someone as tired as I am exerting themselves without acknowledgement.
You made it through the year, and likely with fewer thank-you’s than you deserved. Let us say it a little more in 2016. Thank you a million.