Along with a recipe for applesauce, which has become a staple in her family’s diet now that they’ve added a baby to the mix, Molly talks about how her writing is evolving as she transitions into motherhood. She articulates the need to strike a balance between recognizing her new reality and writing about it, and maintaining some semblance of her former self, who might, in fact, have been a little bored by all this talk of applesauce.
I’ve become a mother in the past couple of months.
It snuck up on me – not like the shocked awe of the word “pregnant” on a test stick; me perched on the bed and the brink of a new life. Not like the soul-altering pain and triumph of labour and birth, the story of which I carry with me like no other story I’ve created in my life; a story that I replay every day, a story that will feed itself and my belief that I can do anything.
It’s not the survival motherhood of those early days, singularly focused on keeping my baby alive. It’s not the mourning motherhood of the months following, when I painstakingly and reluctantly buried my former life and the woman I used to be, one day at a time.
When I had my little baby girl, everyone told me “the first year is the hardest.” I came through that year strengthened by a love so fierce my words fail to describe it, and simultaneously weakened by the thought of bringing a vulnerable little human into this sometimes frightening world. I was awed at the strength of my body to birth and breastfeed a baby. Humbled by the fact that I had no idea what I was doing, and yet I was doing what seemed to be the most important thing in the world.
Though my first year as a parent was filled with ups and downs, I have to say, it’s the second year that’s shaping up to be the hardest.
Let’s put aside the guilt I sometimes feel as I drop my baby off at daycare to spend eight hours a day away from her (and the extra guilt when I’m relieved for the “break”). Let’s not talk about dashing out of meetings to pump so that my wee girl could continue to suck back large quantities of breastmilk (or the panic I sometimes felt when I didn’t feel like I was bringing home “enough”).
Let’s talk about germs.
I knew. I’d heard about the petri dish that is daycare. But I was NOT prepared for what that would mean for my little baby and our family.
We spent from mid-December until approximately two weeks ago SICK. First it was the stomach flu, then Ada’s first ear infection, then cold after cold after cold after cold, another ear infection, fevers, throwing up. Ada and I passed germs back and forth from each other, going through more Kleenex, Advil and tears than I’d care to think about.
A few weeks ago, I finally went to see my naturopath, who had told me that she could provide me with some immune support to help me fend off bugs and stay energized.
The first thing she did was give me a recipe for this tea. Immuni-tea, as I like to call it. It’s full of immune-boosting ingredients, and acts like that giant glass of orange juice we consume when we feel the nag of a sore throat.
The best part? This tea is DELICIOUS! It tastes kind of like a chocolate chai tea.
So whether you’ve got a cold threatening to knock you off your feet or you just feel like whipping up a nice hot drink, you need to make this tea!
Here’s what you need:
6 cups of water
10-15 star anise
1 inch of ginger root, peeled
1 tbsp. cocoa
1 cinnamon stick
Honey to sweeten, if desired
Here’s what you do:
Put all the ingredients in a large pot and boil for 10-15 minutes. Strain, sweeten if desired, and enjoy!
P.S.: Um, in case any of you require me to make this disclaimer: if you are getting a cold, and you drink this tea, I cannot guarantee you won’t get sick. Duh? Okay, well, I had to say it.