Hello, Birmingham! It’s nice to be here.
This city still surprises me after almost 27 years. Growing up in Vestavia, I didn’t venture very far from Highway 31 or 280. So when I moved back after college, I broke out of my bubble and found an apartment in a different area of the city and took a job working downtown. And boy, am I glad! Not only did I finally learn to parallel park, but I also started to embrace Birmingham as my city, not just the place where I lived. Birmingham has so much to offer, and every community that makes up our wonderful city is so unique. What I love most about Birmingham is that it grows and changes a little bit every day. I want the same thing for myself–to grow and change a little every day, refusing to stand still or get stagnant–and I like that Birmingham and I have this in common.
Moms are the real MVP, am I right? I became a mom to a snuggly and sweet baby boy in Fall 2015, and it has been THE most challenging role I’ve taken on to date. It was hard even before he was born, with the nausea and constant vomitting, the acid reflux, the weighing more than my husband, and attending my high school reunion at eight months pregnant. But I survived, and here I am today, proud mom to a small human.
I am that mom–the one who does TONS of research and won’t stop talking about it. The one who had a super-detailed, month-by-month checklist in Evernote of everything I needed to prepare for baby’s arrival and spent no fewer than 20 hours deciding which crib mattress and car seat to purchase. And when our baby boy finally arrived, I realized something…I still had no idea what I was doing.
I soon discovered that being a mom is all about one thing: making decisions. The burden I felt to make the correct decision (and the intense doubt I felt after each decision I made) left me feeling both overwhelmed and exhausted my first few weeks as a mom. But I rallied and made it through–thanks to so many friends and fellow moms–and here I am today, a bit more rested and a lot more confident in my decisions.
I lost my mother to cancer when I was in high school, and being a mom without a mom is a journey all its own. She can’t share stories with me from her experience as a mom, and she isn’t just a phone call away for questions and advice. It took a village to raise me after I lost my mom, and I’m seeing now how important it is to keep that village around me as I embark on the journey of raising my own son.
So why am I here, again? Because of you. I wouldn’t be here without you. You are my village, and I am yours. You have asked the questions in the Facebook groups that I’ve been too scared to ask. You have answered my 3:00 a.m. posts when I was desperate for help. You have encouraged me in the grocery store line. You have shared so much with me, and now it’s my turn to share with you. Me and you, we are the same. We are mothers. What an honor it is to be on this journey with you.
Thanks for being my village, Birmingham. It’s really nice to have you.