Today’s post is a purely personal one. I wanted to share with you the ACTUAL first post I ever wrote for Mamas Café Society.
This time of year, when summer turns to fall, I always feel like turning over a new leaf. I get a huge rush of motivation, and I seek out fresh ideas and habits. Maybe it’s the remnants of back-to-school feelings. Anyone else?
I am also extremely pensive. The fall equinox tends to bring me major life changes.
In fact, today marks 10 years since I moved to France from America indefinitely. I was an entirely different person 10 years ago, and today I will take some time to reflect on that.
However, what I want to share with you is a post I wrote exactly 1 year ago, at the beginning of my freelance journey.
So on September 21, 2019, I sat down during C’s nap and wrote this piece… enjoy.
I’ll buy you a virtual cup of coffee and we’ll reminisce together.
September 21, 2019: One year ago
It is a gorgeous summer day, though nearly fall, and yet, as they say, WINTER IS COMING. I have all the shutters up in order to let in the last of this year’s glorious rays of sunshine. To my right, the orange roses and the cypress bush bend in the breeze. Directly in front, sweeping views of Norman countryside merge with the sliver of coastline, all golden sands and waves. The fields are brown now. The farmers have left one corn field but turned another. My eyes can pick out a flock of seagulls sitting there, distinct white points shining in the sun, as a cyclist rides by. A ferry from Portsmouth approaches the dock in Ouistreham.
Nine years ago, I never would have dreamed I would be sitting here writing to you. I had packed up my life and moved from small-town Pennsylvania to small-town Normandy, newly clutching my bachelor degree diploma and plunging headfirst into a part-time English teaching position.
Now, I live in this BEAUTIFUL house in this quiet village, with my hubby and our two kids: Blue, 4 (a whippet) and C, 1. Life is good.
But motherhood (and heck, adulthood) is not all rainbows and sunshine. Sometimes it’s hard, and sometimes we fail. When I became a mama, I felt so angry. It wasn’t just hormones. I was shocked to find motherhood so difficult and mysterious.
Why didn’t anyone think to tell me it was going to be like this? Why are we taught trigonometry in school, and not how to change a baby’s diaper? Why do we discuss conflicts on the other side of the world that happened half a century ago, but we never formally examine the challenges of welcoming a baby and all the changes that come with it—personal, relationship, professional.
Among my good friends growing up, I was the first to have a baby. In the past 14 months, two more of my friends have become mamas, and another is expecting. There is so much I want to say to them—to warn them of, perhaps—but no one enjoys unsolicited advice.
By day, I work in a hotel in town. Also by day and by night, I am C’s mama. I intend to share everything with you about our mother-daughter journey. I will explore not only the nuts and bolts of taking care of my child, but also the more, er, existential challenges that come with the job. My hope with this blog is to help not only expectant parents but also other newbies like me, who struggle and fail and sometimes succeed, as a friend would. At the very least, it will be cathartic to me.
Whether you are an expectant parent or a struggling new parent (like me!), this blog is for you. Mamas and papas, welcome to our corner of the internet. I would love this to be a safe, interactive place. Please leave a comment or drop me a message. I look forward to hearing from you!
Wake me up when September ends
As you can see, my ideas for this blog have come a long way! But I wanted to share this deeply personal piece with you today to remind you to take action and go after your dreams.
If you’ve been thinking of starting a blog, or really any other venture in your life, start today. Start NOW.
Everyone starts at zero. What you just read was my square one. Was it suitable for my actual first live post? No.
When I wrote those words above, I was light-years behind where I am today:
Jessica is an American expat living the dream in Normandy. She is wife to a French hubby and mama to a Franco-American daughter, born in 2018, and one whippet. Passionate about all stages of writing, this Francophile created her blog in 2020 to help others navigate motherhood with a focus on conscious parenting and bilingual parenting. Bonne lecture !