As I finish up the final touches on my website using Squarespace, a web design platform which has been a huge help to a non-web-programming person like me, I think back to all the times I told myself, one day, I'll start my own blog to document my life but never did. I am really doing it now!
These days, my life is all about Motherhood. Becoming a parent steered my life into a very different direction as I find myself moving across the world from being a Pastry Chef in Paris to a Stay-Home Mom in California. You know how you picture motherhood to be like and then you meet reality? Frankly, the first two years after Kyan was born went by in a blur. Amidst trying to figure out why he threw up each time I laid him down after nursing to learning to drive on the wrong side of the road to dealing with living in a country with no friends and family close by to vent, chat, lean on, I am surprised I survived. Many meltdowns and lengthy discussions that sometimes feel like a negotiation were a normal routine in our marriage during Kyan's early months.
Kevin and I crashed into each other. We fell in love, got pregnant and got married within a year of dating. If not for both our willingness to work through our issues and fears, I would certainly not be sitting here right now. People don't tell you married life (especially marrying someone as strong headed as you) plus raising a baby together is this hard, at least in the beginning. There was a lot of soul-searching, confusion, frustrations and compromises. But there was also a lot of love, admiration, respect and kindness too. It was quite a ride to say the least. Now that Kyan is a little older, a little more independent, and Kevin and I have had a few years of being married under our belts, I am happy and relieved things are starting to flow.
Having Kyan has absolutely pushed me to grow up. And when I say grow up, I mean letting go of my childish ego and expectations and learning to listen and act, not only with love, but also mindfully. It's like becoming a mother gave me super powers to suddenly set my own interests aside. I realized there are more important considerations that factor into a decision when you have a family. Priorities that never mattered before a child came along are suddenly on the top of my list. I knew I could never go back to my old career because quite simply, it just does not feel right. I dove into my newest and most important role Kevin gave me - being a mom.
I wonder a lot about many things. I read about attachment / mindful / gentle parenting, Emmi Pickler, co-sleeping, baby wearing, Rudolf Steiner, Dr. Sears, vaccinations, taking in whatever resonated with me, practicing calm when Kyan falls, encouraging independence and problem-solving when he's stuck. I remember sharing my findings with Kevin at night, reading in bed, as he snoozed off (not because he wasn't interested but because he was exhausted), excerpts from articles I found interesting and helpful. I researched for days on end for the best breast pumps, bottles, best cloth diapers, best deals, coupon codes, you name it, I covered it.
Now that Kyan is 3.5 years old, even though the wondering and researching for knowledge and the best deals hasn't stopped, I am starting to have a little more time and energy to do some things for myself. I found myself wanting to be more than a mom. I wanted to be Kelly again and not just Kyan's Mom. Before I had Kyan, I whole heartedly pursued things in my life I was passionate about. I was developing my own line of desserts that were gluten, eggs, wheat, soy, refined sugar-free. I ran an online bakery taking custom orders for allergen free cakes, gave classes on gluten-free vegan baking, traveled around France, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, for fun, inspiration and work. I went to retreats, took time for myself for personal growth and meditated. But I seemed to have naturally stopped feeding my passion the day Kyan was born. I stopped actively doing things I used to love it feels like they vanished once I started caring for my child and running a household. I remember sometimes in my mind I still have my own interests, my own thoughts, my own desires, that has nothing to with my child or husband, but they were rarely executed.
It was pretty overwhelming in the beginning after Kyan's birth. But it's not like I didn't do anything creative, fun or adventurous in the few years of raising Kyan. It was a different kind of fun and exhilaration from what I had known all my life. Being with Kevin had given new meaning to the word "adventure" for me. I had never hiked a mountain, backpacked, skied, off-roaded before I moved to California four years ago. Now, every road trip we take is filled with outdoor fun and excitement and I love it. But I also went from being a Agnes b. city-loving girl who explored food, museums, innerwork, to a Patagonia nature-loving, four-wheeling camper.
Do I miss being the old me? Sometimes. Mostly, I miss embracing the free-spirit in me to just up and go do things I want to, without a worry, without having to consider a hundred things. I do miss taking a leisurely stroll around a museum, checking out new pastry boutiques sampling new flavor pairings, writing in my journal sitting by a cafe, chatting with strangers about life, arts, culture and not just about my child. But I don't want to go back to being just the old me. I love many aspects of my life here in California now. I love being a mom to Kyan and a wife to Kevin and living our adventures together. Surely I can do this and find a way to be plain ol' Kelly too.
As I type, Kyan is in Sedona, AZ visiting with his grandparents. We dropped him off after our 12 day camping road trip in Colorado. I am very lucky to have in-laws who dote on Kyan and respect our parenting styles. Because I have them, the network of friends I have come to rely on, and a husband who works hard to support us, plain ol' Kelly resurface and start to breathe again.
Hence, My Little Bakerina is born. My little world that contains my unadulterated feelings, thoughts and inspirations. Here, I do what I love and share my passions, adventures and discoveries, my mostly wonderful and gently humbling journey into, being more than Kyan's mom.