Please welcome Brittany, a new mama of the gorgeous 5 month old Cooper (she was featured on Fit Mama Friday while she was pregnant) and until not so long ago, an NYC blogger at My Own Balance. Recently, though, Brittany and her husband and baby moved to Brazil – a move they made when Cooper was just a tiny baby. If you know what it’s like to be a brand new parent, think about how moving to a new country with a different culture and language would affect you…you’d need to be brave or crazy, right? 😉 If anyone could make it work, though, it’s today’s guest writer. Brittany is smart, lovely and not afraid to try new things. I’ve been loving following her adventures as she finds her way around her new life in Brazil, exploring everything her new city has to offer. Thank you so much for sharing with us today, Britt and please give Cooper a snuggle from me!
Hi there! First of all, I want to say thank you so much to Carly for inviting me to post here today. Carly is such an amazing person and I am honored to be here. Tanner is the most adorable baby and I am so happy for your family Carly!
I am extremely interested in babies lately because I had my first one just five short/long months ago. I can’t decide if the five months have flown by or if my baby is secretly growing in dog years because on the one hand it seems like just yesterday he was born but when I look at photos from the first few weeks of his life, I don’t even recognize him (or myself for that matter!).
Cooper Michael Bendall entered this world on November 17, 2014, much to the delight of his parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins and so on and so on. After ten long months of waiting, the little guy finally arrived. You would think with all that time waiting for my little baby I would have been prepared to be a mother but I honestly don’t think anything can prepare you for the emotional roller coaster called motherhood.
Sure, I knew that babies cried and needed to be changed and held and woke up in the middle of the night. But intellectually knowing these things and actually experiencing them are two different things. I was surprised by just how much little babies need to be held and how much they cried when you put them down. I was slightly horrified that my previously very busy and very proficient self could really only muster a shower and about one meal a day. Not only that, I was scared.
I had no idea that the awesome responsibility of taking care of a very tiny, very helpless human being would weigh so heavily on me. I constantly questioned my ability to love him enough and care for him enough.
So, my husband and I decided we would simply things by leaving NYC, our home for the last seven years, and moving to a country where we didn’t speak the language and is still considered “developing.” Who in their right mind does that?
Unlike my expectations for having a baby, I knew that I dreaded moving to Brazil. I had been there once and it had rained the whole time. I was promised sun and warm weather and instead it was chilly and I didn’t have the right clothes to keep me warm. I knew the cuisine was heavy on meat and fairly bland—two things I dislike and I was concerned about safety.
We landed in Sao Paulo, Brazil at 6pm after a long flight from Sydney, Australia. We brought 14 suitcases with us and 5 of them did not arrive with us. We finally got to our apartment from the airport at about 8pm and my husband ventured out to find essentials like food, soap and toilet paper, while I started washing sheets so we would have something to sleep on. We ate dinner out of one of our pots that night and I fell asleep on the couch with Coops curled up under my arm waiting for our sheets to dry.
Although the start was a little bumpy, as the days wore on, I realized how much I was becoming to enjoy Brazil and being a mom. Cooper grew and became more social and interactive. He started smiling at me and I learned how to be a mom. As my relationship with Cooper grew, so did my relationship to Sao Paulo. I began to enjoy walking in the warm sunshine in the park everyday and heading down to the pool with Coops. I ate at some amazing restaurants that didn’t revolve around meat. I made friends.
In the last six months I have taken some of the biggest risks and made some of the biggest changes in my life, but I faced my fears of inadequacy, change and uncertainty and came out on the other side a happier and more enriched person. Would I recommend having a baby and moving to another country? I don’t know, but I would recommend looking at what scares you in life and then confronting those fears head on.
Brittany blogs at My Own Balance about finding her balance in fitness, food and life.