It was the day after our annual
Dia de los Muertos party when we found out about Emily. The night before, our
home had been filled with people stuffing their faces with spinach balls and
guzzling down mimosa punch and a variety of Mexican beers. Strands of skeleton
lights lined the bay windows and skulls with glowing eyes were clustered
together on the windowsills and the server. It was the first time in a long
time I didn't think about the fact that we had been trying to get pregnant for
the past three and a half years. That it still hadn't happened.
The next day, I took a pregnancy
test because I was a week late. I had been waiting for that time of month so we
could start another round of IUI. When the test said I was pregnant, I cried
and leaked snot all over my husband's shoulder. I couldn't believe it was
This year, when we had our party,
Emily was 4 months old. Once again, there were people stuffing their faces with
spinach balls and guzzling down mimosa punch. Strands of skeleton lights lined
the bay windows and skulls with glowing eyes were clustered together on the
windowsills and the server.
For me, however, everything was
1. The Invite
Pre-Parenthood: On my Facebook
invitation, when I list the reasons we are having our party, I write: "We
didn't want to compete with all your damn Halloween parties."
GIF via Tumblr
Post-Parenthood: On my Facebook
invitation, the snark remains, but I can't help adding a small, mushy bit about
"celebrating the moment we knew Emily was finally coming into our
Pre-Parenthood: I spend weeks
searching for the best possible decorations at Target, Party City and the
Dollar Store. I even print out pictures of sugar skulls for my husband and I
to color in together. I also put thought into an occasion-appropriate menu and
an upbeat playlist.
Post-Parenthood: Menu? What menu?
Why do you think we're having a potluck? Clean? Clean the bathroom? How about I
sweep the kitchen floor and call it a day? Playlist? What playlist? Who would
even hear it over the noise? I am also exhausted hours before the first guests are
even due to arrive, and daydream about canceling everything and instead
Post-Parenthood: We have somehow
become a daycare center. A 2-year-old girl tries out the rocking horse in our
living room. A 3-year-old boy shrieks at the top of his lungs and then bites my
father's arm. My own daughter sobs uncontrollably because we have skipped her
Post-Parenthood: The baby is
cranky and overtired because we have dared to schedule a party smack dab in the
middle of her usual bedtime. It takes me the better part of three hours to get
her to sleep. Unsolicited advice in relation to my parenting abilities occurs
throughout those three hours.