Customary to Korean culture is to celebrate the baby and mother on the baby’s 100th day of being alive (because both SURVIVED). When I first found out about this celebration I had instant visions of a big dinner party with all of our friends and their kids. But, the more I read about it the less I had a desire to celebrate it. The main part of the Korean 100 day celebration is praying to the gods, thanking them for keeping the mother and baby alive. You are also supposed to do a list of things with food to determine how healthy, rich and lucky the baby will be. Well, none of that was sitting well with me so instead I just decided to focus on getting through the first ONE HUNDRED days.
Here’s the deal: The first 100 days of caring for a human being (whether from birth or if you adopt an older child) are uniquely challenging. They are exhausting and trying and confusing and just plain hard.
And, no one seems to talk about them. And, I no why. You can’t put words to it. How do you try and explain a fleeting time in your life where you feel OVERWHELMINGLY in-love and happy and OVERWHELMINGLY exhausted and beat down?
I know during our 100 days I often did not say all I was feeling because I didn’t want to come across as ungrateful or even, dare I say, unable to handle the challenge. And, I also know I often didn’t say all I was feeling because I was simply too exhausted to try and make sense of how I was feeling.
So, you just get through it.
Do any of you pick up your feet and hold your breath when you drive through a tunnel? And, have you ever thought you were gonna have to take an overly dramatic breath in before you got through only to finally see the first glimpse of light and find a way to hold your breath for an extra 10 seconds?
That’s what it’s like.
You make it through, but your body will struggle and will BEG you for a breath and it will get it before you die, but it will have to be pushed to its limit first.
So, here’s my BEST advice for any of you preparing to add a baby to your life (whether it’s your first or fourth):
1. Figure out your baby’s 100 day of being alive and mark it BIG on the calendar.
Know that even on your worst days and longest nights you are one day closer to that 100 days. And, maybe not for every single baby, but for most 100 days is when you’ll see that things get SO much easier and SO much better. And, you’ll still be exhausted, but the new rhythm will feel good and natural and your new norm will be just that: normal.
Then, CELEBRATE, just like they do in Korea, that both you, the mother, and baby SURVIVED. Go out to eat and drink a glass of champagne or schedule yourself a massage or just TAKE A NAP. You deserve it.
2. Schedule a trip AWAY right around the 100 day mark.
You and your husband will undoubtedly be a little disconnected so getting away will help you reconnect and just rest together. Celebrate your new life as a family of 3 (or 4 or and take a little time to just reflect. Having a newborn and making it through those first 100 days is like being in a serious car accident, but knowing that everyone survived and you get a dream car out of it. Taking a little time to reflect on your life when you drove a Toyota Corolla and celebrating the fact that you now drive a Mercedes-Benz G-class is good and healthy for all parties.
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Corey’s vacation, which was set in stone last year, just happened to fall quite close to our 100 day mark. And, boy was it good. I had NO idea just how worn down I had gotten and just how much I was NOT myself until we got away. We went to my family’s lodge in Banner Elk, NC and just rested. It was so refreshing and that particular visit to the lodge is one I will probably never forget.
I haven’t even downloaded all of the pictures I took on vacation, but I have sorted through most of the ones I took at the lodge. I’d love to present them here using my hand-dandy blog templates from MCP, but I’m too tired so I’m just going to upload and insert. There will undoubtedly be a lot because I’m still a little sleep deprived and the simplest of decisions can be too much so scroll and enjoy (if you wanna).
Holy cow, is your index finger about to fall off? Forgive me!
Love to you all!