A Love Letter to The Mom Hour

A Love Letter to The Mom Hour

On Halloween night of 2022, with my husband at my side, I pulled my 40-weeks pregnant belly uphill through our neighborhood. The main street is legendary for its trick-or-treating, and it was the perfect night for some hopefully labor-inducing walking. In a black t-shirt dress and white sneakers, I walked confidently, though not quickly, uphill, past hundreds of costumed trick-or-treaters rushing ghost-covered lawns. I ran into a few families who knew me from my days as a children’s librarian. People offered their congratulations on my obvious impending birth. They asked kindly about my due date. “Tomorrow”, I said, a weak smile on my lips. Parents, both men and women, were sympathetic to my condition, nodding in a way that seemed to say, I remember how it is.

We survey the costumes with delight. There are characters from Stranger Things. Somehow minions are still popular. Classic princesses and superheroes, we spot at least a dozen Spidermen. I rub my belly. My girl is usually still when I’m out walking, presumably rocked to sleep by my steady movement. She always wakes up to give me a few kicks in the ribs as soon as I lie down at night. It feels surreal to me that she will arrive at any time: that a real, flesh-and-blood human being will join our family in what could be only hours or days. For just a moment, I put aside the thoughts and fears around birth, and I imagine what life will be like when she’s a little girl.

I imagine our daughter, one day donning a costume on another Halloween night. I wonder what she’ll be like, who she’ll want to emulate on this day where she can be anyone or anything. I wonder if there will be years when it’s cold and she refuses to wear a jacket over a thin fairy getup, or years when she’s sweating bullets in her furry catsuit. Might she cry over the loss of the stethoscope meant to accompany a vet costume, or insist that she bring her entire collection of stuffed animals for effect? Could she be shy and need some gentle prodding to approach a spiderweb-clad door, or will she be loud and eager, needing reminding to be careful of the neighbor’s flower beds? Which candy will she love? Which candy will she hate? Who will she be? There is so much of her that I long to know.

the mom hour episode 367 house rules for halloween

I had some contractions that Halloween night, but I would not go into full-on labor until early morning on November 4th. She took her time, joining the outside world on November 5th, Guy Fawkes Day. I think it is appropriate that somewhere in the world there are fireworks accompanying her arrival. Her birth was complicated, her first days wrought with feeding issues and overwhelming fear that I would turn out to be wildly incapable. But with a rock-solid support system and a lot of grace, we slowly figured it out, and I began settling into my new role as a mother.

One night, while I was up for a nighttime feed, I searched for something I could put in my ears that would keep me occupied but would not disrupt my tiny baby. Bored by music and without the attention span for an audiobook, I searched for mom podcasts. I found The Mom Hour and the rest is history.

Drowning in information about the newborn stage, I turned to episodes of The Mom Hour that had more to do with later stages in parenting, and, admittedly, mostly the fun stuff. Two moms with decades of experience talking about managing Halloween candy intake and when the perfect time is to carve pumpkins? Yes, please.

Christmas episodes were next. I listened to everything they had to say on holiday traditions, gift wrapping, and their favorite holiday picture books. The “House Rules” episodes became my favorite, a structure in which they poll real families for their practices and tips on a specific topic. Moms all over the nation share the minutiae on how they handle things like back to school, kid birthdays, busy mornings, and the like. I cannot begin to describe my delight in hearing about these things. The thought of someday taking my daughter shopping for school supplies makes me so giddy I am almost embarrassed. Almost.

the mom hour episode 393: house rules for gifting and giving

I ingested information about things that had nothing to do with my current season of motherhood. Though there were episodes in their vast catalog on topics having to do with my the newborn season, I didn’t want to listen to those. My entire day was devoted to the newborn season, and I wanted an escape from it. I was glimpsing beyond the newborn phase into something else ahead, and I experienced so much comfort in it. I had to know that there was something different in my future. That one day she would eat something other than milk from my own body and that someday she would sleep through the night. That I would get to watch her personality take shape over the years. That I would become acquainted with her strengths and flaws and gifts and hopes and fears. That she would grow into someone worth knowing and I would get the immense privilege of a front-row seat to all of it. To see who she chooses to be on Halloween.

And now I know. I know how quickly it goes. The first year of her life has gone by in a blur, a soft haze of grit and beauty. She has changed so much. I have changed so much. I try to enjoy the season that we’re in because it will all be gone so fast. This version of her will pass, and I’ll be glad that I slowed down to drink it in. But when I pop in my earbuds and listen to The Mom Hour, I dream about what’s to come and it provides me a small delight. It reminds me that every season, with all of its joys and struggles, will end, and that a new one will take its place soon enough.

the mom hour episode 367: simple summer rituals

I love everything about this podcast. I love the topics they cover. I love how different the hosts are in personality and the notable ease with which they traverse their thoughts and experiences together. I love the way that they share their opinions without judgment and are acutely aware of the immense pressure that moms are under. I love their senses of humor. I love that they are willing to share challenges they’ve experienced, the stuff that makes a mother feel not so alone. I am impressed by the wisdom they demonstrate by holding back at times, honoring the privacy of their family members by treating some topics as sacred. I’ve never heard them speak unkindly about their husbands, even the ex-variety, and this moves me for some reason. They make me laugh and think and, more than anything, they provide an outlet where I can take a break from the mothering that is in front of me and dream about the mothering that is ahead.

The task of motherhood is robust. It requires much of me, more than I ever thought I was capable of giving. And I have really only just begun. There is so much parenting ahead of me. It’s going to be beautiful and wild and hard. There will be challenges I cannot even imagine just now. So I will allow myself to daydream about Halloween costumes. I will allow myself to daydream about her.

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Disclosure (Let’s be honest)
This website contains posts with affiliate links, meaning that I receive a small commission if you purchase a book I’ve linked— at no extra cost to you. I’ll always be upfront with you when a post is sponsored or a book is gifted. All books I recommend are books I actually read and enjoyed.
No joke.