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Mom Takes Notes 

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Before I became a parent, I worried about love. I had read that sometimes the bond between mother and child takes a long time to form. The moment my daughter, Saga, was born, I forgot to worry. I was too captivated by her — her long fingers, big eyes, dark hair and the sound of her cry that, unlike all other babies' cries, did not sound like a cry at all, but like the pleasant voice of my child.

Eight months later, it turns out that it is not feeling love toward her that is hard. It is being kind to myself. A baby does not come with a clear rule book, making being a perfect parent impossible. After giving up on my longing for perfection, I have come to see our family as a sports team of sorts. Those moments of calm when the needs of each member are met, that is when we score a goal.

— EJ


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