I’ve been mulling over this post for a while. I’ve wanted to share it, and have needed to get it off my chest, but honestly, I’m scared that this post will come across the wrong way, I’m scared you’ll judge me, I’m scared others will judge me, but mostly, I fear that I’ll end up judging myself once again.
See Max, even before you were born, I adored you. I loved my pregnancy and when you were born, I was besotted. Without question. And I felt bonded. And everything went well – from getting you into a routine, to breastfeeding, to getting help, to sleeping. You weren’t colicky, you were thank G-d healthy and thriving, and I was finding time to exercise, have my nails done, read books, Facebook and go out. It all appeared fab, and people commented on how well I was “managing” and “adjusting”, and wasn’t I just loving motherhood. And the truth is I wasn’t. I was battling to find my new identity as a mom, struggling to share my time and energy, and resenting my “sentence”. And that’s how it felt. Like the end, not the beginning. Like I was trapped, like I’d lost “me” and I mourned it. Add to that a low self esteem, fights at home and I wanted to go back in time, not progress.
I loved you so much, but I didn’t like motherhood. At all. It had nothing to do with you – you were (and still are) perfection. And I felt alone, and guilty and like I’d failed before I even had a good chance to get started. See, no one prepares new moms for this. No one warns you that you might not be shouting about the joys of motherhood from the rooftops, that you might not be in love with mothering.
And I hope that you won’t think me a crappy mother, and I hope you’ll understand that this wasn’t about you per se – it was me. Perhaps it was the wonky hormones, the issue of adjustment, the lack of good preparation, my nature, or just because I was too stoic and ashamed to ask for help, or too myopic to even consider that others might be going through what I was.
I’m not sure at what point I started coming to terms with being a mother, and falling in love with it. It wasn’t an “aha” moment, nor an epiphany, but rather time, adjustment, experience, connecting with similar moms, opening up. And eventually I knew that I had the most privileged position ever – being your mom. And that my life went on. Different, but better. Harder, but more rewarding.
And as I write this, you are running around in circles holding your orange Reese’s ball, giggling, and entertaining. And my heart is growing with you. As is my love of motherhood.