on becoming a mother
When we first brought Luke home, like many new moms, I hard a hard time adjusting. Everything was so overwhelming. I was exhausted and recovering from major surgery, and I was sure I’d never feel like my old self again. I remember crying for no reason, or when people asked how I was doing. Going out was so much work and so daunting, that I rarely did it alone and I felt like I had lost my independence. Luke would always cry in the car, so I just wouldn’t go out to avoid the crying. Breastfeeding took up what felt like ALL of my time and made me feel like I’d never have a life again outside caring for Luke. I would get so mad when people would tell me “enjoy this special time!” or “you’re going to miss these days!” because I was positive that I wouldn’t.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved Luke with all of my heart from the second I saw him, and I was so happy to finally become a mom, something I had wanted to be for as long as I can remember, but the transition just wasn’t easy for me.
“The moment a child is born, a mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.”
When I stumbled across this quote it really resonated with me. All of a sudden it made sense that things were hard and that I was allowed to need time figure them out. I was a brand new mom with a brand new baby. How was I supposed to be an expert already?
I talked to my husband, my family and friends about how I was feeling, continued to recover from surgery, and focused on enjoying the little things, and things slowly started to change. I went to the grocery store alone with Luke for the first time, I went for a walk and brought the dog, I took Luke shopping, I made some dinners. Each of these things felt like major accomplishments and it helped me gain my confidence as a mother. I could do everything I used to do, it was just different now. I was getting used to my new normal and I was learning to soak up every second of it. The baby is crying in the car? He’s safe and he will be okay. Lots of wakings during the night? I can have a nap, or invite someone to have coffee with me. One of the most important things I learned is that the people who love you think you’re doing a great job, are happy to offer support and words of encouragement, and definitely don’t mind coming over (to your maybe not so clean house) to snuggle the baby while you nap, chat, help with chores, have coffee, or do whatever makes you happy – all you have to do is ask.
Becoming a mother is an amazing gift and a beautiful experience, but it can also make for some of the hardest days of your life. Now that I’m a bit more settled in this new role, I can barely remember my life before Luke. Motherhood really is incredible. Even though it’s hard, messy, and exhausting, it’s also the most rewarding, all-consuming and fulfilling thing I’ve ever done. It changes you for the better and I’m so glad I get to be a mother for the rest of my life.