I regret not writing more when September was a newborn. I was in such a haze of sleep deprivation, frustration, and sadness that I barely had time to shower, let alone sit down and string coherent sentences together. Still, I wish I could have found a few minutes to chronicle the most challenging two months of my life.
Writing about it now, with some distance, isn’t the same. But I suppose it’ll have to do.
So, for the next few posts, my lovely writing blog will turn into a mommy blog. I hate that term. “Mommy Blog.” It has such an air of dismissiveness to it, doesn’t it? Like, oh hey, it’s just a mommy blog, it doesn’t really matter. But I digress.
Motherhood is fucking hard. And wonderful. And terrifying. It’s beautiful and soul-wrenching. It’s everything people said it was and more. It’s everything people didn’t say, too.
Lessons I’ve Learned:
- Everyone said I’d never sleep again. I brushed them off. How bad can it be? I thought. Ha. Hahahaha! That’s my cackle-filled laugh. It’s slightly evil and more so delirious. I’d never really experienced sleep deprivation before. Not really. Now I’ve seen it’s face. We’re old buddies. Turns out, sleep deprivation is a surly old man named Captain Tiggins.
- You Will Think You’re OMG The Worst Mom Ever. Chances are, you’re not. In fact, it’s much more likely that you’re doing a damned good job considering the circumstances. In the beginning, I cried just about every day. I was convinced I. Could. Not. Do. This. It was horrible. Why did we have a baby? God, why did we do this to ourselves? What were we thinking? Then it got better. Not all at once. Not overnight. But it got better. And I realized I was normal. I didn’t have PPD or anything like that. I was just mourning my former, childless self. It took me time to grieve for that old life. Now I’m a mom and I’m still all those old things, too.
- My baby is the prettiest baby in the world. That motherhood thing makes you love that screaming ball of poop and spit-up unlike anything you’ve ever loved before. You get crazy protective. You cry because of commercials for minivans with young couples and toddlers and puppies with gray muzzles because, oh lordy, the feels!
- Love isn’t an instantaneous thing. Some people may fall in love with their newborns as soon as they’re placed on their bellies but I think for most people it develops over time. I felt protective of my baby the moment she was born and I held her wriggling, wet body. But I didn’t fall in love with her until a week or so later. And let me be clear here: THAT’S OKAY. I had to get to know her. She had to get to know me. She was terrified of the world and screamed non-stop. I had no idea what having a baby was going to be like and I had quite the rude awakening. Then snuggling her close filled my heart and I knew somewhere deep down that it was going to be alright in the end.
- Baby smiles are the best. Things got better when September started smiling at about 4 weeks. Now that she’s almost five months old, her personality is blossoming and it’s impossible not to love her. She’s adorable and everyone who meets her falls in love. I’m a proud momma.
Still, it’s fucking hard. But it’s lovely, too. And if anything, she’s made me a better person already. I want to be sure she knows that one day, too. “Mommy got her shit together because of you, sweetheart. She certainly wasn’t going to do it for herself.”