Today I wanted to share a post I wrote back in March of 2016, as a new mother to a 4 month old.
So many emotions, raw thoughts, and honest feelings are expressed below, but it has taken me 2 years to officially post publish on this post. It’s vulnerable and the real thoughts I had being a first time mom.
I wanted to change and edit so much of this post for so many reasons, (because it feels so jumbled and random and vulnerable) but this is exactly how I felt 2 years ago and I didn’t want to forget. Especially since all of these feelings have been forgotten or disappeared now that I have been a mom for 2.5 years! I still felt that these jumbled words may reach some of you first time moms who felt or still the same way or had similar emotions.
The internet can hide a lot of real moments, but today I wanted to be the most real with you!
REAL, RAW THOUGHTS ON MOTHERHOOD – FOR THE NEW EXPECTING MOTHER
WRITEN MARCH 2016
Today I wanted to take a moment and share all of my thoughts on becoming a mother.
And let me just begin by saying that motherhood has been the toughest thing I’ve ever done emotionally.
I cant tell you how many times I have written something in this post and erased it because I didn’t want it to be looked at the wrong way or to be judged by many of you. There are so many things I wish I would have known prior to becoming a mom. Because I think there is a lot and I mean A LOT of sugar coating when it comes to being a new mom. I really appreciated the moms who were blunt and honest with me. If they hadn’t been, I think I would have really struggled when I first had Edison. I needed to hear what I did to help prepare myself mentally while pregnant.
Often times you visit a new mom and her baby, you ask ‘how is everything, how is it being a mom and the newborn phase?’ 9 out of 10 times you get this response back. ‘Oh, it has been great! I love it!’ And of course you don’t think twice about their answer. But one friend I visited a few years ago really stuck out to me. I asked the typical question and her response was ‘it sucks! Breastfeeding sucks, and it’s just darn right hard. I cry all the time, and it’s so difficult!’ I was honestly blown away but yet felt grateful for her honesty.
You guys.. it’s okay to be honest with friends and family. You need to express how you feel because in the long run, especially while dealing with postpartum hormones, you need to talk it out so you don’t go through PP depression. Just know you don’t have to sugar coat it so you look like a good mom. You are a good mom already!
I am no expert, especially since I have only been a mom for 4 months 🙂 but, I just wanted to share what I’ve learned, loved, and of course struggled with.
I knew I always wanted to become a mom, but to be completely honest with you, I was scared out of my mind to actually become one.
It was something I worried about when I first got married, and well before I even got pregnant.
My husband and I waited almost 4 years before having Edison, and I know it was all because of me. I wasn’t quite ready to make that transition. Especially since I got married at a young age. I was only 20 when I got married and felt that I was WAY to young to know how to care for a child. I didn’t feel like I had that natural mother’s instinct in me that everyone talked about.
I had so many fears before becoming pregnant and of course while I was pregnant.
I feared my patience level
I feared being bored at home with a baby
I feared of not loving the child unconditionally
I feared not being able to have a child of my own with infertility problems, and if I couldn’t would I ever feel ‘ready’ to adopt
I feared I wasn’t ready to become a mom
I feared being a nice mom
I feared that I wouldn’t know what to do with a newborn
I feared my behavior with ‘no sleep’ and feeling sleep deprived
I feared that I wouldn’t know how to raise kids the right way
I feared raising righteous, kind, genuine children
I feared how I would handle becoming a selfless person
I feared how to be a good mom
I feared motherhood wouldn’t come natural to me
Holy list of fears right???? I was amazed how my happiness becoming a mother outweighed all of those fears. Everything I felt went away the moment I held Edison for the first time. The fact that there really is such a thing as a mother’s instinct. It’s real people. And before you even realize it, it’s already happening without even thinking about it. How you literally start ‘momming’ the minute you hold your baby for the first time. You don’t even think twice about it. It is something that comes and feels natural.
Let’s face it, I had only held a week old baby maybe once or twice in my entire life. Every time someone handed me a baby, even an older baby I was terrified to hold it. All while looking very awkward I’m sure 🙂
I look back at this list of fears I once felt and almost laugh at myself. I wonder why I had to stress about all of these things for so many years. If I only knew that becoming a mother is literally the best thing that has ever happened to me. Cheesey I know, but it’s true.
When I used to think, how can I stay home and entertain a baby all day. I would go nuts with bordem. But I think that thought came to me when I used to babysit. Of course you would get bored throughout the day. But you’ve heard it before, and I’m going to tell it to you again, It’s different with your own kids. Truth is, It REALLY IS!!!
Sure I may want to get out of the house a lot of the days, but I have never found myself saying I am bored of my baby. haha that just sounds silly. I look forward to mornings with my smiley happy little guy. I look forward to reading stories to him and playing on the floor throughout the day and by golly he is only 4 months old!!! It only gets more fun from here!!!!
I would cry to my husband at least twice a month when I was pregnant about my fear of being sleep deprived. I love my sleep, and I mean LOVE my sleep. So the thought of always feeling tired terrified me. I am not a nice person when I don’t get enough sleep. This is just one of those things thats hard to explain, but even though I don’t get remotely close to the amount of sleep I used to get, all while never being able to sit down through out the day, due to a high maintenance baby who has to be bounced every minute :). Sure I’m tired, but not as tired as I imagined I would be. It’s a different kind of tired. It’s manageable. I am also someone who doesn’t drink coffee and still find it possible to stay upbeat and not drag my feet from tiredness. (I may be telling a different story after child 2 or 3 haha)
I‘m a stubborn person and when things don’t go my way I get a little irritated and of course loose my patience. Which is why i feared my patience level all while dealing with an infant. I didn’t know how I would react or handle a situation with a crying baby all day, or not having any ‘me’ time anymore. But I’m here to tell you it’s simply amazing how you immediately become so patient with your baby. Maybe not with your husband, but you will have patience for you child. I seem to loose patience with my poor husband more often than I should (I would like to blame the hormones on this one, I’m just happy he still sees the best in me 🙂 of course there are some days that are more difficult than others, and your patience runs thin. But that is when you hand over your baby to your spouse and take a 15 (or longer) minute break. What would we do with out our husbands!!!!! I really surprise myself how patient I can be with Edison some days.
Motherhood is honestly the best thing, yet the hardest thing I have ever done. I have mostly shared all the good things about motherhood above, but we all know and expect motherhood to be difficult. I’m not going to sugar coat it and say that it isn’t, because my heck it’s hard!!!!
A friend of mine gave me some good advice while I was pregnant and I really was thankful she did. It opened my eyes, and helped me mentally prepare myself. She said “Your life is going to change A LOT and your husband’s life is going to change, but not nearly like yours will. After a couple of weeks, their life will go back to normal. Work, school, time with friends, whatever it may be. As difficult as it is, your husband won’t truly understand how much your life really changes. And at times it is SO hard.” It was so helpful hearing from my friend that you need to have the mind set that it is you and the baby. Because at the end of the day it usually is. Your husband is the provider over the home and needs to dedicate his time supporting his family wether it be at work or school. But of course those amazing men in our life will be there at the hardest part on those hardest days to help give you a break and it makes it all worth it.
I’ll also admit that it’s hard not to compare your child to others. It’s also hard not to compare how you mother your child compared to other moms. People will share their advice wether you ask for it or not and sometimes I let it bother me, without meaning too. I would sob for days because I felt that I wasn’t being a good mom. That I had literally NO IDEA what the heck I was doing. Still do feel this way at times. But the truth is, you are just the mom that your baby needs! You will always end up doing the right thing for you little one. Even if people have sworn by those books, or sworn by this or that method. Those may not be what your baby needs. After all you know your baby better than anyone.
I found it hard when people would share their advice or say things like ‘oh my baby is sleeping through the night at 10 weeks, oh my baby puts themselves to sleep, or oh, my baby is great at self soothing. Well news flash people, every baby is different. I wouldn’t overthink it and that’s when you start to question the way you mother your child. I’ve learned my baby is a needy baby. He needs me, and needs me all the time. He doesn’t take a pacifier and therefore can’t self soothe him. I also am a mom who doesn’t have to go out and work so I can stay home and hold my baby all day. I may be spoiling him, which some days I really feel like I do especially when I do need to get something done and he won’t let me put him down. But I don’t think I’ll look back and say I wish I held my baby less. So I will take advantage of this time while he is small and wants and needs me every moment!!
Everyone talks about the baby blues after having your baby or later down the road PPD. And from what I experienced, I consider myself so lucky because I really only had the baby blues on a few occasions, I also had it at random moments but went away shortly after breastfeeding my baby. I still remember those awful feelings and wouldn’t wish them on my worst enemy. For those of you who haven’t experienced it, for me, it felt like major anxiety. I still remember a few nights when I had gone to bed for a couple hours while I husband watched Edison. I would wake up to the sound of my husband walking up the stairs with a screaming baby to of course give him to me. That horrible feeling of disgust, nerves and a pit in your stomach with knots was the baby blues. Wanting so badly to not hold your baby. To run away.
This is where I honestly felt the worst. This feeling would overtake you and you had no idea why this thought crept up on you. You should be so happy right? You have a fresh piece of heaven in your life and you should be loving every minute of it. Sad part is, is that’s not how it always is. Of course you do feel love and happiness most of the day, but there are times when this awful feeling takes over. The only way it went away for me, was shortly after starting to breastfeed Edison. That connection between us meant the world. Knowing he NEEDED me, he needs me more than anything right now helped the most.
Now, this is the part the is so hard for me to admit, but again I feel I need to share it. (I may have put this at the end of the post just because I’m sure not everyone will read this giant novel) but I feel like it needs to be out there for those of you who need to hear it. It always seems that the days that are the hardest for you, are also the hardest on your baby. When your mad, they are mad. And when your frustrated and at your wits ends, they are too. I wish it weren’t this way, but it is. Those are the times where the your mind starts wondering and the thoughts come and go about harming your baby. (I hate admititng it) but it happens wether I want it to or not. But I’m here to tell you, YOU WONT!!!! You won’t do a darn thing to hurt your baby. You LOVE your baby unconditionally and you won’t hurt them. Even though the thought comes to you. (I just want to be very clear that I have never hurt or harmed my child) I know I sound like a terrible mother to a lot of you, but I wouldn’t share this if I hadn’t talked to several other moms about this and they too admitting that they had felt this same way with similar thoughts.
I was nervous bringing it up to a friend and family member, but I felt I would rather sound awful, terrible and crazy than act on it. It actually was very helpful for me to admit those thoughts to close friends and family members. After sharing them I felt so much better and knew that they would be one phone call away if I was ever having a tough time.
I only shared this with you because I want you to know that it is normal. It’s normal to want to loose your shit sometimes. Now one thing that is always hard to do or think of in the moment is praying. But this has been the biggest thing that helps me in during hard moments. You lay your baby down, go into the next room and get on your knees and pray harder than you ever have before! I promise a weight will be lifted off your shoulders. It helps to give you the strength you need to walk back into the same room as your baby and pick them up, kiss their cheek and tell them you love them.
To those of you who are scared to become moms and have many fears like I did, I’m here to say it really is all worth it! Every tear, there will be many. But for very hard time there will be 100 good times ahead. Find a good momma friend who you can talk to. It is so important to share your thoughts. Your husbands won’t understand like a mom will. Call and cry to your moms. After all they did raise you and they will always know the right things to say!
I love you you all and I appreciate those of you who read this longest ever blog post. But I just wanted to be real with you because I think some people really need to share it.
Please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions or email me your thoughts. I will be here to listen if you need someone to!
Wow, it’s insane how much your thoughts are my thoughts. It really is so hard to put into words how becoming a new mom can feel, but you did perfectly. Thank you for sharing this. You have no idea how much I needed to hear a lot of this.
Shannon!! Yes, you are clearly not alone!
It really does make you feel 1000 times better knowing that it’s the hormones talking and not the real you!!