Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Confessions of a New Mother

I don’t really know what I was expecting of motherhood. I knew that it would be hard, but I didn’t know how hard it would be. I honestly thought that having some good life experience behind me and having a bevy of nieces and nephews would make having a baby relatively easy.


My husband said that, for him, the panic started to set in as we drove away from the hospital. I was still feeling pretty confident at that point. (Confident = clueless) Even the first couple of days at home seemed pretty smooth—like the calm before the storm.

Then I cried for a week.

I was convinced that I had made a huge mistake in thinking that I was cut out to be a mother. What was I thinking?! I was never angry or resentful towards my baby, but I certainly felt frustrated and helpless on the days he wouldn’t stop crying. How could I be expected to take care of him as he grew older when I couldn’t even soothe his crying as a newborn? I mean, really! Newborns only eat, sleep, and soil diapers. How hard is it to see to their needs?

My Mom assured me that I was doing just fine, but I was convinced that I was the worst mother in the whole entire world. My husband did his best to help out, and I honestly don’t know what I would have done without him.

Week 2 went a little better, and Week 3 was a bit better than that.

My son is now almost 3 months old, and I finally feel like I have a handle on things. That isn’t to say that there aren’t hard days, but I feel I know how to deal with them better. I talk about my experience with other mothers, and their response is always the same: their experience as first-time mothers was exactly like mine. My reply to this statement is, “WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME?”

So, here is my warning to all of those who are considering becoming parents, or are awaiting the arrival of your little one: Nothing will adequately prepare you for the change that will take place in your life.

I have never worked harder in my entire life, especially on so little sleep, but I have also never been a part of anything so wonderful. And that is the real point I want to make.

There is nothing more precious than having those clear eyes look up at you with love and absolute trust. There is nothing more joyful than the smile on their face when they wake up in the morning. There is no sound more beautiful than their very first laugh.

No matter how much sleep I lose, or how often he cries (or spits up on me or poops on me, etc), no matter how long it took for him to be born (30 hours of labor)—every moment of frustration and tears is worth it. The honor and joy of being the mother of such a sweet and loving soul makes everything worth it.

I wouldn’t give up any of it for the world.