Aug 30, 2011

my truth about motherhood

I've been reading a little of this, this, and this lately, and I've found myself wondering what honesty about motherhood really means.  I think that nearly all mothers would agree that motherhood is a drastic, permanent, life-changing event, but I doubt that many of us would seriously consider taking it back.  I'm not talking about in those moments when your toddler just pitched a giant screamfest over riding in the cart and had to have a time-out in the Target bathroom (ok, that might just be me...); in the quiet moments of honest reflection, after baths and bedtime stories, what is the truth about motherhood?

I've written a little about this before, but I struggled bad for several months after Cara was born.  I was exhausted, overwhelmed, and lost.  I couldn't remember who I was, mainly because I didn't have the time or energy to think about it.  I wanted a break from my life so badly that one night in the parking lot of Staples, I wondered exactly how badly it would hurt to get hit by a car.  I didn't want to die from it, but a little time to myself sounded so nice that I was considering spending it in a hospital bed.  Obviously, that is not a normal thought process, and I am so grateful to my dear friends who sent my ass straight to a counselor. 

I am thankful in a way for those low points because I get it when I see other moms looking a little glazed over, and I promised myself I would be honest with my friends when they had babies.  No one warned me about those first few months, and I didn't want anyone else to go through what I went through without realizing that those feelings do not mean you are a bad mother.  I think for a lot of people, it's pretty typical to reach a breaking point (or several breaking points). 

However, I've been wondering lately if I'm so focused on the difficulty that I forget to mention the joy.  I will admit that there are nights when I groan in my head when it's time to read bedtime stories because I really just want that child to go to sleep, but it's all forgotten as soon as she plops in my lap with her book.  At that moment, there is nowhere else I would rather be.  I remember the stress of pumping at 5 in the morning and twice at work and nursing almost all evening, of walking my newborn up and down the hallway way too late at night, of hearing her tiny cries right when I poured the bubbles into my bath, but nothing can replace catching that first glimpse of a smile or hearing that sweet baby laugh for the first time.  I will never regret the hours I spent rocking my girl to sleep or pushing her in a swing.  "Mommy, higher!"

I feel like I have grown into my new identity as a mother, and I like this person better than the one I was before.  My purpose is so much larger, even though it's so much more exhausting and overwhelming sometimes.  Honestly, I can't wait to start it all over again.  March sounds pretty good to me.

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  1. Beautiful. You are an awesome mama and you are going to rock at being a mama of 2! Love you, Sweet Friend.

  2. Congratulations!!!

    I loved this post and I love your honesty. I have such respect and admiration for you Momma's and all that you do. Sadly, I have a hard enough time managing my own life; I can't even begin to imagine how I'd fare if we had little ones to care for (and typing that makes me feel oh, so incredibly selfish!).

    I love that a moment with your daughter curled up in your lap, clammoring for you to read her a bedtime story is, single-handedly, enough to recharge your batteries and give more of yourself to HER. That little gesture, right there, makes you an incredible Momma.


  3. This is such a lovely and honest post.
    I found becoming a mother so different to what I had expected, it changed me in ways I never would have thought, I ended up being diagnosed with PTSD and PND, both of which nearly finished me, but I'm finally getting through it, as horrid as the experience was, I wouldn't change a single thing, if I hadn't reached such a low point I don't know if I'd appreciate and value just how much my life has improved since my boys arrived.
    I think we all have those moments when we wish the kids would settle to sleep on their own or play quietly just long enough for mummy to have a coffee!
    Your a fantastic mummy!

  4. I remember thinking that having kids was going to be like babysitting 24/7 and that I would get really bored and start getting that feeling like, "I can't wait until their parents get home." I found that I never tire of my sweet babes although I am actually tired almost all the time. Thank you for your transparency...I can absolutely relate to those feelings although everyone handles them differently. I think I remember taking off one night and hiding behind our car in the dark to get some peace...crazy mamas;)

  5. Wonderful, honest post. I remember someone warning me that when I came home with Jackson, that I was going to think having a baby was the biggest mistake ever and I would be all, "What did we just do!?" It was true and I'm glad someone said it so I was prepared. And I bet someone else out there is glad you said this because it will help them, too :)

    Can't wait for March!!

  6. thank for sharing your heart ... loved it!


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