We’re told that when we have a baby we will be so wrapped up in our little bundle of joy that life will feel complete, that you will feel so happy and full and that nothing compares to the feeling of motherhood.
What we aren’t told is that not all mums feel this way, that all mums are different and there are so many ways to experience motherhood.
Unfortunately we’re only shared the good stories. Who wants to admit that their “little bundle of joy” isn’t bringing them happiness? That they are so overwhelmed and have no idea what day of the week it is? Which mum can admit to the outside world, let alone themselves, that this explosion into motherhood isn’t something they can handle?
You are thrust into this situation that, in most cases, you have had 9 months to prepare for, but you had zero idea what it was going to be like. Because you’re only told how to care for your baby. You aren’t told how to care for yourself as a new mummy.
You aren’t told how to cope with 2 hours of sleep. You aren’t told how to cope with your feelings of inadequacy when your baby that won’t latch, or eat, or won’t stop crying. You aren’t told how to cope with the lack of adult conversation. You certainly are told how to cope with the immense feeling of ineptitude and loneliness that can overcome you. In fact, you aren’t even told that this is a possibility.
When I had my second baby, I experienced all of these feelings. I flourished with my first baby, which made it even harder for me to cope. I’d done this all before, why, WHY, why was I feeling like this?
Why was I feeling so desolate and lonely? Why was I so unprepared for dealing with a newborn? And worst of all, why was I resenting my chubby little gift of life?
I felt like I had lost myself. This wasn’t how I was supposed to be feeling, but it was my reality.
I went through the motions with my new son. I barely left the house. I couldn’t connect with him, I couldn’t explain what it was, but I struggled to see him as my son.
And do you know what that did to me? It killed me, it crushed my heart. I had this squishy little human relying on me and while I loved him, he didn’t feel real to me. I went through the motions, I cared for him, but I kept my heart locked away.
It wasn’t until I started taking care of myself, that I was able to really accept this new “mother” role. I realised that I needed to be happy within myself and as soon as I started to do the things I LOVED, little things, like writing and reading, made me adjust my mindset, it allowed me to reflect on myself, to realise all the good things that I had and what my newborn added to my life.
My heart started to open and I saw my life in a new light. I saw my son for exactly what he had always been; my little squishy son. It took me a few weeks; but I got there.
Yes he still cried, yes he still didn’t want to sleep through the night, yes I was still feeling isolated, but I had my son to snuggle and warm my heart.
Every person experiences parenthood differently. Every person adjusts to massive life change differently.
To all the mums out there, if you aren’t experiencing motherhood the way you expected, or the way society told you that you would or should, I’m here to tell you that you are not alone on this adventure. We have all been there in some shape of form.
Luckily for us, Mama Tribe is here and you’re not alone. I wish that I’d had this level of support from the motherhood community when I needed it most.
Mel – My Wandering Journey
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