December 23, 2015
Being your mom is the bomb. Seriously. I love being your mom, I love being a mom, I love you and I love our life together.
Being a mom is also really hard. I cry a lot, I get really frustrated a lot (not at you, just at the nuances of parenting) and I feel like an emotional wreck any time I think of something sad or scary.
For whatever reasons, I have been really nervous about the idea of postpartum depression and scared that I might fall into a depressed state and no one will know to catch me. This is a pretty unfounded fear but nonetheless, one that I have been really conscious of.
It is for that reason that I went to see the doctor today to talk about some of the ways I have been feeling. To be reassured that they are normal or to be flagged as being concerning. Just to have peace of mind about my peace of mind.
The thing about all of this is that I have few benchmarks to measure against. NO ONE TALKS ABOUT ANYTHING and it is SO hard to know if what you are going through is what everyone is going through or if it really is, as it feels like it is, just you.
So here are some things that I have been experiencing that did not raise concerns to my doctor but have nonetheless been a bit taxing on my experience. You should know that these feelings seem to be pretty normal and anytime I do reveal them to a fellow mom friend, I am met with a like-story.
- I feel really fucking annoyed with your dad. A lot. It is totally unfounded most of the time. Sometimes, I get mad at him for looking at me the wrong way. Sometimes it is because he does something actually stupid. I HATE being annoyed with him because he is the best person ever. The contradiction between hating on him and hating myself for hating on him is just the cherry on top of my hate-o-rade sundae.
- Everything is horrible at 2am. I have never been a good person when it comes to being woken up. I have learned to live with our “routine” overnight wakeup times but when you go and deviate from that and wake me up earlier… lets just say that you are lucky that you are so damn cute.
- Seriously, sleeplessness sucks. I can’t say it enough. It makes everything harder.
- Hello identity crisis. I vacillate between wanting to re-establish my career/think about what is next for me as a person and a burning desire to stay at home and just be your mom forever.
- Dear anxiety, Baby be thy name. Was I ever one to look 2000000000 ways before crossing the street? Not until you came along. Now I look 2000000001 ways and it never feels enough.
- Everything is touching. Everything is emotional. Everything makes me cry. You don’t sleep, I cry. A commercial for Coke comes on, I cry. I think about you growing up, I fucking bawl.
- It is basically impossible for me to feel “good enough” at being a mom. If you so much as look at me the wrong way I can’t help but wonder if I have failed you in some prolific way.
- I HATE my post baby body. I know that I am supposed to teach you how to be a strong and confident girl and to love yourself and love your body but I would lying to you if I said that it doesn’t feel super weird to be living in a body that I don’t really know. Pregnancy changes everything about a body and it is hard to get to know a new you after being the same you for so long plus, WHY IS CELLULITE EVERYWHERE???? (PS. sorry about that, Baby. It’s genetic and never goes away)
I am sure there is more. Life is full of things that seem daunting or hard or overwhelming or sad but the above is a good summary of most of it.
The thing to know, Baby is that YOU HAVE TO TALK ABOUT IT.
All of it. The good, but especially the bad. You are never alone and the more you can express yourself and how you feel, the more you will help people understand you. The more people understand you, the more they can support you and hold you up.
You will find out that it is ok (within reason) to lean on the person you love even if it means snapping at them from time to time (or a lot during especially hairy times), that people are happy to help you get some rest and take over other shit that you don’t need to worry about when you need them to. You will see that even though you may not know exactly who you are, you are so loved and that your fears and anxieties are ok to have but unfounded. You will feel the support when you have shoulders to cry on (even about Coke commercials) and even more support when you get to hear the words you are longing for- “good job.” And you will understand that your ass may not be the same, but you are even more beautiful with flaws.
I hope that whatever struggles you have and whatever strange milestones come your way that you have a voice and a venue to express how you feel with no shame.