Monday, July 29, 2013

Struggles of a new mom

This is going to be a really honest blog.  I never want to complain about being a mother because I ADORE Emerson with everything inside of me; however, I do want to share my journey into motherhood over the last 9 months.  I sat down to write this blog over 3 months ago and I never finished it.  I actually just erased most of it and started fresh.  I'm glad that I never finished it.  I was still in a really big fog at that point in my life and even though the fog is still there, it has lifted tremendously.  Today I read another mom's blog and it encouraged me to tell my story and to put down into words what I've learned so far about being a new mom.

I was very idealistic about becoming a mother.  I will definitely admit that a lot of this was my fault; however, I also think that our society breeds this into us.  I believe that through movies, tv, and social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc) that our society tells us that we should have it all together.  It is very easy to portray the good parts of your life through social media.  I believe that our society tell us that we should look fully put together when our husbands come home from work.  That our houses should remain clean.  That we should want to have sex as soon as the doctor clears us, even though we're running on 4 hours of sleep that were not consecutive.  That our babies should sleep through the night right from the start.  That we should have the time and energy to have a 6 pack after only a few months.  That we should absolutely love every single second of being a mother.  That if we can't or don't breastfeed that we are a bad mom.  That if we don't cloth diaper we are ruining our earth. That we shouldn't in some ways mourn the loss of our pre-baby self.  That we should never have a need ever again.  That we should feel fully content leaving behind a career to become a stay at home mom.  That we should love getting up multiple times in the middle of the night and not care about not ever getting a full night's sleep for months.  That we shouldn't sometimes want to just go out on a long date with our husbands without yawning and being exhausted the entire time.  That we shouldn't want others to ask us how we are doing, instead of always asking about the baby.  That we shouldn't feel like we are often failing at being a mom.  That we shouldn't care about feeling invisible, run down, and tired all of the time.

I have felt a lot of these things and most of the time I felt like I was the only new mom out there that was feeling this way.  That something was wrong with me because I didn't feel like being a new mom was all rainbows and unicorns.  I felt like I wasn't cut out to be a mom and that I was a huge failure at it.

There...I said it...feel free to judge me because I said that I didn't absolutely love every second of being a mom.  But I think that more moms out there need to start talking about how they feel.  I really feel like the ideals that our society places on us to be a super human mom really contributed to the fact that I have been suffering from Post Partum Depression ever since having Emerson.  It seems like when you ask a lot of new moms how they are doing they say, "Oh, I'm great!  Everything about being a mother is perfect."  When inside they are thinking about how they cried while rocking their baby in the middle of the night because they were so tired.  Or how they'd love to just take a shower that lasted longer than 5 minutes without a crying baby in the next room.  Or how they'd love to go sit in a salon for a few hours and be taken care of.

It seems like as moms get 10, 20, 30 years outside of being a new mom that they forget just what it was like.  It's freaking HARD!   And I realize that this is part of being a mom, but it is still freaking HARD! I haven't had a child reach the ages of 10, or 20, or 30 yet; however, I am going to go out there on a limb and say this is probably one of the most difficult times of being a mother because you don't know what you're doing, you are running on fumes, and your hormones are really out of whack!  I pray that when Emerson is 10 and 20 and 30, etc. that I will not forget my journey into being a new mom.  That when a new mom tells me that she's having a hard time, I will respond with a loving and understanding ear.  That I will offer to give her a few hours to go get her nails done.  I pray that I will not tell her to suck it up because it's just part of being a mom, but that I will remember how difficult it is to get no sleep.  To feel like you have no time for yourself anymore and in essence to lose part of yourself for awhile because every part of you is devoted to taking care of that little helpless baby.  I pray that I will contact that new mom to ask her how she is doing and not wait for her to contact me, because I'll remember that overwhelming feeling of just trying to stay afloat with your head above water.

I've been part of a PPD support group for the last few months and it has helped me tremendously.  It is so freeing to be able to talk about the "taboos" of motherhood with other moms that are going through similar things.  I can finally feel the "fog" lifting slightly and I can see a little bit of sunshine through that fog.  It is such a joy to be the mother of Emerson and I thank God every day that He felt like was capable of raising and nurturing this perfect little human. The last 9 months of motherhood has taught me so much and I pray that I will never forget the lessons that I have learned.  I hope that I can bless and help other new moms that are struggling and that are feeling like they are alone in those struggles.

It does get better.  It does get a little easier.  You will start feeling like yourself again, actually you'll probably start feeling like a better self, because you are now that you're a mom.  And you will starting occasionally thinking, "Hey, maybe I can do this!"

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