In light of my lack of sleep here recently, I wanted to write a post for the moms to be! Often times new moms will only imagine their future as such:
and can't yet fathom moments like this:
My purpose for this post is to INFORM. Not to scare or prevent (future babies lol) but to INFORM. Friends of mine who had kids before me never told me exactly what to prepare for. Maybe they thought I wouldn't understand or that I wouldn't care? They were probably right. I was young, in college and had my mind everywhere else but on a family! Many people asked me, "Are you ready?" But what does that mean to a young lady who has never had kids? Lol, seriously I was clueless to what was going to come. It was like they (moms) knew but just didn't tell me?? So yea, let me share some of my baby journey with you so that you won't be going in totally clueless :)
Okay, well my first day home from the hospital with my first (I have 3) was pretty bad. Nothing physically even happened. I just came home and entered into "darkness." I was numb to my new situation, and did not feel any attachment towards my new baby and just wanted to sleep. Thank God, my mom was there to help with the baby so that I could do just that. I remember being up in the room, crying and wondering what the heck was wrong with me. Confusion. Depression. I stayed in that state for another 6 weeks. No one told me I would feel like this. No one told me the horror my body would feel after being awaken multiple times a night! No one told me I would be crying for days on in...for no apparent reason. I seriously wouldn't leave my room except to use the bathroom or eat. Which, I didn't eat much. I hear that from many moms, though. You're all of a sudden pushed into a whole new world and you have a hard time juggling basic necessities such as eating. Lol. So skipping meals is pretty common. And I think every new mom is thinking the same thing: "Yay! I've been skipping meals, I bet I'm losing even more weight!" Not necessarily true, but hey the thought is nice! Did I mention no sleep? Oh okay ;)
Although I was blessed to have my husband, had a stable household with good income I still was unstable mentally/emotionally. I still felt alone regardless if my husband was there helping me out. I felt like he couldn't understand what I was going through. I didn't even understand what I was going through! I had thoughts that maybe I made the wrong decision. Maybe our timing of a new baby was wrong? Maybe it was too soon? No more outings and hangout dates with our friends. The thoughts kept coming. I began to resent my husband because it didn't seem like his life changed at all. If he wanted to go to the gym he just picked up and went. Simple as that, no critical thinking involved. But I was nursing, and I had to find a sitter and think of feeding times and pack baby bags etc etc. We fought a lot! I made him my enemy because I was bitter. He got to leave the house and I had to stay home all day and feel depressed. I criticized his way of helping out with the baby. His way was never right because I was the expert! I wanted to throw him our son as soon as he walked through the door and he wanted to get settled in & browse the internet. I wanted to take a nap and be free of all responsibilities. He also wanted to sleep and get up rested for work. The list goes on and on and on. We had only been married for 8 months when I got pregnant so our "team" we built wasn't that strong by the time we brought our son in the picture.
Before I had the baby, I used to get so mad when people told my husband things like "your life is over now" or "are you ready for everything to change?" It's like life isn't over with children! How dare they say that to us. But, as soon as I had my son those words gripped me because it felt like we couldn't go anywhere or do anything. I was extremely down and fatigued. I didn't fit any of my clothes and was too embarrassed to be out. I didn't want to nurse out in public or be stuck with a crying baby. It's funny because now that I have 3 children, it's really silly that I didn't want my baby to cry while I was out. Lol. That's what babies do. They cry when they need stuff, why is that horrible? People understand. But, I was so dramatic as a new mom. I complained about everything! And I condemned myself for everything. Especially with nursing! I struggled with it and did NOT want to quit. I reasoned that it was from GOD and so natural; I SHOULD be able to do it. Sometimes it just doesn't work like that. After 6 weeks, I waved my white flag and stopped. It felt like a quitter and I was extremely guilty. But you know what happened? My depression stopped. I felt a release and things started to pick up for me. The sun shone a little brighter. Not just because I quit nursing ( I love breastfeeding) but because guilt finally came off with that decision. Guilt and tons of pressure I put on myself. My son started to sleep more and my body was getting used to the amount of sleep I was getting. I began to relax.
So, here I am 3 kids in :) Caring for a new baby got easier and much more pleasant with every new one. I didn't enjoy most months with my first one. And I certainly didn't feel like a mom for awhile. Some moms "latch" on to their babies and some don't. I seriously think I started to feel like a mom after his first birthday! So with everything, there's hope. It's a huge transition for all new moms, whether married or not. But I can honestly say slowly that transition will blossom into a beautiful new season of mommy hood. Every story is different. This is just mine. Many of my friends didn't experience such hard times as me. Some seemed to just jump right, smiles and all :) You won't know until it's time. I just wanted to share my story so at least you won't be shocked with what could come, which would be normal. And if you're married, stick together as a TEAM! It took my husband and I each new baby to get better at this lol. Both parents could be new at this and are just learning how to be a parent, just like the baby is new to the world so don't expect perfection! Be patient and full of grace. There's a first time for everything! Don't expect anyone to just know what to do right away. It's a learning process so pray pray pray! The time will go fast and before you know it baby will be sleeping through the night :) Don't feel guilty for your parenting, to each its own. It's def not "One size fits all." You'll get lots of suggestions, but ultimately you have to do what's best for you.
I've learned, a healthy mom (emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally) is a happy mom. And if mommy is happy, kids and hubby are happy :) God bless you! And congratulations if you're a new mom. It's a beautiful journey...this mommy hood.
p.s. I appreciate & salute you single mommies (and daddies) !
p.s.s We will end where we started-with a happy picture....because God graciously gave me more love, more patience and understanding with each baby. This is number 3 :) pure joy.