The Hardest Part
Being a mom is hard. Giving birth is hard. Pregnancy is hard. It's all hard.
You hear about the "hardest" part being those initial weeks with your new baby. Where your trying to balance your recovery and nourish this tiny demanding infant. Your hormones are out of whack. Your literally an emotional wreck. You have zero self-confidence because let's face it, you still look pregnanct and your wearing adult diapers. HOT MESS. No wonder post partum depression is a thing. A REAL thing. Any dignity that you do have - you channel it into loving your little one. Giving all that you can to this new creation of life. You have no idea how to be a mom. There is no manual. But your doing it and your doing a DAMN good job of it. So is this the hardest part? Lots of give with little reassurance? Is that the worst of it? Does it just keep getting better? Or worse?
Well I have to say, this part WASN'T the worst for me.
Why? I think I had realistic expectations of the initial weeks. I knew it was going to be hard. I knew I had to watch out for depression. I knew I was going to be self conscious and scared and worried and clueless. But I knew it was NORMAL. And for that, I was okay. Of course I had hard days. And by no means was it "easy." But I felt I could be open emotionally and honest about what I was actually feeling and experiencing. I had a good support network and it really helped. Looking back I feel like I nailed this phase and I honestly did the best I could. And I'm proud of that.
So what was the hardest part for me then?
After the 6 week check up to right now.
The last 3 weeks have been the HARDEST. Maybe I'm the only one that thinks this but like I said, up to that 6 week mark you expect it to be hard. You expect to be tired and weak and kind of a disaster. So what's so special about the 6 week checkup?!
You get the "ALL CLEAR."
When a medical professional tells you that you are good to resume normal activity, you automatically revert back to what you know. For me that was life before a kid. That was life before being pregnant. That was life when I was thin, and fit, and active. That was life where I went on dates with my husband and we had steamy sex. That was life where I had a great job and had a good sense of independence - a good sense of contribution. That was life with a routine, and good sleep and normal eating habits. That was the life I knew. And when I got that "ALL CLEAR," this is the life I expected to return to automatically and immediately.
But any mom would know that's not how it goes. You leave that appointment and return to your half cleaned house that's semi chaotically organized. You plunk down on the couch 10 times a day to feed your always starving child. You can hardly manage to put dinner on the table and get dressed in the same day. Sex life? What is that? You expect yourself to want to have sex because it's been months! But your hormones tell you otherwise and let's face it, you're TERRIFIED. You want to workout and eat healthy and feel good but you've been up all night and instead spend the day juggling cups of coffee, diaper changes and burp ups.
Yup THIS is the HARDEST three weeks of your life. Trying to regulate realistic expectations for yourself and this new person you are. Trying to learn what works and what doesn't. Trying to be confident when your still discovering this new you. Trying to feel sexy when you can't button your jeans. Trying to spend time with your husband without feeling like your neglecting your baby. Finding the perfect balance. THIS is the hardest part.
But I'm happy to say, "This too shall pass." I am 3 weeks out of the 6 week check up and things are FINALLY starting to get better. I've cried literally everyday for 3 weeks. I've been in the gym and eating healthy for 3 weeks. I've been extremely hard on myself for 3 WEEKS. It's been rough. But finally, finally, finally I'm starting to feel like me. I'm starting to feel better mentally and physically. I'm more confident in being a mom. I am finding the balance of nurturing my baby bird and getting some time with papa Bird. I'm discovering what I NEED. I'm accepting the new me. I'm learning to love this new life. And it's truly an amazing revelation.
So I guess my message is watch out for the 6 week check up. Be real about your expectations and don't be too hard on yourself. And most of all BE PATIENT.
Everybody is different and everyone experiences something different. What was your hardest phase? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below! And don't forget to like and share this post.
- Mama Bird
Thumbnail Photo taken by Amy Amirault Photography
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