The Truth About Being A Mom...
Everyone knows that being a mom is hard work. Rewarding but hard. But what exactly do you encounter when you’re new to the mom scene? Of course, like everyone, you develop expectations of what you want to be like as a mom, or how you see yourself as a mom, but when fantasy meets reality, where does the truth lie?
Well this is what it has been like for me. From thoughts, to emotions, to the actual role itself. The truth about being a mom.
- Overwhelmed with emotion. From the day Baby Bird entered this world, I’ve been flooded with emotions. Happiness. Gratitude. Love. Fear. Amazement. Frustration. Anger. Loneliness. So much so, it feels like a giant rollercoaster. I don’t mean the dinky little kids rollercoaster either, I mean the World’s BIGGEST Rollercoaster. I’m talking, in one day, the happiest moment of your life to rock bottom. I’ve never been very mood swingy, so this whole ride comes a bit unexpected. I mean, I knew it would be up and down, but to be honest I didn’t think it would be this frequent or this drastic.
- Breastfeeding Sucks. Literally. I know that breast milk is a magical potion for little ones, and it’s truly unbelievable that the human body can create such essential nutrients naturally, but man is it tolling. The first time Baby Bird latched on, I felt really awesome. I felt so superior to be able to deliver the goods to my baby. Within 24 hours, I had raw nipples. I mean, every time she needed to feed, I literally cried because it hurt so bad. Aside from the physical pain, there is also the mental mind games. Is she getting enough food? Are my breasts filling up? Maybe she is still hungry? All these questions. Everyday. Exhausting. You literally feel like a milking cow on the brink of insanity. At least I do.
- Unrealistic Relationship Expectations. I don’t mean just within yourself. Sure, you have expectations of yourself as a mom and of your husband as a father. But what I didn’t realize was the expectations I had of everyone else like friends and family. I expected relationships to change. To be more involved and inclusive. I expected support to literally seep out of people. But it’s unrealistic. People have their own lives and responsibilities. If you want or need help, you have to ask.
- How much I rely on my husband. Naturally, I think you assume to lean on your other half a bit. It’s an entirely new experience for both of you. But I didn’t understand just how much I would depend on Papa Bird. Emotionally. Physically. Parentally. I am so thankful he is so open and willing to help me through all these changes.
- Doubt. Not necessarily doubt with being a good mom. I feel like I am doing a decent job, at least I know I’m trying my best. I mean doubt within myself. Doubtful I will get back to where I want to be physically. Doubtful I will be able to beat the Post Partum Blues. Doubtful I can balance life in general. I definitely underestimated the doubt factor. But it’s there, stronger than ever.
- Sex Life. Honestly, I was terrified to have sex after having Baby Bird. And I had a C-section! Kudos to the women who go through this naturally! I was scared it would hurt, and feel different, and worried my sex drive just vanished into oblivion. The truth here is that it’s a bit weird the first couple times. Definitely not the most comfortable. But after like the fourth time, it starts feeling like it did before. You get some confidence back. Things get better. I am blown away that at week 11.5, our sex life is BETTER than it was before even getting pregnant! I definitely didn’t think this would happen but I’ve gotta say I am pretty happy about it….and pretty sure Papa Bird is too!
- Being Productive. I didn’t really have a big expectation to be productive on maternity leave. I assumed that I would be lucky to shower and get dressed in a day. And don’t get me wrong, there are definitely the “tough” days where everything seems impossible, but on the average I would say I’m more driven and more productive. I’m working out every day which definitely didn’t happen before. I cook good meals and clean like normal. I shower everyday. I read occasionally. I blog. I spend quality time with Papa Bird. This is all on top of breastfeeding 8 times a day, soothing Baby Bird, and changing a million diapers. Definitely more productive.
- More Efficient. Because most days are seriously frequently interrupted, it’s hard to do what you used to do in the same amount of time. However, if given a solid hour, it feels like a LIFETIME! I can meal prep for 4 days for both Papa Bird and I, cook everything and clean everything in one hour. I can run about 6 errands (all at various locations) in about an hour. I can book appointments, make social plans, bake cookies all in an hour. Given the opportunity, definitely more efficient.
- It’s an “Out of Body” feeling. For me, even being pregnant felt like an out of body experience. I knew I was pregnant. I looked pregnant. I felt pregnant. But because I had never experienced it before, I felt like I never identified with being pregnant. I had the same feeling with the delivery. I knew I was having a C-section. I knew what was going to happen. But I feel like I almost disassociated from the experience, to avoid being nervous and scared, but to be strong and brave. And now in the post partum phase, I feel basically the same. You are in a new role. You have a new body. It’s hard to find that new identity. I don’t think it’s a bad thing, but rather something that is meant to happen. Whether it’s for survival, mental development or even reflective purposes, an “out of body” experience can be very useful and empowering. So I’m learning and growing and eventually I’ll be in the “in body” experience as a stronger, better, more self-aware mom.
- The Love. If ever you thought you loved something as much as you physically could, it doesn’t even come close to loving your child. It’s indescribable.
Let me know what truths you found out from being a new mom in the comments below.
- Mama Bird
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Photo taken by Amy Amirault Photography