Some of you have read this post before. If you’re in my circle of family and close friends, you’ve already seen this. I’m sharing it again in this medium because I think I think all moms and moms-to-be benefit when other moms share their real after-birth feelings.
I wrote this a few months back when my kiddo was 3 weeks old, because my DH (dear husband) said it might be cathartic to do so. He was right.
While I’m feeling 110 percent better, maybe my thoughts will help some of you.
I’m quite sure LO (little one) did some growing this week along with other cute things, but I was stuck in some weird emotional state that left me crying one moment and worrying about the dumbest thing the next.
So, let’s talk about postpartum feelings.
Namely, how much they suck. I can cry anytime, anywhere. Don’t believe me? Try me. Go ahead, call me up and try me. One moment I’m happy as a clam and loving on my sweet LO. The next moment I’m weepy and wondering what the heck I’ve gotten myself into. I can cry while changing a diaper. I can cry while looking at my LO. I can cry while looking out the window.
I’ve done all three. Separately and simultaneously.
I remember the births of my girlfriends’ children and how everything was sunshine, lollipops and teddy bears. I heard about how much they loved their child. How wonderful mommyhood was. How they could hardly wait to think about having more children.
No one talked about feeling overwhelmed and underwhelmed at the same time. About the uncertainty of what to do with a newborn. Of the boredom that ensues. Of the bloodcurdling screams and the inability to get any soothing mechanisms to work. Of the lack of control.
That’s what I miss the most. Being in control. No one controls a newborn. You can read every baby book under the sun and gain all sorts of examples of how to care for your kiddo, but the author never shows up to take your child off of your hands for an hour, allowing you to go back to bed or do something non-child related.
While speaking—sometimes in tears—with my girlfriends recently, I’ve learned their entry days and weeks into mommyhood weren’t as sunshine-filled as I had previously thought. They, too, shed tears, shared doubts, felt overwhelmed and were certain they’d never again gain control. In sum, raising a newborn was the hardest thing they’d ever done.
The hardest and most worthwhile. It’s just sometimes hard to see the worthwhile part while riding a rollercoaster of emotions on the way down from a hormone high. Stupid hormones.
Oh, how I miss feeling normal.
Their advice? Go create a new “normal.” Get out of the house! Go for a walk! Meet a friend! Join a mommy group! Just go! Do something! Do anything!
Most importantly, talk about how you’re feeling. Because admitting you feel off is the first step toward feeling right again. And, you know, what? They’re right.
While I miss being in control and sometimes find myself in tears wondering what exactly is it I’m crying about, I know that I’ve been blessed with a beautiful LO. And LO is continually teaching me that I don’t need to be in control of all things all day long. It’s OK to have a messy living room (ugh!) and a pile or two of dirty laundry (egads!). It’s OK to not straighten the bed every day. Didn’t wash my hair? Not a problem. And—a big one—couldn’t get to the gym? That’s OK, too.
Really, it is OK.
Because tomorrow is a new day with new adventures. The hormones aren’t for forever. But the love I have for my LO is. And knowing how much I love LO (and LO’s daddy) and look forward to watching LO grow makes it all worthwhile.
Every last annoying tear.