This blog is dedicated to the NEW MOMS out there. It is my desire to give you permission to cry and complain a little about how difficult and exhausting motherhood is - but also to know that these excrutiating first few days/months are created for a reason: To bond with your baby. To strengthen your own self-knowledge and worth. To fortify your character.
I've been meaning to write this post for quite some time. I'm not sure why I've taken it upon myself to write these things - it most likely does not portray myself in the right social light - however, I think it is important to tell MY truth. In my over-sharing and painful honesty, I can only hope to allow other mom's to stop being so hard on themselves, especially at the beginning of their Mom-Journey.
Motherhood is a rite of passage. An adventure. A chance at soul-enrichment.
The moment you bring your first baby into the World, you are immediately inducted into a Sorority of Mothers: regardless of race, background, religious affiliation, social-economic wealth, etc. You are a Mom, Mama, Mum, Madre.
Sometimes your preconceived notions of what being a Mom entails are warped by the media, TV sitcoms, and even your own Mother's recollection of her storied, perfect, Norman Rockwell-like child-rearing days.
Have you stopped to congratulate yourself? You housed and grew a baby from two tiny cells for the last 10 months. And then you survived (maybe even relished) birthing the baby. You may be a little tired from this endeavor. But it doesn't stop here! No way. Now all of those fabulous life-supporting hormones begin to depart and other lovely ones ramp up so that you can continue to grow and nurture your baby - just outside of your body. Now you have to conscientiously make an effort at growing and caring for this baby. Now you are in control. Ha! Not Really.
Did you know that it is scientifically proven that sleep deprivation is equal to legal-drunkeness? There is a law against Drinking and Driving. What about Sleep-Deprivation and Motherhood? It definitely impairs your judgment.
A low point in Week 2 of Baby #1
Un-showered for 4 days, Mom is holding screaming baby. Mom is leaning against wall for support. Holding phone. Speed-Dialing Husband.
Dad - is everything OK? Mom - sob. Baby - wailing.
Dad - do you need me to come home? Mom - sob. Baby - wailing.
End of Scene.
In my 20/20 hindsight, I implore you to try as hard as you can to commit those 8am, 11am, 2pm, 5pm, 8pm, 11pm, 2am, 5am feeding/burping/toe-curling/snuggling sessions into your Memory. It is during these times of physical and mental exhaustion - where we are somehow able to trudge onward because a life depends on it - that we encounter our Inner Strength. I've always been a Strong Woman. Because of this experience of Motherhood, I am Sheena - Queen of the Jungle.
It is in this first experience that you and your baby bond. When you pull through a tough time together, you cement your relationship. Together you learn to trust and love. And grow.
Stop being so hard on yourself. Ask for help. Take care of yourself.
When somebody tells me that their baby is sick, I ask how the Mom is coping? I rarely worry about the baby because Mom will escape quicksand to tend to her young. Even at her own peril.
You need to ACCEPT this current role and know that every step of child-rearing comes in stages: as soon as you think that you can't go on another day, it changes. As soon as you think that you are the best parent in the World and that your child is an Angel, it changes. These episodes usually occur in 3 month cycles.
When you are enjoying a good stage, pat yourself on the back and enjoy it. Quickly commit these moments to memory and flash back to them in times of trouble and doubt.
When you are in a bad stage, remind yourself that THIS TOO SHALL PASS.
Know that you will NEVER be challenged with more than you can handle. But you will be tested and stretched to the point of breaking.
After all, this is what Motherhood is about.
Embrace it. Endure it. Grow.
Yours in Motherhood,
The BumRite Diapers BLOG
It started with reading The Diary of Anne Frank when I was 11 years old. I have 20 hand-written diaries locked in a safe in my basement. Now I am taking my musings on-line and semi-scripted to complement my cloth diaper website http://www.bumritediapers.com.
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