I have been struggling with this blog as you have probably noticed. I have SO many words trapped in my brain... So many reflections, struggles, thoughts... and yet NO time to do it. It almost seems like I have SO MUCH to catch up on that I can get paralyzed and just don't post at all. But writing is therapeutic for me so this afternoon I decided I would get some thoughts down on paper and see how it felt. So here we go!
Motherhood did not come naturally to me.
I think my friends and definitely my parents would correct me on this and say "YES! You are a natural! You are a GREAT MOM!" The thing is, I know am a good Mom. But it wasn't something that clicked for me, especially at the beginning. You hear stories about how you see your baby for the first time and everything changes and you have never loved something or someone as much as you do in that moment.... Well call it the hormones or my traumatic birth experience, but the beginning months were rough on me. This baby turned our life upside down and it took time for me to get to know her. She was a perfect stranger to me. She couldn't play, interact, and didn't have a personality really at all. I found myself feeling guilty that I was so bored with her. I could only read baby books for so long or stare at her on the play mat before I felt stupid... It just didn't come natural to me. I felt like I was forcing it or even at times, faking it. I carted her around and sure, I thought she was ADORABLE and loved dressing her up, but for me, my goal each day was to feed her and try to stop her from crying. I started feeling the "Mommy guilt" because I didn't have this grand attachment to her like I thought I would. I also didn't feel any different as a person. I thought I would morph into a "Mom" and somehow feel like more of a woman after having a baby...but I was still ME... with a cute pet.
But around 8 months, I started to turn a corner. I noticed a little spunk emerging from Stella. She started turning from my cute accessory, to my silly sidekick. I started calling our outings "Adventures" even if we were just going to the grocery store. She LOVED riding in the shopping carts and taking it all in and my heart started to swell as I watched her learn new things and take in the world around her. She started crawling. Babbling. Flirting with strangers. BELLY laughing. And WALKING. And NOW I can't get enough of her.
I have been told that some people are "Baby Moms" and others are "Toddler Moms." I think it is safe to say that I am not particularly a "Baby Mom." In fact, I am in no rush to have another one (Lord willing) because I shudder to think of going through all of that again.... I am fully content and present and LOVING where we are at right now in toddler-hood. Stella may not be able to really talk to me, but she can communicate. She has started walking over to me and lifting her arms up. And I know she is reaching up for ME.... because I am her MOM and she LOVES me. There is no better feeling in the world.
So in case anyone still reads this dusty old blog and has struggled with any of these same sort of thoughts, but has been too embarassed or nervous to share them, know that I have NO idea if we are normal or not...BUT there is someone else out there in the world who has felt the exact same way. If you are struggling and have a newborn - SOAK up the snuggles and enjoy the fact that you can actually get stuff done without cleaning up every 30 minutes .... AND KNOW, it is only a phase and they will be 1 before you know it!
That's all I have for today...but it felt nice to share. Thanks for reading!