Mother's Day Blog for NEW Mommies!

Last May, when my son was just 4 months old... I didn't even consider blogging about Mother's Day.

    I was too new at motherhood to fathom doing anything that didn't revolve around my baby being in my arms and/or at my breast. 
    That's how I instinctively knew to mother an infant- pretty much never let him go! He nursed on demand which was every 1-2 hours and he preferred to be held by mommy in the early days, maybe because I held him all the time! 
    People tried to tell me that then but I thought they were crazy and unsympathetic to my plight of having a 'needy infant'. 
Needy Infant...

  Now I know those 2 words go together like hand in glove, butter and bread, poop and diapers... ok, you got the point! 
Infants are needy. 
 They need to be needy to survive.
 There's a '4th trimester' philosophy which states the first 3 months out of the mother's womb are equivalent to the infant's 4th trimester. Dr. Karp explains it well in his book and DVD, Happiest Baby On The Block. (The DVD helped me).
  Had I attempted to blog about Mother's Day last year, after only 4 months of mommy experience, it would not have been pretty! 
  "Why did I want to have a child in the first place? -It seems my life is over. -I feel like all I ever do is nurse..." are a few of the sentiments I would have shared one year ago today. 
    I feel badly admitting that but- blogging is about honesty, to hopefully help someone else, and is meant to be therapeutic, and nothing can be therapeutic without honesty.
     My mom went to visit me in Miami when Sam was born. I didn't even want to be around my mom at that time. I felt indignant towards her during my last few months of pregnancy. I didn't even want her (or anyone) holding my baby for more than 5 minutes.         
Why did I feel this way?

     I'm guessing a lot of it was hormones. 
    And the underlying fear that some pregnant women face that: somehow you'll magically turn into your mother once that baby's in your arms.
    So, my mom in Miami Beach, in our one bedroom apartment with us (my man, the four dogs, the cat, the week-old-baby) asked me, 
    "If you knew it were going to be this hard would you still have chosen to have a baby?" I think she asked me that right after I had peed, with the baby in my arms, because God forbid I put the little parasite down since then he would cry, that's what I used to sometimes call him, a parasite (I know it sounds awful!). I had to learn to wipe one-handed while holding my baby, which was particularly outrageous.
    "No," I told her, "I didn't know I wasn't going to be able to do anything once he was here."
    Then I remember thinking, shit, I should feel guilty about saying and feeling that way, but I don't. Why didn't I feel guilty? I don't know. Maybe it was the hormones. Maybe it was the post postpartum depression which I didn't yet know I was experiencing.

Becoming a mom for the first time is like becoming handicapped overnight

    Suddenly the most simple tasks: eating, brushing your teeth, bathing, sleeping, become elusive.
    I remember the weather being gorgeous outside when Sam was very tiny but I felt like a prisoner in my home. I couldn't take him on stroller rides because he would cry (as an infant, not as a baby) in the stroller (this was before I learned to swaddle and I never learned to 'wear my baby' which is something I wish I had known).     I would at least venture out front every day and walk up and down the sidewalk with Sammy a little. I knew it was important for both of us to get fresh air.

One Year Later...

    I recall dozens upon dozens of women telling me, "It gets easier... You'll get the hang of it... This time will fly by so fast... The first child is always a shock."
    Knowing they meant well I appreciated the kind words but couldn't help feeling these women were just trying to make me feel better, trying to get me to stop whining about how hard it was being a mom while secretly laughing to themselves like, "hahaha, we tricked you and told you how great it was and how happy you'd be while you were pregnant and now you're one of us... there's no escaping it now... motherhood!" hahahhaha laughs the mommy-club. 
    I didn't feel this way every time friends offered kind words of wisdom but sometimes I did; it was sick thinking I know!
   And guess what... I see now that they were right.
They were right.
About Everything.
It has gotten easier.
I have gotten the hang of it.

    The hardest period, those first few months, did go by quickly, in hindsight, and now I feel blessed and am oftentimes in sheer amazement of the beautiful, perfect little human being we've created. I love him to pieces. He brings me joy and laughter every single day. Sometimes I feel I need a break from him but after just a few hours away from my child, I miss him. I'm always happy to see him once we've been apart, even if it's just for 2 minutes. This morning he crawled down the hallway, pulled himself up at the corner of where the kitchen begins, peeked around at me, smiled, and said, "Hi."
    He said hi. I don't even remember teaching him to say hi! I didn't teach him to do that cute little gesture and smile. He's an individual, a person separate from me but is of me. He's a blessing. He's healthy and perfect in every way. I wouldn't trade getting to watch another human being, my species, grow from nothing into something, something more complex and sophisticated every day, for anything in the world. It is magical. It is miraculous. Life is miraculous. 

Creating and nurturing life is humbling, hard, gratifying and fulfilling. 

 I am honored to be a mother this Mother's Day. It is a blessing. Yes, I had a rough start at mommy-hood but I refuse to beat myself up for that. I didn't abandon my son. I didn't hurt him. I always loved him and just had a hard time adjusting those first few months. I am grateful those very hard times have passed. I am grateful for the support I had and have from family, friends, my partner, the Universe/God. I am grateful my misplaced bitterness towards my own mother passed quickly, and that our relationship is better now than it has been in years. She's a wonderful grandmother.

 Thank You Lord for helping me transition into a lovely mother. Thank you for helping me to surrender to motherhood.

    If you're a new mommy, hang in there, it does get easier! 
    Be kind to yourself. Don't beat yourself up. 
    Talk to others about how you feel. 
    You are safe. 
    You are protected by Light and Love at all times. 
    When you're struggling tell yourself or pray to God, "Help me surrender." You will get through it. If you're really struggling see a Doctor. I had to take medication. I was suffering with PPD. That's ok. It's common. We're all human. 
    One last (quite challenging) thing for all of us mommies: We need to try not to judge each other. It's way too easy to compare our mommy-tactics to others' ways and that's just not fair. 
    We need to stop judging each other as moms, thinking someone's taking the 'easy way,' or somehow is taking shortcuts. There are no shortcuts in motherhood. If a mommy does somehow manage to 'escape' some motherhood duty chances are she feels guilty about it and that, my friend, is no escape. -Empathy.
    It's not our job to judge- anyone- but that's hard for all of us as humans I know! 
    To sum it all up... words are enough to describe the angst, frustration and desperation I felt during those early days and weeks of motherhood. And words aren't enough to describe the joy, love and pride I feel now every single day as a mommy. The good times were, are and always will be worth the hard times in motherhood...  and in life.

Sammy and Mommy selfie 05-15