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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wonderful, Exhausting Motherhood

"It'd be nice if something made sense every once in a while" - Alice

How long am I considered a "new" mother? Sometimes I don't feel like I am any more experienced today than I was nine months ago. Sure, I know a few more things, but I am by no means a pro.

My son has been sleeping through the night for months, but how long does my sleep deprivation last? I am tired all the time! Last night I went to bed to sleep at 8:30 and tonight will be similar, I'm sure. I'm "on" all the time, so the minute my head hits the pillow, I'm out!

I love talking candidly with my fellow "new" mom friends about the frustrations that come with our roles and how every day is so utterly mundane, yet also so vastly different from the next. I have found that not all mothers will talk so openly about how hard this is, so it's refreshing to find someone that will. Thanks, Jenn, if you are reading this. I love our walks and talks. We need to be able to vent and be open and honest about our feelings. I do, anyway. It revives me and lets me know that I'm not alone in this crazy wonderful, exhausting thing called motherhood.

I love how Debra Gilbert Rosenberg describes motherhood in her book The New Mom's Companion: Care for Yourself While You Care for Your Newborn:

"New mothers enter the world of parenting feeling much like Alice in Wonderland.
  • Being a mother is one of the most rewarding jobs on earth and also one of the most challenging.
  • Motherhood is a process. Learn to love the process.
  • There is a tremendous amount of learning that takes place in the first year of your baby’s life; the baby learns a lot, too.
  • It is sometimes difficult to reconcile the fantasy of what you thought motherhood would be like, and what you thought you would be like as a mother, with reality.
  • Take care of yourself. If Mommy isn't happy, no one else in the family is happy either.
  • New mother generally need to lower their expectations.
  • A good mother learns to love her child as he is and adjusts her mothering to suit her child."
Nothing else in my life has changed me the way motherhood has, not going away to college, not getting married, not losing a loved one. It's completely shocking and there is a lot that no one tells you about motherhood before you experience it for yourself. It is one of life's greatest mysteries and yet, if we are lucky, we all do it.

I forge ahead knowing that the best is yet to be.

Day 30/100

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Blogger Natalie said...

I can empathize with you because I have felt everything that you mentioned. Being a parent is HARD! Nobody tells you before hand that you have to be "on" all the time and how very exhausting that is. Nobody mentions (although it seems obvious) that you can't tell your baby that you are tired/don't feel well/are just in a crappy mood/had too much wine the night before and so you want to be "off" for the day. Nobody mentions that there are days (dare I say this out loud) that you won't like being a mom or that you won't like your child (I have a terrible-two right now and I love him more than life itself, but man, there are days when I don't like what he does)! I've talked a lot to more seasoned moms about this, and they've all assured me that those feelings are 100% normal. Being a mom is exciting, scary, exhausting, amazing, and can make you feel like a success (and a failure) sometimes within the span of an hour!

March 26, 2010 at 9:04 AM  
Blogger Leah said...

I can't decide whether I am more excited or more terrified of being a mother one day. I suppose its a lot of both. You'll never know just how much I am learning from you and our piggy. I am so happy that you have awesome fellow mommies out there to talk to about everything that you are doing with Lucas and of course, about all your feelings too. I really do wish that there was a way to have an "off" day every once in awhile but I suppose there really isn't a way to be really "off" with him...huh?

March 26, 2010 at 5:15 PM  

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