I couldn't think of a cuter title for my journal so I settled for that one It makes sense, though, considering my entire identity for nearly the past 6 months has been just that: mommy. Not Laura, not Mrs. Mylastnamehere, but mommy. That’s who I am now, that’s my purpose, and it will be for the rest of my life. It’s what I’ve always wanted.
I'm starting this journal for one reason: I need a place to vent. Because I’ve always wanted to be a mommy doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a role that has come easy to me. Let me preface this with the usual “I love my son with all my heart,” but mommyhood is rough. My beautiful boy has brought so much joy into my life but it has not been an easy road.
Here’s my very long mommyhood story so far:
There are times when I really feel like I'm going to go insane. And I've stuffed and stuffed these feelings away but I think it's time I really confront them head on and realize they are more than I once thought. I keep clinging onto the comforting words of "it will get easier..." but the days are going by and I'm missing out on them waiting for that wonderful day when things magically "get easier." I was warned before he was born that my life would never be the same and I didn't know the full extent of how completely true that statement is. I never thought it would be easy by any means, but I never expected to be dealing the emotions and pain I'm dealing with. I just never expected to feel like this.
Bradley was born on August 31, 2006; ironically it was the exact date I had predicted I would bring my son into the world. I had a really easy pregnancy. No morning sickness, no real complications. Labor and delivery were a breeze. Recovery was rough, but after a few days I was starting to feel normal again and could actually make it in and out of the bathroom in less than 10 minutes! The first six weeks or so of Bradley's life were very difficult. In a nutshell, if he was awake he was crying. And crying and crying and crying. And so was I. I just wanted my son to be happy, and I was quickly realizing that all those daydreams of lovingly holding my son for hours and gazing into his eyes while he gazed into mine were shattering around me. Looking back, I think I was in a sort of shock. I was numb. I didn't expect it and I didn't have any idea what to do. I felt trapped by this innocent child who I was supposed to have endless patience and love for. I was supposed to be his mother, his world, his protector. But all I wanted to do was run away. And sleep.
Somehow I survived those early weeks and things did actually become easier. Of course, by "easier" I don't mean "easy." Bradley is what I have discovered is termed a "high needs child." He is rarely content to sit and do any one thing for longer than, oh, a minute. He has rarely done what all those stupid parenting magazines say he should. "Your child will love to sit and adoringly gaze at your loving face!" Nope. "Your child will adore hearing you sing to him!" Ha! All the so-called "sure shots" to pleasing my baby were no-gos with my sweetheart. I read books, but they made it sound so easy and none of the ideas worked. He doesn't just fall asleep in my arms. He doesn't just want to be held. So was it me? Was it him? I don't know, but irregardless I felt completely inadequate and just plain alone.
Now Bradley is 5 1/2 months old. I love him so, so dearly. But I am really struggling. I feel tired, stressed and anxious all the time. I feel like I'm doing everything wrong. It doesn't help that my husband works nights. So he's gone all night, and sleeps all day. He helps when he can, and he is so wonderful to me and to our son, but someone has to pay the bills.
I just desperately want this dark cloud lifted. I want to cherish every moment with my son. I know it will go by so fast and that makes me feel even worse. I love him and he deserves for me to be happier. Is this a phase? Will it pass on its own? Is "it becoming easier" all it will take for me to feel better? I don't know.
I have an appointment on Monday to see a doctor. I don’t know if this is post-partum depression or what, but it’s not fun and it’s time to do something about it.
Note: In the course of writing this I have eaten 8 (yes…EIGHT!) chocolate chip cookies. Oh God. :shock: