I know I’m all rainbows and butterflies when it comes to discussing motherhood. I know you all probably get pretty sick of it (no, I don’t care). I know I post entirely too many pictures of my little babe (no, I don’t care about that either.)
Yes, motherhood is amazing (now).
But it hasn’t always been.
For the first six weeks, motherhood, for me, was the exact opposite.
It was terrifying. Treacherous. Too damn much.
I spent my 6,000 months of pregnancy fantasizing about the baby inside of me. I would have daydreams of my baby and I cuddling and laughing and frolicking endlessly through the park.
Then she showed up.
The wait was over – the months of planning, preparing, and plotzing through Buy Buy Baby like the innocent, unknowing, first-time mother-to-be that I was, had all come crashing to a halt.
The curtains closed on the big show, and now I was all alone backstage… Lights off, my audience and adoring fans gone and onto the next big show, and I found myself wishing I could transport myself back to rehearsals. Back to when it was safe again, when I was only practicing, and I wasn’t so exposed.
This is exactly what life felt like the morning after we arrived home with our beautifully perfect and healthy 6-lb miracle.
I will never, ever, forget the nagging voice inside of me that kept shouting, “now what!?!??”
“You’re doing it wrong!”
“You suck at this!”
“No, don’t swaddle with that blanket, use THIS blanket!”
“Do I really have to do this again tomorrow?!”
“Why do my nipples feel like that?”
“Why does my baby have a breathing pattern that makes me think she needs a doctor 562 times per night (on average)?”
“WHY THE HELL DID I WANT A BABY?!?!”
It was exactly what all those nurses and lactation consultants and know-it-all’s meant when they teased, “babies aren’t born with a manual!”
No, they sure as hell aren’t. But here’s the deal, and what I learned the hard way, and what I constantly reflect on now that I’m loving this whole motherhood thing.
The first 6 weeks (or so) of motherhood will be the hardest and darkest days of your life.
I don’t care what anyone tells you. If they disagree with this statement, they are lying and trying to shield you from the reality of life.
But guess what? It’s supposed to be hard. We’re supposed to make mistakes and feel like giant fuck-ups and sweat and cry and wish we never got ourselves into this mess…
…Because that’s where growth happens. Where strength prevails. And where you quickly find out that the reality is, as clueless and helpless and milk-less as you feel, NO ONE can do a better job than you at parenting your child.
That no matter how much you doubt yourself, your baby needs YOU and you alone and already thinks you’re a superhero.
That you ARE a bad-ass bitch with more bad-assery in one little finger now than you’ve ever had in your entire body prior to giving birth.
That you accomplished and persevered through life’s single GREATEST miracle, which automatically makes you a candidate for Nobel fucking peace prize.
That when the darkness and confusion and self-doubt fade, and you finally find yourself falling so in love with your new job as a mother and receive those first smiles from your little creation –
That you, too, have been born.
Reborn – as the woman you were always meant to be –
A pretty damn-good mother.
(and soon, you’ll find the rainbows and butterflies, too.)