It came as a shock to me the other day when I received a reminder from the Dr.’s office about Little C’s 15 month check up. 15 months?! How can that possibly be? Time is really racing by and I want more than ever for things to slow down. Because I really LOVE being a mama now. And I know it’s probably some type of sacrilege to declare, but I didn’t exactly love the first year of motherhood. * GASP * Calm down.
I LOVED Little C the minute I found out I was pregnant with him. I fell in utter and complete love with him the minute we locked eyes when they finally laid him on my chest after delivery. I learned what sacrificial love felt like when I begged God to make me sick with the flu so that he wouldn’t have to suffer anymore when he got his first flu bug. My heart literally ached the first night that we were apart. I have ALWAYS loved Little C.
BUT… the first year of motherhood was just plain HARD for me. Hormones kicked my butt after delivery and I had a mad crazy set of the “baby blues” going on. I was OVERWHELMED. I was TIRED. I was DEPRESSED. Though I have a wonderfully supportive family and great friends, I still felt very alone and very lost and very out of my element. I wanted so desperately to be a good mom, but depression and anxiety and doubt had me convinced that I was not. I struggled with breastfeeding. I struggled with sleep deprivation and I’m sorry, but other mamas and their blogs and websites did nothing more than serve me a huge heaping scoop of “mama guilt” that I wasn’t doing enough, good enough, calm enough… the list goes on. Why are women like that? Anyway…
It was about this time last year that I had to head back to work full time and leave my precious baby with a sitter. We selected a fantastic sitter and she is SO WONDERFUL with Little C. But going back to work was an emotional stab to the heart for me. I was terribly unhappy. It was a miserable environment. I was struggling to balance all of the things I needed to do or should be doing. I missed my baby. And after I got home from a long day of work, I got the worst part of Little C’s day. He was tired. He was cranky. He just wanted a bottle, and bath and bedtime. Bonding time was OVER and he was spent. It pretty much broke my heart.
But don’t despair, I have good news! 🙂 Right around the time Little C turned one, something started to happen to me. I started to “come out of it” so to speak. I didn’t feel anxious and depressed all the time. I started to really ENJOY my time with the little man. I didn’t burst into tears when things got a little tough. And something seemingly impossible happened – my love, already HUGE for that little boy, GREW even bigger and deeper than before. I can’t count the times in the last few months where I have looked at Little C doing something silly, or mischievous, or just darn cute and I bend down and softly say to him, “Oh, I really love you, so much!” And even that doesn’t capture what I feel for my son. There are no hugs big enough, no smiles wide enough and not enough happy tears to express what I feel for him. He has my heart.
Because of that, when asked how I feel about being a mom, I can wholly and honestly say, “It’s amazing. It’s real and true love. It’s hard, but it’s the best thing I’ve done with my life. I wouldn’t give it up for anything.” And what a celebration it can finally be for me.
Can you blame me?