Some days, it feels like we know everything. We feel on top of the world. We have all the best answers and everything goes smoothly. Then, we have a baby.
Having a baby and becoming a Mom does not come easily. Women fantasize about what it will be like to hold their sweet bundle of joy. We picture ‘happily ever after’ and we wonder about the elation motherhood will bring. But, what happens in reality?
In reality, whether you give birth naturally or have a c-section, your body goes through a major, sometimes horrifying, transformation. Then, this tiny stranger is placed into your arms. You look down and greet this new person, your baby, and expect your love to be instantaneous. What you don’t realize is that bonding takes time.
As a new Mom, I realized that having a baby is a lot of work. Your life completely changes. You become everything to this helpless and sometimes demanding bundle of joy. Your relationships with your spouse, family members and the world changes. It is no longer, “Hi, how are you today?” It is instead, “Hi, how’s your baby doing?” You become someone else. You become someone’s Mother.
As a new Mom, you learn what it is to be patient, open and understanding. You learn what it means to be truly sleep deprived. For the first three months, you feel like a soldier going in and out of concentration camp. You are lucky to get a hot shower or a cold glass of water before another need, another demand, is made by your little bundle of joy. Gone are the days when you care about your appearance if a guest comes to visit. Instead, you hand off your perfect bundle of joy to the first knock on the door and retreat to your room for a moment of peace or to find your sanity.
As time goes on and your relationship with your baby grows, so does your love. You do not know how much you are able to love until you become a Mom. All of your fears and insecurities you thought you once had actually multiply and new fears and insecurities develop. You worry about everything.
As a new Mom, you question your ability to parent. You ask yourself if you are cut out for this job and realize that it is too late to ask that question. So, you ask yourself what you need to do better or differently? You read books, surf the internet, talk with other Mothers and determine what it is you could be doing better. You want the best for your little one.
You reflect on your own childhood. You think about the things that made you happy and that which did not make you happy and you try to rewrite this story for yourself and your child. You plan your child’s future and want very much for their happiness and safety. You actually get to be a child again and see the world through your child’s eyes!
After your child’s first year and your title of new Mom is fading, you realize that life couldn’t be better. You wonder what you did before this child came into your life. You can’t wait for the next corner of the world to explore. You cannot wait for the new word that they learn or activity that they master.
You find yourself bursting from the seams with love and adoration. You watch their every move, their every step. You protect them from harm and you finally learn the true meaning of unconditional love. You could never imagine your life without them.