I read long books, cooked complicated meals, spent hours working my work at a comfortable pace.
While pregnant with baby number one, I was tired (green & sick) but I did what I could, when I could, and fell easily into the delusional world of new-moms-to be.
I had seen mothers before. I knew women who had kids and they made it look easy. Everyone made it look easy- how hard could it be?
And then I found out. The moment my son was born, the softly lit, delusional baby-world I’d imagined fell apart.
I was a mess of self-doubt, guilt and self-consciousness, trapped in the obsessions of a sleep-deprived mind. I was living in a small world that had little (nothing) to do with me, and everything to do with my baby.
“I can’t do this for 18 years,” I thought.
I was over-stimulated and under-stimulated, perpetually crying, continually exhausted; overwhelmed and horribly, not immediately in love with my baby.
When he was three weeks old, another mother asked who I would save first if I was on the Titanic, my baby or my husband. I could not honestly say it wouldn’t be my husband. He was my support and my comfort; I had known him seven years, I’d known my baby three weeks. What kind of horrible mother could possibly think a thing such a thing?
The days were endless as I sat nursing for hours. I watched talk shows and read trashy magazines, all the while losing concentration, losing my mind.
Housework ceased. I was too busy cleaning spit and diapers to bother with floors.
I ached for my husband to come home. Sitting by the window I would watch for his truck and pine for his familiar company. Most often, I would greet him in tears, and when the tears were done, I would start dinner. We had Kraft Dinner three times a week and I needed direction to get the water boiling.
“What is wrong with me?” I wondered. “I have a healthy baby and a husband who never complains. Why can’t I do this? Why isn’t it as easy as everyone else has made it look? ”
And there was no answer.
There was only the cold, hard truth that this was the hardest thing I had ever done, and I had only just begun.” – H. Thom