The entire time I was pregnant everyone told me: “you don’t really know what love it until you see that baby for the first time’. Every book I read implied the same, and my friends that were becoming mommas of their own couldn’t stop gushing about how amazing it was, to love someone so much, so fast.
Twenty something hours of labor of later, I held a beautiful, healthy boy in my arms. I kept waiting for it, when am I going to look at him and think this is the feeling I’ve never felt before…but nothing. He was mine to take care of, he was really cute, squishy, and that was that (I am picturing the horror on your face as you read this!). I was now a mom and so began the journey.
So there I was with a little person 24 hours a day, and to top it off this sweet boy was a crier. I’m not talking about a whimper here or there I am talking about nursing, sleeping in my arms, or screaming. Screaming to the point where you had to walk, jiggle, and play ‘Buffalo Soldier’ to even reduce it to an acceptable decibel. I remember taking him to an appointment and the look my friend gave me when she asked how I liked being a mom, and my response was something along the lines of I feel like have a little stranger attached to me.
I was freaked out, horrified. I thought I was a bad mom. I wanted this baby, and now he was here, but I wasn’t really sure what I was feeling. All I remember thinking, is” “I can’t wait until he is older and we don’t have to do this anymore“.
Looking back I probably should of told someone. Anyone. Instead, I chugged along because I didn’t know any different.
We kept nursing, rocking, and crying. I’d go to work pump all day, come home nurse all night, repeat over again. And throughout all of it I’d think
- I can’t wait until you’re bigger
- I can’t wait until I feel like your my child as opposed to a little person I have around
Yes, you are reading that right, I wished my sweet big chunk of a baby away. And for what reason? I kept comparing myself and the relationship I was having with my baby to what I was “supposed” to be having.
Fast-forward a few months later, to me sitting in his room rocking him (as he still won’t fall asleep on his own, oops!), scrolling through pictures on my phone and it hit me: look how little he was, look at his little face, I never want him to be bigger than this moment. Tears started streaming down my face as I came downstairs and tried to explain, half sobbing, to my husband that I felt so horrible, that I am a bad person, that I literally wished his baby months away.
In that moment my husband said exactly what I needed: “he never was a stranger and he’s always going to be your baby.” And right there I figured it out. That was our bond, that was our relationship. It wasn’t necessarily like the books, I didn’t cry my whole first day back to work. I didn’t always have to want to squeeze him, I didn’t have to love nursing, and I could still love him and be his momma. The part that stood out the most was that he would never be the same, he would never be that baby again, and I would truly miss that. I didn’t need to scream that so-called “new mom feeling” from the mountain top, I didn’t need to post thousands of pictures of him on Facebook elaborating how my life is now complete in order to be a good mom. I didn’t need to instantly love him half naked in a hospital room with people poking at my parts. I just needed to be his mom.
Now as my friends have babies I do my best to not say ‘isn’t it the most wonderful feeling in the world?’ because I know first hand its not all the time, and as a mom you may not feel that way. If you look forward to going back to work so you can have a moment without another person touching you, it’s totally OK. And, if it takes 8 months later and scrolling through thousands of iPhone pictures to truly realize that you can’t picture life without that little babe, then that’s how it is.
Everyone has their own feelings, and just because you don’t have the same as everyone else doesn’t mean you’re a bad mom, it just means you’re human. I just wish before hand someone would have told me the same thing.