I was surprised at how sad I was after my son was born. It wasn’t the sadness of postpartum depression, or the sadness of realizing I had made the wrong decision. I had expected to be tired, cranky, and emotional, but I was surprised by the need I had to mourn the life I had left behind.
The Life I Built
I’m someone who has always had a to-do list and never enough time, which made this first month of being a mom pretty rough. My life clock has been thrown to the wind in a way that I expected, but never understood. Suddenly I have a tiny person that’s completely dependent on me, and all I can do is watch my life, as I have previously known it, quickly fade into the distance. It’s been surprisingly hard to let go.
I was happy in my life before Rand came along. It was a life, as Faith Salie said, that I had “forged and prayed for and fought for and created and adjusted.” But I found that this piece of art (my life) that I had spent so much time creating had been bought. And the price was higher than anticipated.
Instead of spending hours a day reading and writing, that time is now spent looking into a pair of deep blue eyes that need 100% of me (which is kind of intimidating). Instead of waking up to the sun with a smile and anticipation for a new day, more often than not it’s with a groan and a desire to pull the covers over my head. Instead of looking back on my week with the knowledge that I had been a responsible and productive citizen, now I look back and struggle to think of things I did besides sleeping and eating (and helping Rand to do the same).
Yes, I feel like I have reason to mourn. The life I lead is gone and there is no getting it back. But as I’ve slowly started adjusting to the new life that’s started to form, the life of Mom, I’ve realized that maybe not all of me is lost. Perhaps the things I do every day have changed, but I am still the same person, and now I have a Little who is making me even better.
I have learned to sleep when he sleeps so I have a smile for him when he wakes up. I have learned to eat when he’s content to stare at the ceiling and kick the feet he doesn’t yet know are his. I have learned to clean as I go, since the option of blocking out a few hours on Saturday isn’t practical anymore.
No, I can’t read and write for hours a day, because now I’m doing something way more important (even though it doesn’t seem like it sometimes). No, I can’t just jump in the car and go places, because now I have to plan my schedule around ten little fingers and ten little toes.
A New Life
Four weeks in and I finally feel like I have my priorities straight. I bargained for a baby, and a baby is what I got. But I never realized how much more came with him. He’s more than a diaper to change and a mouth to feed. He’s a reason to live, a reason to fight for a better life, a reason to be the best person I can possibly be.
I’ve mourned the part of my “freedom” that I had to let go. But to be honest, if “freedom” is spending the rest of my life without Rand, his chubby cheeks, and his wide smiles, then I don’t want it anyway. He’s shown me a certain kind of joy that I’d never tasted before, and it’s sure delicious!
Perhaps one day as we fall into a routine I’ll be able to get a few minutes of writing in at a time (to write posts such as this). I anticipate that we’ll both get the hang of going places with the carseat and the diaper bag. I can even imagine that sometimes I’ll get to make dinner or clean our apartment. Until then, yes, the life that I had before is gone. But you know what? The one I’m creating now is even better!
How did you feel after your first month of being a mom?
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© No Nightlights by Kyra Sutherland