I have been having an extremely difficult time getting to this laptop to create. Then, I struggled with what to even share with all of you so that kept me away even longer. It wasn’t until last night when I ran into someone and they told me that they thought me sharing my journey thru pregnancy and motherhood was beautiful. Also, that I’ve probably helped more people than I may realize or even intended to. Being open with things helps me deal with them. As open as I have been wanting to be about my current place in life…finding the words to share has been a challenge. Being a mom has been the most challenging thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. If you would’ve told me a year ago that I would have a daughter today, my exact response minus the facial expression, “You play too much. Hush.” So today, I am choosing to share some of my struggles with being a mom. It has many rewards but I think that society can make us feel like monsters for feeling certain things and I am here to tell you, THOSE FEELINGS ARE VALID AND WE ARE NOT MONSTERS. We are human beings with normal emotions like anyone else.
Missing My Life Pre-baby.
This one definitely sits at the top of my list. You are allowed to miss what life was BEFORE baby arrived. I literally went from being able to randomly go out of town to having to schedule when I’m going to take a shower. THAT is a complete culture shock. I am one of the most spontaneous people I know in life and with a baby things just can’t be that way. There would be days where I would I just go and get a drink at a bar, go to the park to create, hit the gym, go out to eat…I have always been able to do things alone and now I have a little one that will scream like a banshee if I walk away for more than 10 minutes. You are not selfish for missing those things. You can be thankful for your child and also miss what life used to be before they arrived.
Maaaaaannnn….I honestly feel like I could write a book on the pain I’ve been experiencing since giving birth. Yes, I know. It took 9 months to create this human. In that time, the trauma that both my insides and outsides took was extensive. Then BOOM. You got a baby in your arms and your insides feel like a hurricane just ripped right thru you. I imagine inside it looks like a pot of gumbo. Organs just all misplaced, floating around. And what’s even worse? People expect you to be brand new after 6 weeks. 6 weeks?!?!? You expect me to feel normal and better in 6 weeks? THEN to top that, I’ve had a family get a whole attitude with me when I told her I was still in pain. She literal tried to justify this by saying I had a vaginal birth, so I’m alright. Ya’ll…the look on my face. I’m not sure who conditioned women to have these thoughts about what your body would be like after childbirth or what’s expected of you but know this: It took 9 months for this to happen. It sure as hell will take that amount of time and maybe longer to get back to even a remotely normal physical place. Inside and out. You can miss your pre-baby body, girl. I sure as hell miss mine.
Before Lei was conceived, I was a dancing machine. Literally. Dance had been my whole entire world prior to pregnancy. I performed right up to my 5-6 month of pregnancy and taught up until my last trimester. Fast forward, baby arrives and 2 weeks later I am at some auditions. Was this wise for my body? Nope. Not at all. Do I feel 100% physically, now? Also no. I got to see another dancin mama last night and she says “Don’t worry, your core will return eventually.” BRUH. My pelvic floor, core, knees, back…errthang is SHOT. This mama just wants to be able to move again like she once did. Long gone are the days were I could try something without fear of what I would feel like the next morning. There is that and then finding someone I trust to watch baby girl while I rehearse or have a performance. Needless to say, she has been to some rehearsals with me and that will more than likely be her life for quite some time. Mama gotta do what she gotta do. I want my daughter to see and know that she doesn’t have to give up on her path just because her circumstances have changed. My life went from being a solo to a forever duet. It will take some more adjusting but trust me, the show ain’t over.
If I thought my psychological state was sensitive during pregnancy, I surely wasn’t prepared for how it would be during the postpartum stage. I have moments where I get so overwhelmed about things I probably shouldn’t be allowing to get to me. That on top of what is already causing me to be anxious are not helpful: Crying baby, juggling when I will shower, taking time to eat actual food, walking the dog so she doesn’t do her business in the house…WHEW. I got sweaty just thinking about how each day goes while I’m at home. At times I think “what on earth did I get myself into,” this can weigh heavily on a person sometimes. Support for moms of newborns is so necessary because you can feel like you are losing it at moments. I have God, my beautiful circle of sisters and therapy to keep my sanity in check. And of course, my baby girl is the top reason I know I have to keep my emotions in line. However, it doesn’t mean to ignore them completely. Taking care of yourself is important to be able to take care of your little one.
WE are not monsters for feeling how we may feel after giving birth. Your life does a complete 180 degrees. Especially if you are a first time mom. Out of all of the books I’ve read, great advice I’ve been given…one thing that has stuck with me be kind to yourself during this time. Your baby will love you unconditionally no matter what. Give your child the love and care they will need to grow into an amazing human being. And when it gets rough, take some time to yourself even if only 10 minutes out of the day. It’s ok. You are NOT a monster for doing so.
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