For those parents out there, do you remember those first few weeks of parenthood? Maybe like me, you don’t. You’ve blocked it out of your mind and rightly so! It is hard! But we must block it out in order to have any hope as a parent. To even consider having other children, you have to forget the pains of pregnancy, labor, giving birth, and then the subsequent learning curve as you figure out what to do to keep your baby happy and yourself sane.
The hardest part about being a mom is not the day you come home from the hospital and are forced to parent without the help of nurses and doctors and the nursery where the baby can go away for a bit while you sleep. No, the hardest part is the second or third day after the dad goes back to work. The first week when (hopefully) mom and dad are both at home with the baby is blissful. You just ignore the time and relish in that sweet little baby that is all yours. The sleep deprivation hasn’t set in yet even though you are definitely tired. You try to have no expectations except to keep the baby thriving and learning the ins and outs of parenting. Then when dad must go back to work, you try to have low expectations for that first day. You sit and stare at the baby, thinking how lucky you are and how you’re going to have a great time together over your maternity leave.
But by the second or third day, you realize how lonely it is and how much you crave interaction with others because the baby just doesn’t cut it in the conversation or even recognition department. The sleep deprivation has set in, and you think you’re going crazy or that you’re doing everything wrong. (Most likely you’re not, by the way!) And sadly no one really talks about this time. Every mom is either at the point where she’s forgotten all about the hard times, or she feels the need to show herself as a happy mom who is just thankful to have this baby. (Of course, we’re all thankful!)
Like I said, motherhood is hard! I’m saying that from my experience and from what I’ve seen of other moms. But also, like I also said, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
It might be this…
It could be a smile, a hint of recognition, a giggle. It could be as simple as a small victory like a bath or a walk.
For me, the pain of those first few months of motherhood disappear more with every kiss, every “I love you, Mommy.” Every time Mason or Cooper run into my arms after a long day, I have no memory of anything but the good times! And thank goodness for that!
For all new moms out there (my sister included), hang in there! While there might be a new challenge every day, it does get easier. You do gain more confidence in your mothering abilities every day. And the first time that sweet little baby looks into your eyes and smiles, I hope all the pain of the first few weeks melts away because motherhood is truly the best gift in the world!