Let’s be honest. You can do all the research in the world, and read all the books and blog posts you find, but nothing – absolutely nothing prepares you for the birth of your very first child. I pride myself on being a really good planner, but after my son was born in 2020, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic when our country went into a hard lockdown, everything I had learned and researched went out of the window. I wasn’t prepared for the barrage of emotions that enveloped me the minute he came into this world. And the emotions kept coming. Month after month after month. People told me it would even out and things would change, but I didn’t experience any of that happening. So if I can help any new mamas out there with this blog post of the top 5 emotions I think new mothers experience then I had to write this. Just to let you know that you’re not alone.
You know you’re expecting a baby. And you have a few good months of notice before your baby gets here. But when that little human actually arrives, your major emotion is disbelief. Like is that small person even real? He looks like a doll you see at the toyshop. Are you really a mother now? A real one? Responsible for a small human being? Even though I delivered him in the hospital and the nurses kept congratulating me, disbelief was high. I remember the exact moment it sunk in. It was when he got himself kicked out of the hospital nursery on the very first night of his life. A nurse opened my room door at around 1:00 am and brought him to me because he wouldn’t stop crying, and he was disturbing the other babies in the nursery. That’s when I knew I was a mother for real.
I’m not sure if love is the best way to describe it, but I couldn’t think of another word. Your heart feels like it’s going to burst open. Especially when you remove his little socks and vest for the first time to bathe him, and you hold him in your arms day after day rocking him and just smelling him. You feel like part of you is living outside of yourself. Now I understand where that quote comes from. You are giving out a love you’ve never given before. It’s unexplainable. This quickly becomes the highlight of the five emotions that new mothers experience. The thing that makes everything else worth it.
I know many new mothers I’ve spoken to, deny they feel any sadness, but this is what I experienced. Sad that my life as I knew it before was over. I was super independent and confident. I was a powerful, corporate career woman and ambitious. But when I had my son, none of it mattered anymore. My dreams and goals changed. I stopped living for myself and started living for him. Everything I did was centered around him. My life was definitely not balanced. He is now two and a half, and I’ve come a long way with getting my identity back. I’ve accepted that I will never be the woman I was before I had him, and I am embracing the woman I’m becoming. The mom I am. But I still feel sad on occasion when I think about life before him. And I know it’s okay to feel sad. I’m not any less of a person because of it. This was the most frequent feeling I felt out of the 5 emotions that new mothers experience.
I got advice from so many different people about how they did the parenting thing. But my journey and my experiences looked nothing like what they described. It took a while for me to realize my road was completely different. No one could tell me how to do it, because it was MY road. So I had to figure it out all alone. I had to figure out how to lose the weight. I had to figure out how to get him to sleep. When the doors close and all the guests are gone home, and it’s just you and your husband left with a screaming baby, things get real very fast. So what if you can’t breastfeed because it’s just too much effort? So what if you wear the same pajamas 3 days in a row because it feels like one long day to you? Nobody can tell you how to do it. You figure out how to do what your instincts and your head tell you to.
This one has stuck with me. I’m determined now, more than ever to live a life filled with joy and my life’s purpose. I want my son to have the best of me. To grow up knowing his mama followed her dreams, didn’t give up, and made them come true. I want him to believe he can do exactly the same. To listen to his heart. I want him to grow up knowing he has the power to be, do and have anything he wants to. To believe in the magic of life that so many of us have forgotten. I will teach him emotional intelligence and all about taking responsibility for his life. I will teach him to appreciate sunrises and beautiful night skies filled with stars. He will learn about what taking complete control of your life does for you as a person. What having gratitude does for your life.
So those are the top 5 emotions I believe new mothers experience. Your journey is unlike anybody else’s. Maybe it will all come to you naturally and you will rock being a first-time mother. Or maybe you’ll have to figure it out the hard way as I did. There’s really nothing wrong with either way. Just remember that it’s YOUR journey. Listen to no one else, unless their advice resonates with you. And more than anything, do not feel like you’re anything less than perfect if you don’t have it all together. The mamahood road is a hard one, but also a beautiful one.
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