Some Motherhood Thoughts on Perspective

I’m so surprised some days by how much my perspective has changed. People tell you that you’ll look at things differently. They say you’ll love this little person more than anything. They say that you’ll have a new perspective on everything. But you still aren’t prepared for it. You aren’t prepared for this intense love you feel. I used to spend my evenings killing myself at the gym, or occasionally ranting at happy hours with coworkers. These were things that got me through the days. The amount of stress I felt for jobs that brought me no happiness still astound me. To say that new motherhood isn’t stressful is laughable but it’s such a different kind of stress.   It’s a joyful kind of stress. Now instead of spending time at the gym at 7 and 8 oclock at night, I’m in bed before the sun is even down. Some nights (and days) I’m so tired, I want to cry. But then she smiles, or just looks so peaceful once she’s asleep, it all feels so worth it.

I always loved this quote when we talked about kids in the future, but it means so much more now that we have Clare.

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I also had no idea how my perspective on childbirth would change once I had been through it. I think that’s probably because I wasn’t educated about it in previous parts of my life. Our society and culture makes it out to be this fearful and scary thing, which is not how it has to be. It’s a sacred, special, extraordinarily hard and intense and so completely NORMAL and empowering thing for a woman to go through. Before all of the research I did and going through it, I wouldn’t have been able to see it in that light. I love how many doulas say that a “mother is born” just as the baby is born. You are not only giving birth to your baby, but to the mother within you.

I want to be able to help other mothers have those special births and see birth for the amazing thing it really is. My parents raised me knowing that family was always the most important thing, and I feel like I’ve always known that I wanted to help people in some way, but I was really never sure how, or what that would look like for me, but I really feel like I’ve found the way that I can…one woman and one birth at a time.

My dear friend Elizabeth has influenced me into re-watching Grey’s Anatomy from the beginning, and it’s so funny to see how my perspective has changed in the 10 years that the show has been running. I’ve gone from teenager staying up on Sunday nights to watch it with one of my best friends Emma to mother of an infant now nursing during the reruns in that time, and now I look at so many of the mother/baby mother/daughter storylines in the show SO differently. I tear up at every single one because I can relate in such a different way now.

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Clare a few weeks ago hanging out while we watched Grey’s and folded laundry.

So I may not be out killing myself at the gym in the evenings anymore…I may not be doing a hundred things each day and week with my calendar so packed I could barely breathe…I may not be sleeping for more than a few hours at a time. I may be ready to pass out before 9pm every night and wake up before the sun. Breastfeeding may make my back and shoulders stiffer than ever before. Half my conversations during the day may center around my child’s bodily fluids.

But…

I’m really, really so much happier than I was a year ago.

I wake up to sleepy smiles, I watch sparkling eyes as she learns something new each day. I love watching Chris light up when he makes her smile. Having a baby changes your life, your relationships, everything. Boy does it.

But it changes it so much for the better.

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And I’m Back.

They say that with kids the days are long and the years are short. Boy do I believe that’s true. Some days are truly harder than others, and some days I look at her and think – how could it possibly have been this long already?? She is already 3 months old. Also meaning it’s been almost a year since we got pregnant. Where does that time go? How does everything change so very much in just a year’s time? There are some days now where I want to cry because I’m tired from lack of sleep and sore from sitting in strange positions and breastfeeding all day long, but those are much fewer than the days that I feel so fully lucky to be living the life we are. It’s far from perfect and of course our marriage is truly being tested by adjusting to life with kids, but when I wake up in the morning and see my little girl smile, I know that everything is as it should be. And I know that I want to give her everything, teach her everything, and be the best mommy I can be to her.

I often have to remind myself, that to her I AM the best mommy. Even if I may be unhappy with my postpartum body, she doesn’t care and she thinks it’s wonderful. (This article helped put that into perspective) I especially like the line “Your body as it is now is how it should be. A little softer. A little more lived in. A little more loved.” I should be concerned with being healthy and taking care of her. Nothing more.

The other night, this article about unnecessary c-sections got me SO fired up. I get so passionate about childbirth now after going through the experience and all of the eye-opening research I did leading up to it. I would love to eventually become a doula. That’s not so easy to do while caring for a small baby, but there are other avenues to get into that profession. I started reading this book, and I’m really excited about the prospects of learning how to do that. More on that later.

I’m trying to read a lot, and find more time to write. Reading is doable while nursing…writing, not so much. But I’ll get back to it more. I’ll be back to writing a few articles on Girls on the Grid next month about baby shower gift ideas and local mom resources. On here I plan to get back to some regular updates of “what I’m” (reading, watching, cooking, doing) Hopefully I’ll get to do some reviews of pregnancy and childbirth books I read, baby items, and other Clare related news. Perhaps some posts on the interesting articles and fun videos I find as I spend many nursing sessions scrolling around on my phone.

There’s lots of exciting things on the horizon and for once I’m not in a rush to have it all completely mapped out…because I know it will fall into place. It always does.