Motherhood

February 2, 2010

It's week three of my new life as a mother, and it feels like month three. Don't take that the wrong way. What I mean is that being a new mother is such an intense experience...it feels like 10 minutes crammed into one.

Of course, you could attribute some negativity to that first statement. Motherhood isn't exactly the dewey-eyed daydream that so many women claim it to be. I mean, darn it, I want to check my email, finish some writing projects, create a new piece of jewelry...not just sit and hold a fussy baby all day! When you have a 9 lb. son who can't support his own head in your arms, you can't do much of anything--including reach the TV remote. And then there's the forays into public that have become five times lengthier and more complicated than before: dress me, dress the baby, put baby in stroller, wheel stroller to car, take car seat out of stroller, put baby in car, put stroller in trunk, drive to destination, take stroller out of trunk...you get the idea. (I'd lament this loss of freedom more if I weren't so ecstatic to just be able to bend at the waist again. I'll gladly take raising a child for the next 18 years as long as I can tie my own shoes.)

At the same time, I wouldn't exactly define motherhood as "life interrupted." It's more like "life expanded." I look into my baby's slate-gray eyes and I love him though he is incapable of comprehending love, let alone having done anything deserving of it. I have never loved my husband more intensely than I have while watching him hold and kiss our son. Also, while gazing at my baby, I realize I have brought a unique life into the world--not having just knit together a body but a mind and a soul as well, using pieces of myself. The magnitude of that feeling...of responsibility, of ultimate creative power...is indescribable.

Of course, it's a weighty feeling. And it can get crowded out mopping up little rivers of regurgitated formula and washing load after load of soiled baby blankets. I get through the dirty and mundane parts of the job by taking one day at a time...and reminding myself that there's more to life than having a clean domicile. There's growing, succeeding, becoming stronger and more confident...which is what motherhood is helping me to do.

After two weeks of effort, I have finally gotten my son to nurse regularly. I've been off my Prozac for the past month, and things are looking up.

2 comments:

Teri K said...

Awesome! I meant to call you yesterday since Calvin had duty. Even put the phone by my chair to remember to call you after I finished dinner. Then realized I'd forgotten at 10:00 when I tried to use it for a remote. sigh
I'm so glad nursing is working for you, I know you really wanted to do it.
Love You.

Konnor said...

Glad things are looking up for you. Great that the little guy is finally nursing. I don't really know anything about how being a mum is, so I'm living vicariously though you haha. It's good to see you happy.

--Konnor

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