For my blogging A-Z post today, I’d like to speak briefly about motherhood. I became a mother almost 21 years ago. It has been quite an interesting experience. Having a child has given me the opportunity to feel the happiest of happys and the saddest of sads. While being a mom, I have never laughed so hard. I have never cried so hard. Being a mom has made me feel very sure about some things and completely doubtful about others.
One thing no one ever told me about motherhood is how I would feel about my baby when she was born. I spent nine months loving this sweet creature growing inside my body. And when she was born, I looked at her and thought she was a very pretty baby. But I can say with absolute certainty and that I didn’t love her. All I could see was that she was a baby. I was scared to death of the fact that I didn’t have this overwhelming feeling of love for this little creature. It wasn’t until a good day later that I saw unders doing a he’ll stick on her in the nursery and I could tell she was crying and I realized someone was hurting her and I immediately became enraged and wanted my baby. I went back to my room and I told Jim to get Rebekah out of the nursery so I could see her. When I finally got her, I held her and vowed that no one would ever hurt her ever again. I knew at that moment that I had fallen in love with my daughter.
Something else no one ever told me about being a mom was my immediate initiation into the mean mom’s club. Every single thing I did was criticized and ridiculed. I didn’t breast-feed, I used disposable diapers, I used commercial baby food, I had her vaccinated, I bought her clothes at the resale shop, I let her play in the sandbox at the neighborhood playground, I let her eat candy, I let her drink soda, I let her watch television, I didn’t make cookies with her, I didn’t break her birthday cakes, I bought treats at the store for her birthday celebrations at school, I didn’t make her wash her hands every time before she ate a meal or a snack, I sent her to day care, the list of things I did wrong goes on and on and on. All of these are things that other moms made comments to me about at one point or another. Good thing I never tried to be a perfect mother like all those moms were. Once you have kids, expect that you will be criticized for every decision you make.
In addition to all of this, nobody ever told me how I would feel every single emotion my child felt. Every time she was happy or excited, I was just as happy or excited as she was. But every time she was angry or sad or hurting, I felt every ounce of that anger, sadness, and hurt. And I might even venture to say that I felt all those things more intensely than she did. I never expected the emotions I feel to be so intensely strong as I feel them as a mom.
I love my daughter so much more than words could ever express. But I spend a lot of time doubting my ability to be an even slightly decent mother. The few times I have thought to myself that I shouldn’t be on mom had nothing to do with my daughter and everything to do with my own feelings of inadequacy. That’s something else nobody ever told me about being a mom.