The First Year of Motherhood
I made it. They made it. We made it. Almost one year of parenting and we're all still alive. I think I deserve a high five ( and so does my husband.)
How did we get here so fast? One year passed already? Reflecting back it seems like this year went by so fast but on the other hand, the short newborn nights with no sleep seem centuries away.
So, how was my First Year of Motherhood? How is it? It definitely is something. It is everything. And it is nothing... nothing like I would have imaged.
The First Year of Motherhood is hard. Damn hard. It's so much new to learn, so much you don't know, so much you have to be. It is so little sleep, so many worries, so many questions and no for-sure answers. It is wanting to be everything when you don't even know how to be anymore. I feel like the first 3 months were a big blur of breast milk, poopy diapers, spit-up and constipation. I slept in 1 1/2 hour blocks at night, feeding my babies every three hours, pumping, cleaning, sleeping, repeat. It is hard.
The First Year of Motherhood is lonely. You are this new person you don't know yet, you develop all these new values, how you can be a better person, how you can raise good people. Your partner will never be the perfect co-parent of your dreams. You have to feel at home in your new body, your hormones are all over the place. And nobody gets it. In my case daddy went back to work after a week and there I was, home alone with two strangers I had to take care of with nobody telling me how, with nobody telling me I did good or bad, with nobody telling me I was still me somewhere beneath all this motherhood.
The First Year of Motherhood is full of insecurity. You take home a baby (or two), with absolutely no idea how to keep "it" alive. You don't know how often they should poop or burb or breath. You don't know if you love them enough and if they love you back. I don't know if the choices you make are the right ones. Does she like this binky? Did I change his diaper enough? Can I co-sleep? Can she have juice? Why doesn't he poop? Why is she always crying? Everything is a mystery, nothing is straight forward. You get 7 different answers to any parenting question so you stop asking. You question literally everything you do. Things that seem like common sense to other people doesn't seem so common anymore. For a while everything just turns and spins.
The First Year of Motherhood is draining. There is a reason the military trains special units for torture with infants cries. You will feel defeated more than once, you will want to walk out of the room, out of the house. You wish to be deaf. You wish babies could talk. You wish the baby would just sleep. Or eat. Or poop. Why is putting on clothes such a struggle? How did the baby reach this? Where did the baby go? Why don't I have 4 hands? And 2 brains too, please. I have never been as tired as in the past year, have never felt as exhausted and mentally drained. I have never wanted to just sleep for an entire week. I didn't think I ever wanted to lose my ability to hear. I didn't ever think my husband and I would fight over socks or toilet seats or birthday presents.
But you know what?
The First Year of Motherhood is empowering. YOU keep another human being alive. YOU teach them to eat, sit, crawl, walk, talk. YOU make them stop crying, YOU figure out what they need. Mostly YOU. When the twins were in the NICU the nurses there made me feel like a celebrity because they knew I was the most important person for my girls in the whole hospital. The whole country. They needed MY smell, MY heartbeat, MY milk. It was the most empowering feeling and it still is. The nights when a had little hands wrapped around my fingers because I was the only comfort they need. When one of them cries and me simply wrapping my arms around them can make the tears stop or me walking in the room can make their faces light up, that's being a badass. . That's being a mom.
The First Year of Motherhood teaches you to follow your instincts. It teaches you to trust your guts and that you know more than you think. It shows you what you can do, what you can learn and what you are made of. Living on 3 hours of sleep and still remembering to pay all the bills? Check! Feeding a baby with milk you body produces? Check! Staying up all night because the baby has a tummy ache while your husband sleeps through the night and not punching him in the face? You got this!
The First Year of Motherhood is fascinating. Watching these little beings go from being little sacks who only breath and eat and sleep to learn to smile, lift their heads, sit, crawl etc. must be the most fascinating thing ever. I still can't believe how much they have learned in just one year. Every day I watch how they figure something out, how they find a matching piece to the big puzzle of life, how the world makes a little more sense to them a day at a time. And it is the most amazing thing. But so do I. Parenting makes a little more sense to me every day, we function a little better together every day. I witness my husband turn into a father and it was the most beautiful thing.
The First Year of Motherhood is making a lot of mistakes, learning a lot of new things, becoming an expert in raising your own children and getting to see the world with different eyes again.
During the last year, I have cried, smiled, yelled, wished, worried and loved more than I ever thought possible. I am damn proud. One year down, one year of the best thing that I get to be. The First Year of Motherhood was that: It was too much and never enough. It was everything I wanted and everything I didn't think I could survive.