Adjustments all around

Nov 1, 2010 | babies, domesticity

Having a baby is life-altering change = Giant Understatement.

I think I’ve been struggling a little with the baby blues, or a mild, mild case of postpartum depression. It’s difficult for me to even admit, because I feel like new moms are made to feel guilty about having the tiniest of negative feelings about motherhood or their baby. Most of the time, I am absolutely in love with my baby. Completely, ridiculously in the deepest love I have ever known. But sometimes, after I’ve been awake for an hour and a half in the middle of the night because he’s screaming and nothing, not even the swing or food, seems to calm him, I scare myself. I am so frustrated and sleep-deprived that I’ve thought about just putting him down and leaving him there to scream.

Judge me if you want.

I feel especially guilty because I wanted this baby. I dreamed about this baby. I feel like I should never, ever get frustrated because there are women out there who are still unable to get pregnant and would give their left arm for the baby I have screaming in my arms.

I’m also having a difficult time adjusting to fully being a stay-at-home mom. I guess I didn’t fully map out my expectations once the baby was born. I thought I’d stay home for the first two months or so, and then take a part-time job somewhere, just like that. I went out a few weeks ago and dropped my resume at a few ideal places where I’d love to work part-time. I even had an interview with a Starbucks location in Kennesaw. The interview went well, but the manager called me back last week and told me that although she really wanted to hire me, I didn’t fit her needs as far as hours go. What I realized last week, is that, “just like that,” such an idealistic approach to life isn’t an option right now.

I took that news pretty hard. It meant I have to get used to the idea of fully depending on Oscar financially, and having a tiny person fully dependent on me. When I realized that, I felt incredibly stuck, like someone shoved me into a linen closet and locked the door. I felt like I didn’t have any options, and I panicked. Thankfully, Oscar is incredibly supportive, and I was able to talk to him and let him know how I was feeling. It was hard to be brutally honest about the possibility of dealing with a little PPD, and worrying about how we will continue to support our family as it grows.

Knowing that other women have been exactly where I am at this moment helps. Knowing that his night wakings are (hopefully) just a short period in our life also helps. (Sleep deprivation does some scary things to an individual.) Finally, knowing that he can look up at my face and recognize my voice, then smile in response, is the best reward I could ever ask for.

3 Comments

  1. “I feel like new moms are made to feel guilty about having the tiniest of negative feelings about motherhood or their baby.”

    ^^THIS.

    I feel HORRIBLE for not loving motherhood. And I feel like I’m still a step behind you on this regard, because I still have yet to totally bond with my baby and I feel like I’m not in love with her yet. (And yes, writing that made me feel like a horrible mother too.)

    Let’s hope that things get better for the both of us.

  2. You shouldn’t feel guilty or horrible about having negative thoughts towards motherhood, my dear. With all experiences in life, we are inclined to have all types of reactions to anything put before us.

    Bringing someone into the world and raising them (as fulfilling as it is) is an exhausting task. I can guarantee all mothers share those moments where they’d like to “walk away for a minute and just breathe.”

    Yes, you DID want this and with all the strength and love you and Oscar could muster, you embraced and accepted this task. So just remember that if want “rainbows”, you have to “stand the rain.”

    Hang in there, Mama. It gets better… 🙂

  3. Hang in there pretty, what you are feeling is normal and you know it is ok to put the in a crib and walk away for just a minute to breathe and it is good for you and them (I think, though I am no dr.)Sending positive thoughts and prayers your way. 🙂