Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Things They Don't Tell You

Let me start off by saying Dayne is a blessing and a wonder - I love him with all my heart and would never trade what I have in him.

That being said - no one can ever prepare you for what motherhood is - I can't even prepare you for it after being a mom for a mere two weeks. I came home from the hospital and cried & cried. I cried over everything, I still have moments where I cry, I'm crying now. It has gotten much easier each day though, but those hormones dropping after pregnancy really sent me for a loop!

I didn't want to eat, I was full of nerves and anxiety. I'm still full of nerves and anxiety but each day I get a little closer to being more comfortable being responsible for this child's life, well being and every need. It's SO overwhelming, at least it was for me. I knew I was suffering from the baby blues and it was so nice to have Jason home with me to help out. But he only had one week off and when he went back to work on that Monday I was terrified of being alone.

I cried, sobbed, often during the day. When I heard his car pull up I rushed out just to get a hug and be reassured it was OK. I was living my life in two hour increments, Dayne wanted to eat, Dayne needed his diaper changed, Dayne didn't want to nap, Dayne wanted to be held. I went from doing what I wanted, when I wanted to being dictated by a 9 pound wonder.

I wanted to throw up the morning I had to take him to his first well baby visit - going out of the house with him? In the car? It was enough to send me into sobs again and I shook when I was signing him into the doctor and sweated while I waited. I felt like everyone was looking at me and realizing I was a total fraud, that I wasn't cut out to be a mom!

The guilt nags at me daily too, I feel guilty for not paying enough attention to him. Should I be putting him in his swing when all I want to do is escape to the computer or TV for a little bit? I should be playing with him, interacting with him. Am I doing enough for him? Should I be doing more? How do you interact much with a two week old?

I switched from breast feeding to formula - I feel guilt in that. Breast milk is best and formula is second (but a close second). Still the books and magazines stress how breast milk is better but not to feel bad about formula. How can I not?! It makes me feel like I'm robbing him of the very best but I just cannot do it this time around. My supply was really low and the constant attachment to him to nurse was sending me in tail spins of crying jags. Jason & I both agreed to switch to formula.

I feel guilt because I've already given him a pacifier because he's just a sucker - he cannot keep his fingers in his mouth and cries with frustration after a while. So I introduced the pacifier and he seems happy with it sometimes, other times he spits it right back out.

I feel guilty because I want to go back to work to regain a sense of "me" and a schedule that I set but then I feel my heart drop that someone else will be watching him. I have to go back to work - there isn't a choice in that and most days I look forward to walking back into my office. But every once in a while I want to cry because someone other then me will be taking care of him for the majority of the day. The books tell you that's OK and it's good for everyone but tell that to my guilt!

I feel like because I gave up BF'ing and want to go back to work that I let my husband down even though he tells me I'm crazy for thinking that. I wonder if he expected a "better mom" for his child than I currently am. One that treasured staying at home and relished in breast feeding. I know in my heart that's not true, I know he just wants me to be happy but still the guilt creeps up.

Part of me cannot wait until Dayne starts smiling and cooing and being more interactive so I stop being so "bored" and then I think "What kind of mom am I that I'm BORED with my child?" I watch him from the time Jason leaves in the morning to the time he comes home - that's 11 hours a day! Then I'm on night shift because Jason has to get up so early - another 9 hours or so. I get about a five hour break when Jason is home. That's if he spends all that time with Dayne, last night he wanted to work on the letters for his name in the nursery so I was upstairs with Dayne once again.

Jason tells me to let Dayne cry for a little bit and don't worry so much about attending his every need the very second he demands it. But it's hard to put him down and listen to him cry, knowing he's crying for a reason, not because he just wants to cry. Dayne likes to sleep on me, something I both welcome at times and other times curse myself for. He'll have one moment in the middle of the night where he won't go back to sleep and I'm up with him for at least two hours trying everything to get him to calm down and go back to sleep.

I feel like a slug because my stomach pooch, while much smaller, is still there. The stretch marks around my belly button raditing out like the rays of a sun, the jiggle I get every time I walk and the fact that my belly button looks like it may never return to normal. I know it takes time to go back but I want it back, I don't want to look pregnant while toting a baby around.

I WANTED this, I still want this, I treasure Dayne and I look forward to the days ahead with our family. Jason is a fantastic dad and an amazing husband and I am growing to be a great mom. I remind myself of this every day because it's true. I wouldn't trade what I have now for my "past life" - I know it'll get easier and I know that I'll have this all figured out sooner or later - or at least close to figured out. I know my belly will bounce back one day and my stretch marks will fade. I know Dayne will thrive on formula and won't hate me for using his swing as a crutch when I need a little me time.

I just didn't know that I went into motherhood so blind, all of my friends made it look so easy and I found myself floundering and doubting myself and if I was cut out to be a mom. I just need to find that balance between being myself and being a mom to Dayne and being a wife to Jason. There is no book, magazine, blog or mom who can prepare you for becoming a mom for the first time because until you go through it, you truly have no idea.

I keep clinging to the moms who tell me it's the most challenging yet rewarding job of my life. They made it through the first few months and they are the ones who assure me it gets easier, things get better and I'm not alone in my feelings. I just thought I'd share my first two weeks as mom - and maybe if you find yourself feeling the same way you'll know you're not alone and take comfort in the fact that it's normal. And it does get better.


  1. You're a pretty amazing writer, Tarah. So honest - thank you for sharing

  2. I can't believe after 2 weeks you're already back to blogging! Cut yourself some slack, you are doing great. After two weeks with my first baby, I was constantly looking for spots in the house where I could nap without being disturbed by the crying baby.

  3. Great words. And so true. You are doing great and you are right it will get easier. Agree with Sandra, cut yourself some slack!