Friday, November 24, 2006

The Stuff I don't Blog About

So tonight I went out to dinner with two of my BFAW's. The third is on some all-inclusive trip in some tropical destination. We didn't feel too badly!
Anyway, as the evening progressed we got on to the topic of children, in particular child birth and babies. Two of us have kids and one didn't. For some reason the question of "was it really that hard" open the floodgates to conversation about giving birth and the first while of Matt's life.
I realized that this is something I rarely talk about.
When I first had Matt it was all I could discuss because I was hanging on by a thread, and I really felt like I needed to sort it out. I needed people to hear about how crappy Matt's birth was. A huge part of me thinks that I really just wanted to justify to everyone what was going on, why I was so unhappy, why I hated life, why I wasn't the happy loving mother that I had planned to be.
But as time has passed, as my very difficult screaming baby has turned into this amazing child who I love desperately I never ever talk about that stuff.
I guess because I feel guilty. I feel horrible that when Matt was a teeny tiny baby I didn't have this overwhelming love that I have for him now. And I try to not think about all of that. I talk about the present. I talk about what he's doing now - talking in sentences, counting, telling me he loves me. Because when I think about how I felt, how scared I was, how horrible it felt to be unhappy and even angry I feel awful. And I haven't quite resolved that.
It feels like this week has been all about babies. A friend of mine is about to give birth, and as we sat chatting I felt sad for her. She's scared. It's not her first. And she knows what to expect. I wanted to be happy for her and tell her how wonderful this would be, but I knew what she was saying - and she knows it will be rough. Especially with 2 other kids who are running around.
And then later on in the week I was speaking with someone else about kids, about the unexpected and what to do if babies come when they aren't planned. I sometimes feel completely unequipped to talk about it.
Call my sister, I want to say. She handled it. She was the maternal one. She's the one who had a baby in an hour. She's the one who stays at home and enjoys it and does cool crafts. Don't ask me. I'm way happier than I was, but I sware most days it's still a thin line between me and insanity. I'm the mom at the daycare who forgets diapers and cries when teachers tell me how to discipline my child.
Why do you ask me? Why does anyone turn to me for advice about kids, to ask questions, to seek an opinion.
Don't get me wrong. I find it flattering. It means that outwardly I'm holding it together. And I guess in all honestly inwardly I am too. Sure I go to bed early and sometimes lose my temper. But at the end of the day, we're getting through it - me, Matty and Mike. Day by day we are happy.
But still, it's just so bizarre when I talk about it, when people ask me questions about being a mother, about parenting and about babies. My advice is always the same - don't overthink it. It sucks at first, but it gets better, and the love, the pure honest love of a child - it's worth it completely.
And, maybe, one of these days I'll blog about my early days, the early months, of being a mom. But right now - I'm just not ready.

We're having too much fun too talk about unhappy times!


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

So, this is my third attempt to post Laural. Seriously!
But, I had to say that you, my friend, need to talk to those around you that saw you get through your first year. You had a really low period, but you identified it, you dealt with it, you relied on others and you made it through. That is one amazing mom that can do all that. Especially when you were physically not feeling great, running on no sleep and having a kid with one huge set of lungs. A mountain stood in your way and you climbed it,stood at the top, sipped a cup of coffee, and decided that the ride down the other side was going to be amazing. Matty's proof. Look back and be proud.

Anonymous said...

Don't feel bad, I think all Mother's go through those early baby months very unsure of everything ! Especially when it's your first. I have three children but I remember those really hard times after I had my first daughter. Don't "beat" yourself up about it we all go through it :)

Anonymous said...

Don't feel bad, I think all Mother's go through those early baby months very unsure of everything ! Especially when it's your first. I have three children but I remember those really hard times after I had my first daughter. Don't "beat" yo

Ruthie said...

I was reading something that Sarah Jessica Parker said, and I adopted it as my own: "I thought I loved him [her son] when he was born. But that was only scratching the surface."

We love our children more with every day that passes, with every new development and beginning... I know exactly what you mean. I was scared and very young when I had my son. I thought I loved him then. I know I did. But that was nothing compared to how attached I am to him now.