motherhood is (two months)

 Motherhood Is is a series of ponderings that I am writing as I figure out how to mother. It will include things I expected, things no one told me, things I learn about myself, about the world, about God, and about life through the lens of parenthood.

It’s accepting that for a good while, six hours will be your new and rare full night of sleep

It’s feeling ugly because your clothes and wedding rings still don’t fit, and regardless of the fact that everyone told you this doesn’t happen that quickly, you still hoped you were one of the exceptions

It’s learning that you can love your child all the time without liking him all the time

It’s feeling like you’re alone because your husband has to work long hours to make up for the pay you’re not getting while you’re on leave

It’s gushing in the feeling that all your baby wants is for you to hold him

It’s pretending that you can still function as you always have, even though your body is going batshit crazy trying to recover from the mental, physical, and emotional trauma of splitting your body open to give birth

It’s having your heart melted every day because of one smile

And having it ripped out every time you leave him

It’s feeling isolated because your baby has to eat, so your dinner has to get cold while everyone else enjoys theirs and each other’s company (but not yours)

It’s being constantly tied to your baby’s physical well-being while everyone else gets to stay out until 2:00 in the morning with no consequences

It’s learning that sometimes (maybe all the time), it’s okay to need drugs

It’s accepting the truth that your marriage is not and cannot stay the same, and you have to do the hard work of deciding what new story you’re going to tell

It’s learning that everyone seems to know better than you how to take care of your child

It is accepting that for the rest of your life, your heart will live in someone else’s body

It is learning how to give until there is nothing left, and then give some more

It’s learning that there is such a thing as a shortage of patience, and no such thing as a shortage of grace

It’s an awful lot of crying as you navigate and accommodate the intense swelling of your heart, the jealousy of your husband not having to breastfeed, the loneliness of being stuck at home all the time, watching everyone else’s life move on and resume like normal while you wait on him to grow, the pain of cracked and sore nipples, the torture of sleep deprivation, the somber weight of being responsible for the life of another, missing the body you will never get back, trying not to take every single opinion as a person’s way of saying you suck and aren’t doing a good job, the fear of not having control of your life anymore, the uncertainty of how you’re going to pay for everything, and watching everything else in your life shrink as this new little one expands to consume every bit of your thoughts, your conversations, and your own well-being

It’s learning that you can’t really say “it’s just hormones,” because saying “it’s just hormones,” belittles the experience of all the above things that happen because “it’s just hormones”

It’s seeing for the first time how terrible the world is and wanting to shield your child from all of it.

It’s seeing for the first time how beautiful the world is and waiting impatiently to show him how to embrace life in it.