Our Creative Voices series features powerful voices in parenthood, exploring important sometimes controversial topics. Heather shares the joy and pain of coming into motherhood.
i probably wouldn’t have believed it, but i would’ve liked to have known that i might find the adjustment to motherhood difficult. not to mothering, that came with a degree of ease, i guess, but to the reality of being a mother.
i had always wanted to be a mother, always, and when this wish was fulfilled i felt so blessed. i was bursting with gratitude that i had been offered the opportunity to make, birth, love, nurture, and raise a little being. i was overjoyed and i was so in love with him, my husband (he gave me our son!), and my world.
once the complete and total bliss lifted though, there it was- my new life. and in my new life i was more in love then ever but i was tired- really tired- and pretty stressed too. also, i couldn’t help but notice that my new life was so rich in one area and very empty in others. my moo and i had a good rhythm and we shared loads of beauty time (i miss you beach walks!) but i was lonely and it was exhausting and i wondered: where was i in all this? where were my people?
once the insular stage of immediate mothering was coming to a close, i realised we didn’t yet have an external life to match who we were now. and if i had known that i could lose all confidence in my abilities or that all the ease i’d felt about my moo could leave, abruptly, or that every maternal instinct i had ever experienced could all of a sudden be threatened by insecurity, self doubt, and anxiety, i would have liked to have known. and, though i trusted myself most of the time, the long days were long and i would have liked to have heard that i was going to make it out the other side. i wondered, here and there.
the thing is, people tell you what it’s like to be a mother, often, and you don’t believe them. well, that’s not totally true… you just don’t hear them. you don’t have the context to actually make sense of what they are saying and everything sounds kinda cliché and simplistic and worn. the thing is, it’s true and unfortunately, it takes becoming a mother to know. in my opinion, there is no way of being prepared before hand.
if i was back there, days away from the momentous life change we embarked on, i’d have some things to say to myself, as well. maybe if i had said them to myself, and often, i would have heard them when things got dark for us, well, for me, because they did for a short while (which felt like an eternity). fortunately, a year has gone by now and so much has changed, mostly my perspective, and i overcame what was hard, the moo overcame his challenges too, and we made it through those couple of rough months- together. i came back to joy- not just for him but to the process of raising him too. i found my groove as a mother and not just as his mother, but as a mother in the world. as a mother in my world.
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