November 2, 2020

Unpopular Opinions: Thoughts From a New Mom

new mom black mom motherhood newborn baby

It was a long road to get here . At the time of writing this, it’s been almost 6 weeks since my body produced a small (almost 8 lb which is really not that small) human. It has also been about 6 weeks (a little more, actually) since I’ve had the presence of mind to write a coherent thought, no matter how much it may have been my desire hitherto. Thoughts from a new mom

 

The question I get these days in copious amounts is, “how is motherhood?” That, my friends, is a complicated question. I think people want me to say “I love it!” or “it’s amazing” or “It’s the best!” or some variation thereof.  None of those would ring authentic for me. 

 

My new little chicken nugget, Wes, is, in a word and without an iota of hyperbole, everything. He’s the literal cutest baby to ever baby. His soft coos and sighs just send me. I adore his toothless smiles that beam from his chubby face as he farts into my hand for the 9th time on any given day. When he falls asleep on my chest with his mouth hanging open and he breathes his little sweet baby breath at me it’s basically heaven. I am a glutton for the smell of him.

 

At the very same time, I spent much of the first approximately 3 weeks with this one thought pulsing through my head at random sleep deprived intervals: What have I done? 

 

Waking up every 3 hours to  provide a tiny aggressively persistent beggar with morsels from your mammaries puts one into a precarious mental state. The constant shlep to the diaper changing table gets to be a lot – along with the unsuccessful dodging of urine streams that spring fourth the moment you take your eye off of the ball(s)….see what I did there? At this point, I do not feel like crying twice a day (at minimum) every day anymore, but I did. Boy, did I. 

 

Accompanying his arrival was the in my face realization that life, specifically, MY life will never be the same. In theory I’ve known and have been preparing for this for the past 9 months – even so I was about as prepared for that  as Regina George was to get hit by that bus . Exactly as prepared, in fact. 

 

It’s a renewal of mourning my old life and my former body which, I’m told, will return to me at some point in some way, shape, or form, but I am impatient. It pains me that, as an athlete and dancer all my life, I cannot even walk as fast as I used to and pants have gotten even more complicated than they were before. My body is still quite foreign to me. To sum it up eloquently – it really sucks.

There is always a twinge of disappointment & indignation as my husband so effortlessly fulfills the obligations of his days and weeks that have essentially remained unchanged. Also unchanged is the fact that he has been wildly amazing through all things pregnancy and birth, but still. My days changed the minute I found out I was incubating and continue to morph in leaps and bounds with every new place I go and everything I attempt (emphasis on attempt) to accomplish during a day. 

 

“How is motherhood?” So far, I would not call this fun, but Wes is fun. Tired has taken on a whole new meaning – and only women who have dealt with newborns are acquainted with this particular brand of it. I hate being this tired, truly.  Taking care of my son is also so very satisfying. I am absolutely annoyed when he is insatiably hungry or poops while (yes, while) I’m changing his diaper. There is also such pleasure in meeting his needs. I miss him fiercely when I’m not with him, but being away from him for a while makes me a better person when I return. If this all seems like a bunch of non-sequiturs and contradictions, that’s because it is. 

 

Some pinterest quotes wax poetic about the magic of new motherhood. That does exist, I suppose, but there is just as much vexation. The way I see it, I’m settling in for a life of not being able to settle in for anything predictable. I expect constant change, a million frustrating days and a billion amazing moments. 

 

So, how is motherhood? That’s a complicated question with an even more complicated answer. I do not feel I’ve been steeped in it long enough to have a truly robust reflection but, I can say with certainty, that it is the sweetest conundrum I’ve ever been privileged enough to be a part of.

Are you a new mom? What are your thoughts?

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