I’m nearly 11 months into being a mother. Some would say, as soon as I got pregnant, I became a mother, but math isn’t my strong suit so let’s just say nearly 11 months. Reflecting back on what the almost last year has been like, I realized there are a couple of things that really stand out as surprising over this journey. I’m sure it’s different for everyone, but I wanted to share mine and hopefully you’ll feel motivated to share yours and we can come up with a whole laundry list of surprising and unexpected things about motherhood to share with the next generation. So here are my top three things that surprised me about motherhood.
- I miss my old life. The one where I could sleep in and nap whenever I liked. I could lie on the couch and watch tv uninterrupted. The one where I could drop everything and hit the slopes or trails. I worked out when I wanted and spent time working whenever I wanted. I did all the things I loved without the necessity for a plan. Before a new little human came into my life, I couldn’t fathom the way that would change my life. I had an inkling. This inkling was the catalyst for going through many years thinking I didn’t want kids, because it would change my life in a way I wasn’t prepared for. Eventually, I was ready to have kids, but I still wasn’t prepared for the change. I don’t think that you can be. And I miss what was.
- I’m not IN love with my child. When people talk about their kids they say they are so IN love. To me, I pictured this love to be very similar to the love I have for my husband. The love that when we first started dating was so all consuming and so intense. But it’s so different. It’s like a slow burn that fills the very essence of my soul. It’s a love that is reserved only for him, just like the love for my husband is solely his. I love my son fiercely but I’m not IN love with him. In my definition, that’d be weird.
- I didn’t know that I could get so frustrated at somebody. For those that know me personally, I’m pretty laid back. I roll with the punches for the most part and don’t get rattled very often. But in the last 11 months, I can honestly say it’s the most frequently I have been frustrated in my life. This little person with his own personality, temperament, and determination who wants to do things his way, right now with zero concern for anybody else. And if not, then he will let you know about it. I know this is how babies are, and if he wants only me at 3am, it’s because I’m his source of sustenance, but fuck, who actually can comprehend this before it actually happens? There are a lot factors that go into this, such as sleep deprivation and hormones, but it’s a whole different side of me that I’ve never seen before. To say that you grow as a human when you become a parent is an understatement. We do focus on the growth of the child, with good reason, but the growth of the parent is seemingly just as important. Each day I’m learning and growing to lead, to communicate and to teach, and that’s a pretty big fucking deal.
It goes without saying that I love my child. The words above are not to degrade this life changing event, but to bring enlightenment to it. To recognize that it’s ok to miss what was. To know it’s ok that giving love isn’t just one dimensional, and to understand that my own growth is just as important as my son’s. I know that each day, week, month and year is going to bring new surprises and lessons. It’s up to me to embrace the suck, the joy, the learning, the growth and the whole messiness of raising a family, because there is no other way to go through it. Love to hear your thoughts about this one! Drop em’ in the comments below.