So often, that first magical year of being a new mom is clouded by a fog of worry, doubt and rampant emotions. You expected to feel joy, excitement and overwhelming happiness, but what happens when the emotions just aren’t that clear? Kristen shares her journey…
People describe having a baby as a “life changing” experience. I heard it so much while I was pregnant with my first child that I was under the illusion that the frequent reminders somehow prepared me for the change that was about to sweep my life. Unfortunately, as I would soon discover, there is no way to truly appreciate just how dramatically life transforms after having a baby, until after having the baby!
Welcoming my daughter into the world was by far the most exciting moment of my life. I had always dreamed of having a baby girl, and now here she was in my arms. It felt like a dream. Unfortunately all the happiness in the world didn’t stand a chance against the shock of sleep deprivation and erratic hormones consuming my life; I started to feel like I was losing my mind! My husband would probably argue that I did, in fact, lose my mind. My whole world had been turned on its axis and I felt as though it were spiraling out of control. I began to wonder if I would ever find balance in life again.
As the days and weeks went on, a routine began to form giving me hope that balance might not be far behind. I was finally starting to gain confidence in my ability as a mother when a wrench was thrown into my delicate schedule and the scales of balance were tipped once again… it was time for me to return to work! The momentum I had worked so hard to gain came to a crashing halt and life was once again a big mystery.
It is still difficult for me reflecting back on this time in my life. I wish I could say the first thing that comes to mind is the utter joy and wonder I felt for having my first child, but that excitement is often overshadowed by the struggles I faced as a new mom. Remembering the pain I felt when I went back to work is enough to bring tears to my eyes at any given moment. In the early months of my daughter’s life I felt like I was walking through a fog, straining to see what was right in front of me, wondering if relief was near.
Things did get better though. After a while I began to settle into a routine again and balance started to creep its way back into my life. Now as I plan my daughter’s second birthday I can look back and actually allow myself to smile… I made it through. Every now and then when I start to feel myself getting overwhelmed I take a deep breath and remember how hard it was in the beginning and how much stronger I feel now. It really does get better… it just takes a little time.
– Kristen, Not aLone Mom