Wednesday, May 14, 2008

There was a time

When I didn't love every minute of it. I had a bit of a rough-go for the first 13 days that Carson was born (my mother remembers the number of days accurately). My mom would see the look of dread in my face when the sun went down (at 4:30, it was December!) But it kept getting easier and now those days are completely overshadowed with the absolute love I have for him.

Am I embarassed of those times? No. Do I think I am not a good mother because I had those feelings? Not anymore.

Last night, friends of ours, who have a beautiful 12 day old baby boy stopped by (actually, we saw them out walking behind our house so told them to come around so we could meet the little guy). She's also going through what I went through. And, Carson was completely planned. I knew I wanted a baby more than anything in the world. This couple, happily married, got pregnant by accident, but were immediately overjoyed with their upcoming addition to the family. Now that he's here, and she's going through what I went through, she has the same thoughts as I did. Am I a bad mom because I don't have that instant love that you read about? I'm a horrible person because I don't completely love nursing. Is there anyway i can turn back time and be a childless couple again?

These moments, no matter how brief, really take a toll on your emotional well being. She also had a C-section, so on top of taking care of this completely dependant little gorgeus baby, you're dealing with recovering from major abdominal surgery. Getting out of bed is hard, getting up from a sitting position is hard.

Anyways, the whole point of this, is I felt good that I could her (and him) in the eyes and be competely honest about my experience. I could say I know what you're going through. And I could say with complete confidence that it goes away. And then you forget that you even felt that way. To not feel bad if other mothers talk about their instant love and how nursing is the best thing in the world. Even if it is to them, that's great for them, but not everyone is the same. In the end, we all do what's best for our children, and for us. A happy mother is the best way to have a happy child.

So rather than being shy or embarassed about how I felt as a new mom, I felt strong being able to tell them what I went through and how I came out shining on the other side. And that's what I find other mothers are best for. To talk to, to listen to, not try to compare, or judge, or show-off, but to be as supportive as we can be.

And this morning I got the sweetest email, telling me how good they both felt after talking to Jeff and I, how they felt that they weren't alone and already she's feeling better. That makes me feel wonderful!


Malinda said...

I just wanted to tell you how much I too appreciate your honesty and you're ability to share your personal experience without reservation.

Being a mommy-wanna-be and all the information I've read, websites, books, and on and on I really value your honesty because its shed a new light on the whole pregnancy/ baby/child aspirations my husband and I have. I know it won't be all giggles and smiles so I know I best get my head around that as best I can sans child and I think that is probably the best preparation for motherhood at this point in my life.

Christy said...

Oh wow! I'm so happy that you appreciate at least something I've said. I write it mostly for myself, for family and for Carson, but I hope that it's useful to parents to be too....and yes, it's good preparation too. I'm glad that people are more open about things now, it makes things easier for new parents, so they know they aren't alone.

It's giggles and smiles 99% of the time, but that 1% can be awfully hard sometimes :)

Christy Ann said...

Hi Christy! Firstly thanks for your thoughtful comment on my blog. What a sweetie you are!

Secondly, thanks too for your candid posts about your life and Carson. I have a number of friends from mother's group and I'm always fascinated by everyone's experiences and opinions.

For me, I have to say that the hardest time I've had with Guy is right now. I used to wonder if the "terrible two's" were a myth, but as far as I can tell they're not!

Such as: he won't get into the car, then he won't get out of the car. He won't get into the bath, then he won't get out of the bath.

I guess it's just their way of trying to get some independence whist pushing the boundries, so of course it's up to me and Tom to show him what is acceptable behaviour at home and in public etc.... but it can be very exhausting!

Although I have to say there has been some progress in recent months. He is sharing more at playgroup/play-dates and when he wants to lash out I can see him consider it, then make a conscious decision not to, which I think is huge progress. At 2 1/2 it's all about self control... something that doesn't come very easily at that age!

Christy said...

Thanks Christy!

I find at each "new stage" things get easier and harder at the same time. It sounds like he's learning - the fact that you can see him rationalizing options in his mind... at 2.5 years is amazing.

My good friend and I had a big talk about how good parenting is exhausting. It's so much easier sometimes to just give in, to let them run the show, but the long term affects won't be good. So you guys are doing an awesome job at making sure he has the skills to master critical thinking.

I find our biggest challenge now is Carson knows what he wants most of the time but communication isn't always easy. He has quite a few words but he still gets super frusterated when I don't understand what he wants.

Oh well, in 17 years we can just relax and let them do their own thing :) Thanks for the comment!