I sat in the nursery, looking at the blank walls and the sleeping baby in the crib. I saw all the mess on the floor from clothes tags that had been ripped in a hurry, to an empty formula bottle. And I sat on the rocker in a state of complete exhaustion.
As I sat there, I looked at my precious boy in the crib, in his napper. He was swaddled sweetly, sleep peacefully, breathing to a hypnotic rhythm. All the beauty around me, a beautiful mess, if you will, and I felt horrible.
I wouldn’t call it post-par tum depression. I wouldn’t call it baby blues. But it was this deep and knowing feeling that my life, as I knew it, was over. It was the death of the old me, very much like marriage, and the birth of something new, a new life.
In that moment, that moment of feeling upset about all the changes, I felt guilty too. Shouldn’t I be so in awe of my baby that it doesn’t matter? Shouldn’t I be so in love with him and our new life that I’m overwhelmed with happiness? The thoughts of how I should have felt caused me to feel guilty.
Sitting there, I’d think about how my life was now reduced to feeding and nap schedules. I couldn’t just go on a date with my spouse without having a sitter lined up. I couldn’t just get in the car and get groceries without carrying what seemed like 10 million bags and bottles. The simple ways that my life had changed began to suffocate me, as this realization dawned on me all at once.
I think it’s fair to say that when you’re expecting, you’re super excited and maybe a little anxious. Everyone tells you to enjoy it, and how quickly it’ll all pass away. But no one really preps you for the insane amount of change that will hit you. all. at. once.
Once the epidural of the “in love” baby phase wears away, and the sleep-deprived coma sets in, don’t be shocked to hear yourself say, “What have I done?”.
And moms, it’s okay to feel that way. I’d venture to guess we have all thought or said the same thing. It’s totally normal, and it will wear off, just like the “in love” baby phase. There’s so many great adventures waiting you and your baby, and it’s healthy to allow yourself to feel upset or disappointed from time to time. Sometimes phoning a fellow mom friend or getting out for a girls day can really help. But don’t allow yourself to think what you’re feeling is wrong or selfish. It’s all changing and all normal.
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