I am a woman who loves my family so much. I am thankful for having a wonderful and hard-working husband who always supports me whenever I need him. I am also grateful for the experience my only daughter gave me before and after I delivered her into the world. Everything that is in my life right now is all worth the pain, suffering, and struggle that I endured consistently during my pregnancy.
It’s been several weeks since I gave birth to our only child. Looking at her makes me feel so blessed that I can’t thank God enough for the experience. I’m still in awe. I can’t believe how amazing life is and that nature can become incredible. However, the everyday struggle of taking care of my daughter is something that gives me these unwanted moods. I understand that this could mean signs of postpartum and that it’ll eventually go away. But still, the whole experience is giving me the chill.
When I was a young adult, I do have some expectations on how life would be like when I become a mom. However, it seems like some of those perceptions are way far from what I thought it would be now that I am currently a first-time mom.
A New Born Child Is Indescribably Delicate
I know for a fact that a newborn baby is soft and delicate. That is why I set up my mind to always be careful in handling things that are fragile. I make sure to properly hold a glass in a position where it won’t slip off my hand. However, keeping a baby in your arms is different from the latter experience. There’s a need for an “extra” of everything. There should be an extra carefulness, attention, focus, as well as slowness. That is the reason why sometimes I don’t want to hold her at all. I get the feeling that I might lose control and snuggle her too tightly. I sometimes avoid touching parts of her body because it’s way too little. I get scared of putting her on top of my chest thinking that she might not feel comfortable. “Good enough is best. Within a normal range of interactions, babies, especially older ones, benefit from some variations in timings and styles,” says Yale School of Medicine psychologist Ruth Feldman Ph.D.
Things Around The Baby Become Way Too Different
When I was still pregnant, I kept thinking about the changes I need to do once the baby is out. But now that my daughter is under my care, I began to change everything around her. I thought things will still be organized and that her stuff won’t add a mess to our room. Unfortunately, it is not the case. There are clutters everywhere. Well, not literally out of the pile, but most of the stuff in the house is primarily for the baby. Because I’m afraid that she might find accidents in the house once she learns to crawl or walk, I started clearing all the edges. I put foams everywhere on the floor and some on the walls. I eliminated most sharp objects I can see inside the house. I became paranoid in keeping her away from tons of unwanted incidents that might happen to her even though those are just things I imagined in my head.
I’m Not That Tough As I Thought I would Be
Being a mom is something I look forward to becoming. Now that I currently handle motherhood, I realized that I’m not remarkably that tough. Yes, I am confident that I can deliver my baby’s needs and that I can give her the love and care she deserves. However, I still have these emotional imbalances that make me feel weak and vulnerable to mental conditions. To understand this further, Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. wrote that, “Becoming a first-time parent can have a dramatic impact on many people, both in terms of the stress they experience and the impact that it has on marital satisfaction and emotional well-being.” And that, “New parents can report considerable stress for different reasons.” It happens every time my daughter cries, I get too scared, distracted, and emotionally hurt seeing her like that. Every time she cries, I feel like she’s losing her breath. There’s a bit of me that says I should stop her from crying right away, but seeing her stoning her little body every scream, it stuns me. From there, I lose all the confidence of holding her in my arms.
Everything Is A Struggle, But It’s All Worth It
I know that having a baby is not an easy task. That the situation I am at is only the beginning of what I will have to endure for the benefit of the future. The sleepless nights, the unscheduled eating habits, the long hours of physical discomfort, and the emotional agony are just part of motherhood. As what psychiatrist Mark Banschick M.D. wrote, “…parenting is not about freedom. It’s about love; because the minute you deliver or adopt a child, your life changes forever. You are no longer the center of your existence – nor is your partner.” And I won’t lie. There are times that I feel exhausted, agitated, and anxious, but those are not enough to make me stop caring and loving my child. The pain, suffering, and stress become worth it. That’s because her smile takes it all away in an instant.
There are a lot of things I need to learn about motherhood. But before I enter the struggle of parenting, I will take this opportunity to embrace the adjustments I have to make as a first-time mom.