On this week’s issue of the #beingamother project, we have Amy of Apparently Awkward, newbie mum and blogger who helps us remember just how many WTF moments motherhood can present you with in the first year. Her guest post as part of the #beingamother project will really strike a chord with all mums who were literally flailing around through the first year trying to connect up the pieces in this beautiful but bewildering thing called motherhood…
My first inclination in describing what it is to “be a mother” is to compile a list of all the things I do now: clean drool patches off my shoulder, multiple night feeds, running on little to no sleep, making sure the diaper bag is fully stocked and wondering at any given time where’s the baby changing facility wherever I go.
But then I got a bit miffed and perturbed. Frustrated, even.
I am a mother. But I am more than a mother. I wasn’t one for 28 years. By becoming a mother, did it suddenly erase all the things I was before, and those things that I am outside of being a mum?
Can I even remember what those outside things are?
In the weeks after giving birth to my pretty cool dude of a son, I was so entirely wrapped up (read: so sleep deprived) that I literally could not think of anything else other than feed, sleep, change nappy, repeat. Night Feed delirium is a real thing.
And on top of the more mundane bits, being a mother was a huge emotional adjustment. As the famous Elizabeth Stone quote says, “Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
And I have found that this is so ridiculously true. Sometimes I am completely taken aback by the force of the love I feel for my son. When I look at him sometimes it physically hurts. It’s bizarre and amazing, if not a little awkward. “Hey little dude, I love you so much, *clutches heart*.
At times it has left me feeling lost at sea and a bit like I’ve lost myself. Suddenly all I felt I could do was talk about diaper changes, how much the baby was sleeping (or not) and how much my boobs hurt. All I could do was stare at him. It was all so huge, so much, so consuming.
So this is what being a mother is to me: it is all those best and worst bits – from cuddles in the morning to massive poonamis that have me wondering how I’ll ever recover.
It’s being so overwhelmed with love but sometimes just overwhelmed.
It is sometimes struggling to see myself outside of this new label of “mother”.
But it is always having a heart full of love.