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.
What were some of the struggles you faced when you became a mama for the first time?
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