Being a new mom is a mix of juxtaposing emotions and feelings and incoming information that, well, make it pretty damn difficult to determine if what you're thinking about your life as a new mom is "normal" (whatever that means, because I'm severely convinced that normal isn't a thing). I remember coming home with my son sore, exhausted, scared, elated and confused; unsure of what motherhood was going to be or how I was going to navigate it. I also remember
thinking things about my kid I wouldn't say out loud, not just because I was unsure if those thoughts were valid or even real (hormones and exhaustion do some strange things) but because I was, honestly, pretty afraid I'd be judged for them.
When a new mom is inundated with what she "should" be doing as a mother, she can't help but think that she has to adhere to this fictitious standard of parenthood that, I've learned, don't actually exist. I, personally, was convinced that there were certain
things I had to do as a new mom if I was going to be a successful parent that would eventually raise a well-adjusted and kind adult. I thought I just had to breastfeed, so I powered through the act even though, as a sexual assault survivor, it was a trigger. I thought I just had to absolutely love every single aspect of motherhood, so I started feeling guilty and faulty when there were certain parts I, in fact, didn't like. It took me far too long to realize that motherhood is what you make it, and as long as you're keeping your baby (and yourself) safe and healthy and happy, you're doing motherhood right.
Which is why, if you've found yourself thinking these things about your kid, you're not alone. Here are a few things I (and I think every mom) thinks about her baby but doesn't say out loud. Consider this my "I thought these things" coming out party. Cheers!
"You're Not Cute"
I mean, have you ever really looked at a newborn? They're kind of alien-like; with their cone heads and puffy eyes and tiny little wrinkly bodies that remind you of
Benjamin Button. You love your kid, regardless, but you're their mom so you can be honest with yourself and say they didn't necessarily come out of your body camera ready. "You're Way Cuter Than Any Other Baby Every Born"
But, I mean, cone-head or no cone-head, your kid is clearly the cutest kid to ever kid and any other baby isn't even remotely on their level. You don't necessarily want to say this out loud because you'll seem all vain and rude or whatever (damn social politics) but, yeah, your kid is the cutest. No contest.
"Please Sleep Forever..."
After a few sleep-deprived days when the sweet serenity of unconsciousness seems like a distant dream you'll never actually get to have, you'll start wishing (maybe even out loud, actually) that your kid will just sleep forever. I mean, maybe not
forever forever. But, like, for a week? Okay, fine, maybe just a few solid, consecutive hours. "...But Definitely Don't Because I Need You To Wake Up Before I Start Freaking Out"
Then again, please don't sleep forever because I want you to wake up and live your life and oh no, wait, when was the last time I stared at your chest to make sure it was rising and falling in perfect rhythm, indicating that you are, in fact, alive and well? I better go back and look and maybe even move your tiny little body to make sure you're okay.
Who would of thought a tiny little human could be so damn scary. I remember looking at my son, all bundled up and sleeping soundly in my arms, thinking to myself that he was by far, hands down, the most terrifying human being I had ever seen or met or loved. I knew, in that moment, that he had so much power of my feelings and emotions and heart. He could cause me an immense amount of pain (by feeling pain himself) or an incredible amount of joy and, well, that's freakin' scary.
"You're Completely Irrational And You Need To Get It Together"
Your kid will be crying for no discernible reason (I mean, you've tried everything: feeding and burping and changing and rocking and soothing and you name it) and you'll start to think that you must have birthed the most irrational human being known to man. (I can promise you, though, you didn't. You just birthed a baby.)
"I'm Not Sure You Were Worth It..."
Listen, I understand that this thought is rarely ever shared (publicly or otherwise) and many an individual will consider me a horrible mother for even mentioning it. However, in the name of complete transparency, this is also a
very real thought that many mothers think. When you're tired and exhausted and getting from point A to point B seems impossible and your life has changed so drastically, it's pretty normal to wonder if the choice to procreate was, in fact, the right choice. "...I Would Do It All Over Again, No Questions Asked"
But as quickly as that thought enters your mind, it leaves it. I'm not going to say that you won't think that thought again (because you will, especially when your babe becomes a toddler) but that thought will be a passing one. Of course your baby is worth it; they're worth the pain and the exhaustion and the fear and the anxiety and the endless amount of work. They're worth it all, and you'd do it all over again if it meant the end result was their existence.
"Life Would Be Easier If You Weren't Here"
Again, I get that a lot of mothers wouldn't feel comfortable admitting that this thought has crossed their mind. Honestly, I can't blame any mother for only sharing the wonderful sides of motherhood because people are vicious and judgmental and seemingly love to shame mothers for doing anything they have strangely decided is "wrong" or "bad". However, life probably would be easier if your baby wasn't part of it. I mean, getting out of the house would be easier and sleeping would be easier and dinner would be easier and watching your favorite television show without interruption would definitely be easier. It's okay to admit that life gets harder when you procreate.
"Life Would Be Empty If You Weren't Here"
However, while life may be easier, it probably wouldn't be as fulfilling. I'm not one to say that people who don't have children lead meaningless lives (because yeah, that's not true) but children definitely do add something to your life and it's okay to admit that. No, you're not a bad feminist and no, you're not a woman who needs to procreate in order to validate your existence. You're, you know, just a mother who loves her kid.
"I'm Trading You In For A Quieter Model"
If you haven't thought this while your kid is screaming in the middle of the night, I commend you and you must teach me all of your secrets.
"I Can't Wait For You To Grow Up So You Can Do More Stuff..."
Not that I would go so far as say that I hated the newborn stage, but I will stay that I spent a good amount of time looking forward to my son growing up so that we could do more than just cuddle and breastfeed and change diapers. He was adorable, yes, but he was also a little bump-on-the-log and I was definitely excited about all the things that we could potentially do when he got older.
"...But, Please, Stay Little Forever"
Alright, this one has probably been said out loud on numerous occasions. Do you want your kid to grow up and become their own little person who is independent? Of course. Do you also kind of get a little bit sad when you stop and think about your kid no longer needing you? Um, yes. All the yes.