As a brand new mom, I struggled with a lot. Besides the obvious physical recovery, caring for a newborn, and a severe form of exhaustion I'd never felt before, most of what I dealt with wasn't visible on the surface. My postpartum depression (PPD) was like planting a tiny seed that would only grow and grow until I no longer had control over my thoughts or feelings. Being a parent is hard enough but these new mom feelings I was ashamed to admit I had, contributed to a longer healing process (both externally and internally).
Before I had my daughter, I wasn't exactly in the place to mother anyone. You can't anticipate when you'll fall in love though, so naturally, I met my (now) husband at a crucial time; a time I should've been trying to figure out myself and not falling into another relationship. Alas, we did fall in love and I did get pregnant and after the initial shock wore off, we were elated.
Fast forward past pregnancy, labor, and delivery to those early days spent home alone with my new baby. It was official: I was a mother now and had no idea what I was doing. On TV, and in movies, characters don't always accurately portray motherhood as it first happens. We get the highlight reel instead — the parts that don't make us uncomfortable. When I think back on those days, when I had difficulty bonding with this baby I couldn't wait to meet, I was so ashamed with my feelings to the point that I didn't tell anyone. I thought I was a bad mother and that she deserved better than me. Mostly, I was terrified we'd never find our way. Part of this was the postpartum life fogging my reality, but the other part was simply the responsibility of taking on this huge role I'd never had before. It's a lot of pressure.
Years later, after having a second baby with slightly similar emotions, I realize the stigmas attached to how a new mother is supposed to feel and the reality that is what so many new moms actually feel. The retrospect I've gained taught me how powerful a role hormones play after birth coupled with fatigue and insecurity of doing anything wrong. There's no shame in any of it. Here are some things I was too horrified to admit to anyone — even my husband — because I thought something was wrong. The reality of the situation, however? I was totally and completely normal. f you can relate to the below, you sure as hell are, too.