I just had our third daughter three weeks ago, and share a lot of snuggly images in my stories. So many mamas have reached out admitting how much regret + shame they carry for not fully being present or appreciative of their own child’s newborn stage. How they wish they could have a “do over.” How they ache with the heaviness of what “should” have been between them + their baby. My experience now reminds them of their lack of one back then.
I want to confess: with my first daughter, I was scared, anxious + confused all the time. I had always wanted to be a mother, but when I actually became one, I hated it. I felt no joy, no pleasure + no connection. I was numb. I had spent so long disconnecting from myself, how could I possibly bond with a baby? Worst part? I hid that from everyone. I was so ashamed. I wanted to love it, I just didn’t. I remember those days were so long + lonely. I would pray to God “please help me open my heart, please help me find the joy in this.”
What I’ve learned since, is that motherhood doesn’t come naturally to some, and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean you’re broken. This can be especially true if you never felt a bond or deep authentic connection with your own caregivers. It takes time, like learning a new language. I had to heal, to learn how to love myself, then to allow that love to flow out to others. I had to learn to trust myself, to forgive, and to let others in to help me. I had to no longer rush or shame myself in the process, or compare with others. I had to unbecome all I wasn’t, so that I could become who I am today. Not just for my children, but for me.
You are still a good mama, not because you are perfect, but because you continue to show up even when you’re not. Remember, you aren’t alone. This IG space doesn’t show it all. ❤️
How was your experience as a new mother? Can you relate to any of this?