I thought I would start writing this blog long ago. Our daughter, Evelyn Ruth Schulte, was born on November 21, 2012. Since that date, I have had a total of 4 hours, at most, of time where my thoughts were not focused on whether she was hungry, changed, overstimulated, understimulated, overtired, cold, hot, or content. Motherhood is truly an all-consuming job.
Evelyn and I have had our ups and downs while getting to know each other. At first I didn’t feel the “motherly instinct” kick in like everyone said it would. I did what needed to be done, and I understood a new kind of love with this little person. However, I questioned every choice I made and when I exhausted all possibilities and still received feedback in the form of blood curdling screeches, I broke down. I started to commiserate with all the new parents with dark circles under their eyes. Single moms became super heroes. All the information hospitals pass out regarding shaking baby syndrome suddenly made sense. I wasn’t about to react to her cries in a violent way, but I could sympathize with parents who reach that point.
The worst part during those stressful moments was the guilt. In my blog wheresmystork.wordpress.com, I said over and over how I wouldn’t complain regardless of how hard she cried. Because I wanted her so much, I felt ashamed that I let myself get frustrated to any extent. Guilt is such a powerful evil. I believe it could be the culprit in many cases of postpartum depression and the baby blues. I wasn’t living up to the expectations I set for myself and because of that, I started to dislike who I was and tear myself down. Thankfully the darker moments did not devour my joy, but I had times where I had to pray for a way out. Sleep deprivation, hormones, and unrealistic expectations are three evils that should never be combined.
Once we hit the two month milestone, the stress started to abate. I’m not sure if her colic subsided or if I became more astute at recognizing her needs. Either way, that low-level anxiety that haunted my wakeful and restful times finally disappeared. I’ve gained some confidence in this role and I am able to turn towards grace instead of self-criticism. Like everyone said, everyday gets a little easier. Each morning brings a new sense of awareness from Evelyn and watching her progress is mesmerizing. Plus, those smiles….oh the smiles.
This is why the world is populated. This is fun.
The fact that I am sitting here, writing a blog, not worried about her waking up, or if the dishes are done, or if the poopy clothes are washed, is nothing short of a miracle. My B.C. (before child) self would never understand the incredible victory I feel in this blog post. However, my A.C. self has an entirely new perspective of the world and what really matters.
It was touch and go there for a few weeks, but I can honestly say I love being a mom.
Motherhood rocks. And so does this little lady…