Tuesday, June 15th, 2010
I was strolling in Prospect Park yesterday. Fia was sleeping in her stroller. A couple of moms strolled past me with their newborns. They had that glazed over look I remember all too well from those early months. I was enveloped in a fog, but was okay with it (until my husband proclaimed me certifiable). As time went on, I began to lose my sanity. Lack of sleep, this huge life change and the monotony of it all started to get the best of me. My mom friends would reassure me, It’s normal. It will get better. Trust us. For the life of me, I didn’t know what they were talking about–even leaving the house felt like a chore–but I had no choice other than to hang in there. And wait.
Today, I feel like I am standing on the other side of a huge mountain. I’m not alone, but rather with all you other moms who have been there before me. And it’s my turn to say to those with the glazed-over look, It will get better. Trust me.
From my perch now, I want to share some of my most significant achievements and insights I’ve learned in this journey. And for all you expectant moms and new moms who hear, It will get better, my advice is not to over-think or question it. Because it does. It is that simple.
– Try and get out once a day. Even if it’s only walking around your backyard or to the mailbox. My first outing with Fia was around our block. Small steps but a huge sense of victory and accomplishment.
–The irrational, fearful thoughts will lessen over time. When I first had Fi, I was convinced a brown recluse spider was going to fall out of the ceiling vent into her crib. Seriously. This, despite the fact that I have never even seen a spider in my house, much less the reclusive one (which as the name suggests, isn’t an overly social insect). I went so far as to buy netting to put over her crib. My husband had had it at this point, stormed in her room, ripped the netting from my hands, and threw it out.
–I never thought I’d feel like my old self again. I was overwhelmed with both love and responsibility; angst and self-doubt. From the other side, I now feel like Fi and I are rocking this world together. And I’m not my old self. I’m better. Kinder. More compassionate. More patient.
–Pumping, feeding, washing bottles, doing laundry, changing diapers. Never sleeping. My life was never so tedious in those first months. That changes drastically. Hang in there.
–Now my day goes like this: wake up well rested. Go in to a smiling Fi. She stands in her crib, overjoyed to see me. I feed her. We play. We laugh. We laugh more. She naps. I write this blog. We meet friends. We go to the zoo. The park. The museum. We run. She tortures Wayne. We bathe. We feed. We sleep.
This is one of the few times in my life I’ve felt so content. I want to bottle it up and freeze it. But all the moms before me are saying, Just wait. It gets even better. And now, I don’t question them. I simply believe.