When motherhood takes time to grasp: Channeling “Mommy”.

This guest post comes from the lovely Christene who writes at Confessions From The Crib as well as A Nervous Tic Motion.  Some other great posts from Christene are Child Care Dilemma, What Is A Blogger? , and I Got My Nails Done-With A Story.

Q and A with Christene

Elle: What’s one of your guilty pleasures?

Christene: I used to eat cake because I liked the frosting. Then I realized I can cut out the middleman, and now I just eat the frosting right out of the can.

Elle: What are some of your favorite books?

Christene: I am noteven sure where to begin with this. However, at the moment, I am feeling The Crimson Petal and the White by Michael Faber.

Elle: What song(s) makes you want to dance aroundyour house and/or brings you back to your teen years?

Christene: My Sharona, by The Knack. It is the ultimate dance around your kitchen song.

Channeling “Mommy”

Being a first time mom can spark a lot of different emotions from different people. Right when my daughter was born I was overwhelmed, scared and stressed. I loved her since before she was born, but once she was actually in my hands, I had no idea what to do with her.

I had this tiny being for which I was now responsible, and I did not know if I would do a very good job. I read all the books, consulted all the magazines and doctors, but nevertheless nothing prepared me for being a mother. I was more exhausted than I thought was possible. In fact, I began longing for the days in college when I could go for days and days without sleep and without missing a beat. Staying up until 4 a.m. to study for an 8 a.m. final? No problem. However, waking up every one to two hours to investigate why my newborn is screaming like a banshee would leave me in a stupor.

I began thinking there was something wrong with me. I didn’t have that gene that all the other mommies have that gives them this otherworldly patience once their babies arrive. Other mommies float on silver lined clouds in perfect bliss with their bundles of joy who coo and cuddle with them lovingly. I had no clue how to comfort mine, and I felt as though my daughter knew this and resented me for it. This lead to a spiral of anxiety; the more she cried, the more I began tensing up and freaking out. Babies pick up on these types of emotions, which meant my behavior was being channeled to her, exacerbating her discomfort and hence making her cry even longer and louder.

My husband was great with her. He was calm, and knew just how to hold her. As jealous as that made me feel, I felt that if I wasn’t a good mother, at least my daughter deserved a good father. So I started retreating, believing I was doing my daughter the biggest favor by allowing her to spend endless hours with her daddy, who actually seemed to know what he was doing, despite the fact that he had never been with an infant before either. I supposed that the gene which theoretically pops up in new mothers also popped up in new fathers and he got his while I was still struggling to find mine.

My daughter was about seven months old before these notions started to disappear from my head. I started feeling more comfortable being a mother, accepting that my daughter will scream and fuss and it is not personal. I calmed down, and consequently, she did too. Now we get along just fine. She prefers Daddy, probably because she spent so much time with him as an infant, but she will cuddle and hug Mommy too. And my newest baby (relatively new), is reaping the benefits of an experienced mother.

I finally joined all the other mommies on the silver cloud, or completely lost my mind (your pick).

*If you’d like to contribute a guest post on This Is Mommyhood, whether you have a blog or not, drop me an email at elle dot mommyhood at gmail dot com.

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2 Responses to When motherhood takes time to grasp: Channeling “Mommy”.

  1. Elizabeth Kane August 15, 2012 at 13:31 #

    I think there are a ton of moms who secretly feel the way you felt at the beginning. And it’s no wonder. When motherhood’s packaged in a way to women that says “look how naturally this whole mom thing comes!” it can make so many new moms feel alienated. We see this all the time when it comes to breastfeeding. After all, something so “natural” should be easy if you’re a “good” mom…right?

    But being the best mom you can be comes with a lot of pressure to being the perfect mom from the very beginning. And when you have an idea of how you “should” be as a new mom it’s harder to talk about the struggles that come with motherhood that are downright overwhelming and unexpected. The anxiety and the feeling that you’re not measuring up, gets in the way of coming up with solutions.

    There are so many ways to be a good mom. I don’t think kids want parents in the pre-packaged Mom supermom characters we see in ads (with no stretch marks and happy faces at 6 in the morning). They just want you, doing the Mom-thing, in a way that feels true to who you are.

    Thank you for sharing your story with us.

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