I Severely Underestimated Motherhood

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I’m a new mom to a beautiful baby boy who’s just about to hit three months old. I’ve gotten into my mommy groove, but back in November . . . well, let’s just say, I probably looked like I was rode hard and put away very wet every.single.day. for a solid 30 days. I was hit hard with the reality of motherhood — a reality I pretty much refused to accept during my pregnancy.  

I tried my hardest to filter out the unwarranted advice from others, the anxiety-ridden “what-ifs” and worst-case scenarios that ran through my mind and anything else I deemed unnecessary at the time. I did this to keep myself sane because I was so fearful that something would go wrong with this pregnancy due to my previous two miscarriages. I ended up just blocking everything out and living in a blissful ignorance until it all came crashing down and motherhood smacked me in the face.

Here are a few thoughts that floated through my river of denial:

Psshhht! No sleep?! I’ll get sleep. Babies sleep all day.  

I’ll have visitors to help me after he’s born. I’ll be able to get sooooo much done!

I’ll just breastfeed him until I get tired of it.

Then reality happened. Here’s something I jotted down about 2 – 3 weeks into motherhood:

Motherhood is standing in your husband’s too-big sneakers because you needed to grab shoes, any shoes, quickly enough to be able to dart through the back yard after your 90-pound dog that likes to jump the fence (and he’s eyeing that fence a little too much), while watching your son eat from a propped bottle (yes, I propped it and watched him like a hawk because I’m filled with anxiety over something going wrong — see above) and thinking about when you might be able to vacuum or shower next (pick which one is the most important), while also simultaneously shoving spinach salad into your mouth, because you need to lose the extra 20 pounds around your waist, but you also need to eat when you can.  

There’s not time for it all and the one important thing that HAS to be done is feeding your child, yet you feel like you haven’t accomplished anything. Then, when he finally goes to sleep and you have a shot at one of those other things on your never-ending and continuously growing list, you catch up on Real Housewives, because not having to feel like a mad woman feels better than the alternative.

Turns out, babies don’t sleep all day. Mine doesn’t, anyway. And even when you have visitors, you can’t stop from running yourself ragged. I’ve always had a problem with delegation. Oh! And guess what? Breastfeeding isn’t easy and some women don’t produce enough milk to keep their babies alive. Almost every thing I was telling myself during my pregnancy was the opposite of what motherhood served to me.   

Motherhood has also served me the added responsibility of loving the most beautiful child I’ve ever seen and to love him more than I love sleep (and that’s a lot)! Motherhood has taught me that plans are laughable and cliches are real. This little boy has stolen my heart and though I may no longer sail on that river of denial, I view my new world through rose-colored glasses that were delivered to me the moment I saw his face. And thankfully, I no longer look like I’ve been rode hard and put away wet, or that could be my rose-colored glasses just doing their job for a woman who’s learning every day from the greatest chubby-cheeked love of her life.  

 

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Raised outside of Orlando, Florida, redheaded Melissa is an avid sunscreen and shade enthusiast. She left Florida in 2007 to serve in the United States Air Force as a radio and television broadcaster. After basic and technical training she was stationed in Illinois, South Korea, Italy, and Alabama with two deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan sprinkled in between. In 2013, she met her husband Gregg and in 2015, they were married. This gave Melissa the new title of Bonus Mom to Gregg's daughter, Isabella. That year also welcomed Melissa back into the civilian world as her eight years of service came to a close due to medical retirement. She has called Birmingham home for the past 3.5 years. Shortly after they were married, Melissa and Gregg found themselves wading through the confusing and emotional world of miscarriage and unexplained infertility. They excitedly welcomed a son in November of 2017 after two years of trying for a little miracle. Melissa dedicates her extra time to spoiling their three rescue dogs Ginger, Typsy, and Bruno. She also fosters dogs before they find their furever homes.

1 COMMENT

  1. Well at least you figured it out sooner then later. I was one of those Moms that got slapped in the face with her second child! Lol ? My daughter was the best baby she never cried unless she was hungry or dirty and just a happy baby and yes from day one she slept all night long and pretty much during the day, no issues with breastfeeding either! Then a few years later came my beautiful son and the total polar opposite and let’s just say I was a basket case for anout 2 months before I got into a real Mommy groove! I can laugh ? about it all now but then I literally had days and weeks of crying and trying to figure out where I went wrong all the while my friends just shook their heads and said I told you so! My kids are beautiful and grown up with kids of there own now! Enjoy every minute and savor everything with all your children as I did because now when one of my kids are ready to tare their hair out I can help and my grand babies are just as cute and crazy as their parents!

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