As I’ve said before, the first year of motherhood has shown me that there are a lot of things that people just don’t tell you. In some ways, I get it. No one wants to be the Deb Downer who squashes your pre-baby, blissful ignorance with the gritty details of their pregnancy, birth story, parenting experiences or whatever. Everyone’s experiences are not the same, so why cause someone to worry about something that may never happen? That’s fine and all. But for me, if you are my close friend/family member, I expect a heads up about certain things. Certain things that will remain nameless, but if you have ever had a baby, you probably have a good idea of what I’m talking about.
Although it was never explicitly stated, I pretty much understood (from books, birthing classes, my doctor etc.) that I could be straight up crazy for a couple of months after my baby was born. Overly emotional, over-protective, stressed, tired. Yea ok. I guess these are the socially acceptable feelings for a new mom to have and thus, the ones we hear most about.
Yesterday I came across this article. I will state that I am not a fan of the title. I don’t think it really reflects what the article is about, and in my opinion, it doesn’t provide an accurate depiction of how the mothers in the article seem to feel about motherhood. It did however, provide a brief moment of relief for me.
When Reese was a newborn I had nightmarish thoughts about awful things that could happen to her. Every article about a missing or ill child, a car accident, a fire etc. brought fresh fears and anxiety that reared its head at all hours of the night. Was it irrational to think that someone could lean a ladder against our home, climb up to the second floor window, cut the screen and take Reese? Maybe, but this image ran through my mind more than a couple of times.
Thankfully, I can’t say that I experienced anything as severe as what the women in the article went through, but I can relate to not feeling totally comfortable sharing these feeling with others. At the time I just felt like a paranoid weirdo.
Today, these fears are few and far between, but I doubt that they will ever completely leave my mind. I don’t know many mothers who don’t worry about their kids on a daily basis, regardless of their age. I guess it is the price you pay for having a child, and in my experience so far, it is a small one.