When did you fall in love with your baby? How about motherhood in general? It seems like you always hear one of two perspectives: (1) It was love at first sight, or (2) It was a process. Moms are usually quick to say that “Oh yes it was definitely love at first sight,” because that seems like the “right” thing to say, but I don’t think it’s always that easy. Maybe if you think about it for a minute you realize that you didn’t quite love your baby or motherhood from the second you heard that first cry. I can say with pretty strong conviction that it was love at first sight for me with Asher Wade, BUT, I did not fall in love with motherhood until several weeks (maybe months?) after. I was in love with my baby pretty much from the second I received confirmation I was pregnant, and I knew from that moment I’d do just about anything to protect him and make sure no harm ever came his way. I’ll never forget that moment when he was born. I swear I thought my heart might explode with love and joy. I’ve just never fallen in love with someone so fast. The general concept of motherhood was a different story. I was stressed, anxious, frustrated, tired, angry and bitter. It was a hard transition for me. I distinctly remember having a conversation with my mom on my way to a yoga class, trying to hold it together so I didn’t walk in to class all puffy faced with swollen eyes, and I told her that although I loved Asher Wade so much it actually hurt, I did not love being a mom. I didn’t love the process that came with it, the stress, the challenges, the monotony, the responsibility, the loss of self and identity and freedom. How is that even possible? To love your child, but not love being a mom? I mean, without Asher Wade, motherhood would be nonexistent. You can’t have one without the other. It sort of doesn’t make sense to me, but it’s the best way to describe how I felt those first several months.
It’s no secret that the first couple of months with Asher Wade were difficult. He was not an easy baby, and coupled with the shock of being a first time mom, it was definitely a trying time. I tend to assume that this is why it took so long to fall in love with motherhood. Even during the most difficult days, I never once felt that I didn’t love my baby. Even when he was screaming bloody murder no matter what I did, I knew I loved him based on the simple fact that it hurt me so bad to see him unhappy. But did I love being a mom during this time? Not really. In fact, it was so funny because when I was home on maternity leave and with AW all day, I couldn’t wait for Matt to get home so I could hand-off a screaming AW and head to the gym – so excited to escape – but then it wasn’t 10 minutes later that I missed AW so badly and couldn’t bear the thought of being at the gym for an hour, away from him. So I’d do a quick workout and then rush home to get my (usually still crying) baby back. I loved my baby, but I wanted to escape motherhood, but because I loved that baby so much, I couldn’t stay away. I kept coming back for more, like a drug or something, ha! Motherhood is probably the most intoxicating drug on the planet. It sucks you in and makes you forget everything else.
So yes, it was love at first sight for me with my baby, but it took me awhile to fall in love with motherhood. In fact, it’s still a work in progress and some days I love it more than others, and some days I feel just like I did back in those early weeks. My love for Asher Wade continues to be unwavering, and actually grows more each day, and all the while motherhood still has its ebbs and flows. Rather than say I fall in love with motherhood more and more each day, I’d say motherhood is growing on me more and more each day. This probably has something to do with the fact that I’m getting better at it each day (although I still fail miserably and regularly…thank you God for your unending grace!) and that it’s becoming more second nature to me. Motherhood is starting to define me and account for a lot of who I am now, and since I feel pretty good about who I am, it must mean I like the motherhood aspect, right??
So back to my earlier question – When did you fall in love with your baby? Was it instantaneous, or has it been a gradual process? How about motherhood? Do you love motherhood with all your being, or, like me, could you take it or leave it some days? When did you finally feel like it was something you were born to do? I’m still wondering when I will get to that point, and I’m pretty sure another baby will follow pretty soon after it;)