I originally shared this post on Instagram in April 2018 after my son turned 5. The post struck a chord with a lot of readers there and so I shared it as a guest post on Offbeat Home & Life on May 7, 2018.
5 years ago this happened! That "oh, fuck. what have I gotten myself into" look on my face says it all. The postpartum depression (psychosis?) hadn't yet kicked in and I was trying to wrap my brain around this new reality. What I didn't know was that I was about to undertake the most arduous and difficult rite of passage of my life.
My kiddo was an incredibly challenging baby. He never slept for more than 2 hours at a time, he wanted to nurse non-stop, cried constantly (and so did I!). Add to that the absence of family or support network and it was a perfect storm.
At this point my husband and I had been together for 10 years and never once fought. That changed! We were both pushed to the brink and took it out on each other. What a lonely time. We survived. And I can say with absolute certainty that motherhood has been my greatest teacher.
Over the years, between infancy and my son's post-op recovery, there have been countless long days on the couch together. I've never been on a silent meditation retreat, but I imagine it would be pretty similar. The "stuff" starts to bubble up. I came up against these hard little kernels of self-hate and resentment that I knew I needed to let go of. I couldn't be the mother that my son needed while holding on to these things. And so I softened. And learned.
These days, things are SO much easier and overall pretty fucking fun! But I look at this picture and it makes me remember how hard it is for new moms. So much love to all new first-time moms!! Here's one small piece of advice to those who want to help out a new family and aren't sure how: Don't ask "how can I help?" Just bring a meal. Comfort food. Something that can be frozen and reheated. Bonus points if it comes in a disposable aluminum pan:)