If I told you that being a mom came naturally to me, I would be lying. Truth be told, I had a really hard time adjusting to the sleepless nights, and the simple fact that I was now responsible for another life. There was no turning to others to help me out. For the next 18 years, Soleil was my responsibility. I can’t even begin to explain how the mere thought of that sent ridiculous amounts of anxiety flowing through my entire body and mind. She wasn’t an expensive handbag that I purchased impulsively, knowing damn well I couldn’t afford it and was living paycheck to paycheck. No she wasn’t that. Because if she was, I would’ve had the option of making a return within a certain period. There was no giving her back.
I remember lying in bed with my dog, Bella. Crying to her. Apologizing to her. Wondering why in the world I decided to throw a baby in the mix. Our life was perfect, and now it was…different. Not bad. Not worse. Just completely, unexpectedly, overwhelmingly different.
I had never been around a baby before. I knew it would be hard, that it would be an adjustment. But honestly, I had no idea, absolutely no clue, that it was going to be as hard as it was.
Not only was I dealing with my own issues trying to adjust to the sleepless nights, the constant crying and the endless feelings of anxiety, but I was allowing everyone’s comments to fill with me doubt. Was I producing enough milk? Did I remember to change the baby? Why was the baby crying? Is she hungry again?
I’m sure it was a mixture of my hormones, a touch of the baby blues, and all the stress that contributed to my anxiety. But it only got worse, before it got better.
When I found out I was pregnant again so soon, I couldn’t deal with it. My doctor took me off work for an entire week because I literally could not function. Here I was, completely doubtful of my ability to be a good mother to Soleil and I was pregnant with a second child. There was no doubt in my mind that I was going to keep the baby, but I wasn’t so sure how I was going to get through these feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.
I felt like no one around me understood. I didn’t dare share my feelings with anyone, in fear that they would think I was a horrible mother, as if they didn’t already think that anyway.
And then one day, I was fine. I don’t remember when, or how. But I had no more anxiety. No more baby blues. I knew I was a good mother. I knew Soleil loved me. I knew everything was going to be okay. Even better than okay!
When I gave birth to Selene, I was so much more confident in my ability to be a mother. I had no anxiety. No baby blues. You would think that having two under two would’ve put me over the edge, but for some odd reason, I felt complete. I was happy. Everything was as it should be.
There was no allowing anyone’s comments to fill me with self-doubt. I knew what I was doing. I knew exactly what to expect. And I had it down.
Becoming a mom has put everything into perspective for me. I live for my babies. There is nothing in this world I wouldn’t do for them. I love them with all my heart and soul. With everything that I am.
And although there are still the occasional snide comments insinuating that I’m a bad mother, I try not to let them hurt me. Sometimes it works. Most of the time it doesn’t. But when all is said and done, I still know that I’m a good mother and I always will be. Regardless of what others say.