Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wonder Mama

I wanted to be able to do everything. I could. I could do it all.

When my son was born, I was working at a job which required me to work Sunday through Thursday, from 4:00 pm until midnight. This job was located 35 minutes away from my home... in good weather. During the winter, a winter in which every. single. snowstorm. took place at, around, or shortly after midnight, it could take me an hour or more to reach home.

But. We wouldn't have to put our tiny little guy in day care. He would be cared for by Mama during the day, and Daddy at night. Which is what I repeated to anyone who dared to ask me how I could do it, over and over and over again, from the time I went back to work when Alex was three months old until I finally gave up when he was nine months old.

And in between. Oohhhhh, in between.

I was a miserable, crying, shaking, horrific wreck. But only at home. Constantly calling my poor husband at work, demanding that he come home, screaming at him. I didn't know what the hell I was doing, and should something earth-shattering and unendurable happen, like Alex not finishing his bottle or not wanting to take a nap, I fell apart even more. I couldn't get it together enough to leave the house with him, and if I did manage to get him to his doctor's appointments on my own I was worn out for the rest of the week. Forget taking him anywhere else. Add this to the fact that it was fall and winter and he was too little to get any entertainment out of being outside.

But the only person who knew about this was my husband. I was completely ashamed to tell anyone else how I was feeling. Real moms don't feel this way, right? I must be so completely screwed up. What am I doing wrong and how can I fix it?

Finally, it got to a point where I literally could not imagine my life going on the way it was. Even after I left the job-of-horrific-hours, since there would be no way for me to get an earlier shift...for at least a joke. My husband made me an appointment with my OB/GYN and met me there to wrangle Alex while I talked with her. And I told her the truth. Told her how overwhelmed I was, and how miserable, and how alone. And she listened, and she gave me a prescription.

And things are so much better now. I am not ashamed that I needed a little help with this mothering thing. Now that I have gotten and accepted help, I am finding that this is not nearly as uncommon as I thought. Reading the blogs of people who have gone through the same thing, and talking to my Mama Friends has made me feel so much better, so much less alone. I am finally the Mama I always wanted to be, always knew I could be.

Don't let anyone fool you. For most of us, making the transition from childless to Mama is extremely difficult. In one day, you stop being the most important thing. Into the world comes this tiny little person who BECOMES your world. It can be lonely. It can make you cry. It can be the hardest thing you've ever done. It WILL be the hardest thing you've ever done. But it's totally worth every second. And if you should need help with the whole becoming a Mama thing, that doesn't make you a terrible Mama. You are doing the right thing by getting help. You are allowing yourself to be the best Mama you can be for your child.

I never in a million years imagined that this would be me, that I would be the one writing about going on medication in order to save my sanity and become the best Mama I could be. But you know what- life with the boy is so much better and more fun. For both of us, and for Daddy too.

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