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Archive for April, 2011

A Little Thing Called Motherhood

Breastfeeding symbol

Breastfeeding Symbol

If you were to ask me what I thought about motherhood, I would quote my cousin;

“Motherhood is the best and the worst thing that has ever happened to me.”

When I was pregnant with my daughter Margie, I was scared. Why? Because motherhood is a big responsibility; not to mention that it was completely unplanned and I was an unmarried Christian Baptist. Needless to say, my pregnancy was not the most exciting one except for the fact that Margie’s father stayed with me and we are now happily married.

After I had Margie I was completely stunned, I had fooled myself into thinking that being a mom was going to be easy if I read and listened to all the advice that was available to me.  Sure, I had heard about how hard breastfeeding was going to be and how I was never going to get a full nights rest for about six months. But you never really understand until you’re there in that role.

“To understand a mother’s love, bear your own children.”
— Chinese Proverb

Believe me there were days that I just wanted to stop being a mom. I just wanted to have a break. Let’s just say I have a unique situation, I am 19 years old and just graduated high school last year. I have no job and I just got married to Margie’s dad who is still 18 and in high school. Plus we don’t live together currently. It’s kind of funny to think about it because it reminds me of those nerdy 40 year old’s that never grow and always live at home. We’re moving out in September at the latest but, I could not help but be overwhelmed. Especially when I started yelling and almost hitting my daughter. That frightened me to the core. How could I do this to an innocent baby? How could I do this to my own child? I felt awful and I didn’t want anyone to know about how I just wanted to give her to someone for a week so I could rest up and be a better mom for Margie. I mean who wants anyone to know that she just wants to throw her child out the window or potentially harm her child or herself? No one in their right mind does. So, I put on a happy face and pretended all was well with my life and that I was enjoying myself in my new role. I also felt compelled to hide my feelings because when I was pregnant many of the people I thought cared were praying that I would give my daughter up for adoption. That hurt so much and I just wanted to prove to the judgmental crowd that I could in fact be a good mother even though it was entirely unplanned and I had no means of supporting myself.

Then I finally couldn’t take it anymore…I had to tell someone. I was messing up my relationship with Margie’s father because I complained so much and so often that he just got tired of listening. I started accusing my mom of not helping out enough even though she helped every day. I knew that I had Postpartum Depression and that I needed to talk with someone or I would do something even worse than I had already done. Speaking with my doctor turned out to be not as scary as I first imagined. I actually felt great relief that I was doing something for my daughter’s sake. I started to change many things after I began treatment for my depression. First, I told myself that I needed to move on from these dark and untrue feelings about myself. I had to remind myself that no mother is perfect and that I needed to learn from trial and error just like anyone else. Second, I apologized to my family members and stated firmly that I was moving on and never looking back. Third, I quit breastfeeding because the experts say that a breastfeeding mom is more likely to be depressed. Most likely because of how tied down you feel when you have to expose your breast to the world or cover it up. It is especially difficult when you want so terribly to be with others but you can’t because you’re breastfeeding. Lastly, I did get a job at the Dollar Tree for about a week but then it just didn’t work out unfortunately. But for that week, I felt like a new person. I was so proud of myself for landing a job the same day I turned in my application.

All I can say is…don’t let the not so pleasant things about motherhood hold you back from wanting to be a mother because it is truly one of best experiences I have ever had.