Thursday, September 9, 2010

Transitions





What I want to blog about really has no connection, whatsoever, to these beautiful images by Rebecca Thuss. I just liked them. A lot. And they remind me to take pleasure in the simple things. I know, I know, it's such a pat thing to say, but they do!

What I wanted to blog about is the transition into motherhood--for me. You can skip this part and just enjoy the images, I won't be offended.

This has been a process for me, this motherhood business. I'll be honest, I did not "fall in love" with my baby the first moment I clapped eyes on him. I have not thrilled at the way my time, my aspirations, my body, my basic wiring have all changed. I get frustrated when he changes just when I'm figuring him out. It's hard. Harder than I anticipated. I'm nearly 3 months in and have to keep reminding myself of all the reasons why we wanted to have a baby in the first place. He's not a difficult baby--there's no extreme colic, no nightmarish allergies--he's lovely, really. He's happy and funny and the cutest thing on two chubby legs. But, it's still been hard. It's the "me" factor that seems to trip me up. Where did I go, what am I becoming? Do mother's really have a say in the matter? I've talked to many, many mothers and I know I'm not alone in how I feel--which is of the greatest comfort, because I feel like a bit of a maternal flop at times and terribly self-conscious about the way I feel. Like I said at the beginning, this is a process. Something that is slowly taking time. "Mama" is slowly weaving its way into the fibers of my being. Which reminds me, there are so many things out there that are better when given time to evolve--relationships, plants, skills, wine, cheese, etc.... you know, the good stuff. I love being there when he wakes up from a nap--the way his whole body stretches and his lips purse. I love watching him figure something out. I love listening to his coos and burbling--even his yelling can be funny at times. It's the strangest thing, I feel like I'm host to conflicting feelings--part resentful, part unbelievable joy. Part weary, part energized. Part Julia, part William. It's so odd. And marvelous.

I guess I didn't have anything profound I wanted to end with--can I just ramble and not have a point? Writing all of this makes me stop--it's time to actually soak up this experience instead of trying to speed onto the next step, the next milestone, the next "aha!" moment. I think there will always be the hard stuff and the deliciously good stuff--both together, side-by-side. I don't think I'll ever really fully master him--he'll always be changing. I don't think I'll ever be what I once was... but I do believe that I'll slowly begin to realize that that's the exciting part--if you know what I mean.

Thank you for listening. I appreciate it!

XOXO,
Jewels

13 comments:

Kate said...

I *do* know what you mean. Keep rambling... whatever helps a mama keep her sanity! You're definitely, undeniably, not alone.

Krissy said...

what a sweet, sweet post my dear. it makes complete sense, and i know you'll be an excellent mother. :)
a note to you will be on its way this weekend!

Emily said...

Hi, my friend! Your honesty and reflection was so inspiring to read. While I am not a mother, I do know how life changes affect your identity and how you have to fight to maintain parts of your prior self. But I think your feelings are completely normal and completely human! You are a wonderful mother and I know you will find your balance! xoxo

caroline @ patagonia gifts said...

oh Julia, I'm so with you now. even though my boys are 9 and 10 already. I still feel just the same. I was an 'old mother' for my babies. it was so hard for me. it still is. I'm still trying to enjoy more of those deliciously good moments... Life is a journey and not a destination! xo

Amber said...

It is a wonderful thing that you are able to be so honest with yourself about changes and transitions. Don't let anyone ever make you feel bad for that. It is far more healthy to acknowledge and express your feelings. You are an amazing woman and mother with so many talents. I am certain you will intertwine both mama and artist magnificently!

cindy said...

i wish i could say some magic words to make it all easier. i hear what your saying and appreciate your honesty. you've gone through some fairly dramatic changes and it probably feels like a little bit too much too soon at times.

ramble away ... that's why we're here, although your ramblings are beautifully written. often, we can't resolve our entire lives in one post. it may take many. xo, c

bronwyn said...

Oh sweet Julia. Every mother knows EXACTLY what you are talking about. Those first three months are so wonderful and so hard. He's about to become an entirely different baby and you will soon miss the days when he slept for 14 hours a day. But you will also be rewarded more for your hard work as he becomes more interactive. It sounds like you are trying to remain present which I think is key. I think it's good that you are having the "what about me" feelings now. Mine came a little later. I think the earlier you are aware, the better. And it is exciting, discovering who you are all over again. It's almost like being a teenager. ;) Hang in there and ramble whenever you like. Big hugs.

paula said...

I have so been there! one day I woke up and just adored it. not saying i still don't have my days.

Mary Jo from TrustYourStyle said...

You've been on my mind Julia, and this was the perfect post to catch up. It's really well written. I think you're doing an amazing job! Much love to you and your family, hope you have a wonderful weekend and take a little moment just for you :)

xo Mary Jo

Down and Out Chic said...

i am not a mother but i truly appreciate the sincerity of this post. i just wanted you to know that.

The Plums said...

Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm actually responding on my wife's account after reading this post which her sister sent to her. I think the hardest thing about all of this business, parenthood (we are the proud parents of a 17 week old), is all of the expectations and how they are compounded by inexperience, at least on our end. From afar, as a dad, I see my lady beating herself up sometimes because of exactly the issues you've relayed here. It's so 'unmotherly' to be realistic about your experience as far as the outside world goes but the truth is that these conflicts and speed bumps have really shaped the way my wife has approached being a mom. I've seen her transform from, at times, an emotional wreck to a confident, adept mom who reads signs that barely exist. Of course there are still days when things are hell but the other side of the coin shows more often and we have a happy, smiling, responsive little devil that loves his mommy. He's in love. Dad's need to be the forest from the trees part of the equation and let mom know this because we all know that the trenches aren't always what people want to believe.

heidi said...

It does change you... SO much. But know that you will grow in ways not previously possible. Know that every inch of your soul that you lose in servitude as a mother, you get back, doubled! These are the toughest years to get through (logistically) but it will get easier in small increments... they all learn to hold their own bottles & sippy cups, then they walk, tie shoes, get on the kindergarten bus... It goes by in a blur. You will find yourself again. xoh

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