I refer to myself in the third person a lot these days: “It’s okay, Mommy’s here.” “Are you smiling at Mommy?” “Do you know how much Mommy loves you?” I do this so often that in my head I think of myself as Mommy. The line between me and mommy has gotten blurred. I’m this new person occupying my mind. This person with a new found sensitivity to everything. This person who wants to talk to strangers about their baby: “How old?” “Oh, that was such a lovely time.” “What’s their name?” “Oh, that is so cute. Well, congratulations, he’s a doll.” I’m this person that not only wants to talk about parenting experiences but I have a hard time thinking of anything else to say. It makes me wonder, where is the me in mommy? I’ve always had a strong sense of self, not to say that I don’t struggle with insecurities, but I like who I am. By nature I am more logical than emotional. Before having my daughter I would close my eyes at the scary parts of movies or skim over dark subject matter in books, but now I just stop watching or reading it. I project every vulnerable character onto Jude. She’ll most likely be napping on my chest and I put my arms around her protectively. And heaven forbid a baby dies or is trapped in the middle of the story’s drama. There are two movies I can think of that I would have loved to see prior to becoming a mom but now there is no way I could watch them. Or I guess I could watch them but I would just cry through the whole thing (and not a good cleansing cry, but a forever broken kind of cry.)
So that’s the weirdness that is my emotions, but then there is the fact that my body isn’t my own anymore. To be honest it hasn’t been my own since last September when I found out I was pregnant. My pregnancy was really easy, I’m incredibly grateful for this. I didn’t have weird cravings or sickness or very much physical pain, but still I had been high jacked. I couldn’t eat a lot of foods or drink certain beverages and then my clothes didn’t fit. It all contributes to the reality that I am physically changed for the rest of my life. I do remind myself that my body is beautiful the way it is because all of these changes have given us our wonderful daughter. And yet… I can’t sleep without waking up covered in breast milk. Then there is the shear fact that my body is her food source. Begging the question, is this MY body?
Mentally, I have trouble engaging with anyone on any topic not related to parenting. This is probably what bothers me the most. I love people, I want to hear about their lives and interests and know them. I want to understand them and give them my attention. But ever since have Jude it’s like I’m having trouble comprehending the words they are saying. I feel like I catch just enough to grasp their meaning but I can’t give the undivided attention I used to. This is by far my greatest struggle as a new mom. It might seem small, but to me it’s not. To me it’s selfish and it doesn’t express the level of love that I want to. And that’s why it’s the hardest.
I don’t know if any of this will ever go back to normal or if this is my new normal. Everything in my life is getting more known, all of these large and small adjustments even our girl is becoming predictable and manageable. I don’t want everything to back the way it was, but I’d like to feel like I’m immersed in my own reality instead of this skimming feeling. I’m so in love with my life and my child, I would just like to feel like I’m engaged in it; not just surviving it.