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A Mother’s Struggling Heart

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I couldn’t agree more when moms would say, the moment they saw their baby right after birth was the most amazing experience they ever had. Those first hours with your baby is indeed magical. A momentous occasion you’ve always anticipated. It practically turns your world upside down.

I will always remember that moment when my son Gavin was laid down on my chest. As I looked down on him, I was in awe that I just give birth to a baby. I was fascinated on how he looked so peaceful. Everything about him was so tiny and I just marvel over it. After dreaming and wondering how he would look like as he grew in my belly, it was the most surreal experience to actually see and hold him. ‘I am a mother now’, I thought silently to myself . I was filled with joy and relief that finally, everything is over and Gavin is already here.

Much to my surprise, after just a few days (maybe a week or so) of having my son home, the initial excitement wore off.

I felt that taking care of Gavin had become more of an obligation than a joy. He cries a lot and I am blown away by the amount of responsibility it takes to care for him.

The first 2 months feels like I’m the worst mother. I know logically that I love my son. But I was distracted by so many feelings and in a lot of pain, add to that the lack of sleep and hormones. It was hard to sit down and actually FEEL the love I have for him.

I’ve been trying to fall in love with my baby but I cant. I do not feel any bond with him. He’s like a stranger to me. My heart breaks as those thoughts came running into my mind. I’m afraid Gavin would not be able to get the love and care he deserve. I feel trapped and scared that my feelings towards him will never get better.

The turning point came in admitting my frustrations to my husband. I was sobbing and I remember feeling so guilty of how I felt while telling him that I didn’t feel a bond with our son and I wasn’t even sure I liked him all that much.

His response was astonishing. He said that it does not make me an awful person or a terrible mom if I don’t feel an immediate rush of love to a baby who’s either asleep or crying. He pointed out that we were still on the process of getting to know Gavin, and he us, and that takes time whenever you meet someone for the first time.

Then one fine day, an unexpected moment came. I was changing Gavin’s nappies when all of a sudden, he looked straightly, deeply into my eyes, and smiled. My heart melted and I actually cried tears of adoration. I felt that I was finally over the hump. A flutter of love came onto me when I saw my baby flashing his biggest grins. And that was it, I fell completely, hopelessly, head over heels with my little boy.

I would be lying if I said its been smooth sailing since then. Each day I spent with Gavin brings new challenges but there are also new joys. His coos, smiles, and giggles brings so much charm, and I delight in watching him blossom into a little person.

Gavin is 4 months old now and I can say that he’s the best that I ever had. He is now my world and I wouldn’t know how I lived without him before.

What I’ve learned from becoming a parent is that you’re always learning. Being a mom is something you get better at (like any job or new skill you acquire) and nobody should expect you to be perfect.

As you read my story, hope this becomes your reassurance that you don’t have to feel bad if you’re not at that point yet where you feel an intimate bond and outrageous love for your newborn. If you feel like your baby is a chore at this moment, don’t worry, it’s perfectly normal. Motherhood grows on you. And its okay if that takes time. You’re doing just amazing.

*****

 

Did you have the same struggles when you had your newborn?

I would love to hear your story. Share your experience in the comments below.