Nobody Told Me (The Unexpected Trials of a First Time Mom)

Each day this month I will be answering one question from these December Journal Prompts.

Day 18: Write about something unexpected that happened to you this year and how you journeyed through it.

There are so many things that nobody told me about the aftermath of giving birth and the first year of motherhood.

Nobody told me that, in those first few months, I would somehow feel so full and so empty at the same time.

Nobody told me that, until we found our groove, nursing would be accompanied by excruciating pain—even if we followed all the “rules” and were technically doing everything “right”.

Nobody told me about postpartum night sweats. I had no idea that I’d be sleeping in a puddle of perspiration for six weeks after giving birth.

Nobody told me that some babies like to catnap, or how hard I’d have to work to get Avra to sleep for more than 45 minutes at a time during the day.

Nobody told me about the crippling loneliness—the isolation I would feel after being at home alone with my baby all day, every day, just trying to figure out how to survive this thing.

Nobody told me how all those hours rocking and patting a crying baby in a dark room would eventually get to me—that sometimes it would break me down and crush my spirit as I waited for a light at the end of the tunnel.

Nobody told me how utterly lost I would feel at times, floundering around to find answers that no one seemed to be able to give me.

Nobody told me how quickly things would constantly be changing—that as soon as I felt like I had found a groove, it would suddenly unravel at lightning speed.

Everybody told me that it was going to be hard. Everybody told me that my life was about to change. But nobody told me how. Nobody gave me the truly gory details. But I think I might understand why.

Maybe nobody told me because, like me, they intrinsically knew that the unexpected hardships of becoming a mother were beyond worth it.

Maybe nobody told me because the glory of motherhood is wrapped up in the entire experience—the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Maybe nobody told me because as the days, and months, and years went on, they forgot about the loneliness, and the catnaps, and the pain. All of it was eclipsed by the beauty and wonder of watching their precious child grow.

Maybe nobody told me because they remembered that each and every hardship they faced as a new mom was always overshadowed by the explosion of overwhelming and unconditional love they felt for their sweet babe.

Maybe nobody told me because nobody really could tell me. Nobody could foresee the details of my experience… and I think it’s better that way. Because it meant that I truly got to experience it—my way, and in my time.

Maybe nobody told me because they knew I didn’t need to be told. Like them, I would figure it out. I would do what I needed to do to journey through it, and I would be stronger, braver, and better for it.

One thought on “Nobody Told Me (The Unexpected Trials of a First Time Mom)

  1. Lanaya says:

    I love this. I think there is so much truth here. Everyone finds different things to be scary, discouraging, frustrating or silly. Each baby is unique. Each mom is unique. One person’s body and brain responds differently than another’s! Things that you were surprised and stressed by, might be something another person can shrug off and vise versa. So I’d agree, people can’t really tell you what you will find to be overwhelming. I also refrain from trying to tell people how much their world will change when they become parents, or how it will change with 2 because honestly, it’s often really condescending. “Oh well, just wait…” Depending on the lifestyle a couple is used to, they will find certain aspects of parenting more or less challenging. Most of us just have to find out for ourselves what those are for us, and it’s really frustrating when those who’ve been there before act like we’re idiots simply because we haven’t done something they’ve already experienced. Really, it’s just like most other things in life where we lack empathy and forget what it was like to start something new! This is how people talk talk to teenagers about the “real world” or how those with 2+ kids say one was like a goldfish… It’s just life. We fill up our time and have to reshuffle as life changes. I desperately need people to offer me empathy, understanding and solidarity on the journey, but until I experience it, a lot of what I learn before hand is hard to really internalize. Then there’s this thing that I call “parental amnesia”, where we forget all the hard and just end up with all the amazing memories… and I think God made us like that on purpose ❤ Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s