I always knew I wanted to be a mom, but I never realized it means dealing with so many emotions I never thought I was capable of feeling. Being a new mom coupled with my hormones that went haywire postpartum brought out a lot of insecurities in me. For those who know me, they know that I’m neither too happy nor too sad. I can overthink and rationalize my emotions, but almost never admitting to feeling one thing. But this part of me changed ever since I became a mom.
My first month of motherhood had me crying buckets. I was crying because of a lot of things. Why can’t I pacify her? Does she hate me? Why isn’t she latching when I thought she’s hungry? The nights were nearly traumatic because of her endless cry. Apart from those, I would cry because breastfeeding really hurt. Everything I read online said it’s not supposed to hurt if you and your baby are doing it right. So why is it hurting? Are we doing it so wrong? I felt inadequate for her.
I don’t have a lot of girlfriends, nor mom friends, so during this time my friend was Google. I’d google almost anything and everything I don’t understand. Believe me, I’ve googled even the simplest things. Example? “Why does my 2-month old baby latches for 5minutes and then unlatches right away”, or “Baby won’t stop crying at night despite feeding, changing diaper etc” or “what’s the best lullaby song”.
Eventually, my baby and I were getting to know each other much better; she was crying less already. But then this was also the time I went back to work. And by work, it meant going on duty in a hospital, and it meant being away from her for 36 hours. This brought a whole new mom guilt in me. My worries this time were, what if she stopped latching? What if she forgets about me? What if her growth becomes delayed because of her absentee mom? What if she loves her yaya more than me, her mom? And yes, those questions were also Googled for answers.
The good thing, however, with dealing with these emotions and worries was that I learned to be friends with other Moms. Knowing I’m not alone in this and others go through the same helped me a lot. I have stumbled upon many other mom forums and mom blogs and even mom Ig accounts. Some really helpful, while most tickled my fancy for shopping baby stuff. (Shopping was apparently therapeutic for the insecure mom, and realized moms like me are good market for so many unnecessary stuff).
I also learned to process my mom guilt better. Beyond retail therapy, I had to give equal importance to my personal growth and even for my baby’s. The time spent apart for me to grow as who I should be, at the same time allow her to be her own person.
I’m still a clingy mom because I always feel like I need to catch up on the days I’m away from her. She’s still a clingy baby, but nothing makes me prouder than to see her try to do things on her own even on days she’s not with her momma.