It’s been just over three months since I became a mom, we became a family of three, and the world got brighter and sweeter. I have no idea where the time has gone and yet it feels like it’s gone slowly. Some days I can’t remember life before Hudson and other days I long for life before Hudson.
Many people have asked me about “mom life” and “how’s it going” (in reference to being a parent), and “Do I love being a mom?” Each time I answer, but not before I feel myself pause with uncertainty… because I’m not entirely sure. What is “mom life?” For me it’s been a period of reinvention. I’ve had to learn to give so much of myself in entirely new ways to an entirely new person who has needs that I don’t always understand or know how to provide for. I’ve felt a love and sense of protection that I never knew was inside of me. I’ve made a new best friend (sorry, Justin!) and he’s so darn cute! “How’s it going?” Well, it’s wild and I have no idea what I’m doing, and I’m exhausted. So exhausted! I also feel like each day is groundhog day and wonder if that’s normal for this season of life and this stage of parenthood. “Do I love being a mom?” I think so. I was never a woman who dreamed of becoming a mom or saw myself as a mom, so when these last several months of my life became only about being a mom it’s been hard for me to accept and allow myself to adapt to that role and this new life. I love Hudson deeply, but do I love being a mom? I think so, yes. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I’m always wondering if I’m doing it right.
There have been countless moments of hilarity starting on day one in the hospital when we tried to send our child to nursery so we could try to sleep, only to have him return less than an hour later because he was inconsolable… so much for sleep! Or, five minutes before I resumed writing this reflection when Hudson smiled at me then puked on me then smiled again and I literally said, “Oh good job, buddy!” I can say with absolute certainty that I never ever thought I’d cheer someone on with such gusto when they’re taking a poop while sitting on my lap, or get so excited when I see Hudson’s little face turn red because he’s trying to poop. I exclaim, “Oh! You’re pooping! Yay!” Oh and I can’t forget Hudson’s first smiles and the first laughs. I still find myself lost in the memories of them happening and the looks on all three of our faces. So much fun and so much happiness.
The moments that are scary and downright frustrating are there, too. Like when Hudson and I spent the day just the two of us and had the best time to be followed by me taking his pint-sized t-shirt off for bathtime, which triggered 30 minutes of straight screaming… in my ear… for no apparent reason. The bewilderment of why I couldn’t console him in that time still haunts me as does the fact that there will be so many more times like that. I also feel constant embarrassment and disappointment that my body let me down… and quite honestly let Hudson down. I thought I would be able to rely on my body to produce breast milk and be able to breastfeed our baby, but my body let me down. Not only was I not producing nearly enough breast milk to feed Hudson, but the production of milk and the act of breastfeeding triggered such strong physical nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea that I had to stop. It scared me. I’ve had to overcome these moments and find comfort in the fact that they are part of my parenthood journey. To be honest, I’m still working on overcoming these moments, each and every day.
Baby Hudson asleep in my arms is literally something I can feel when I close my eyes. I look forward to it. I cherish it. When he’s asleep in my arms he is in total bliss and I feel in love, relaxed, and oh so blessed. These types of moments – the ones where he seeks out the comfort only I can provide him – are the stuff parenthood is made of. When I can make him laugh a little baby belly laugh, or stop crying instantly just by talking to him or simply placing his head on my naked chest. When I’m having an off day, Hudson’s smile will make it better and so will his sweet snuggles.
Reflecting on these last several months has brought forward new emotions, helped me to reminisce about many sweet moments, and given me a great deal of comfort in the honesty of it all. Being a parent is a relentless, unforgiving, emotional pursuit. It is full of ups and downs, twists and turns. It is beautiful, terrifying, and perfect all the same time. I have no idea if my parenthood journey is typical, right, or wrong. But it’s mine and if there is one thing that I’ve taken away from all of this is that I’m one lucky woman to be Hudson’s mom.